Dear Computer Lady,
I run WindowsXP. My anti-virus and anti- spyware is CA. Have been using this for several years, recently renewing my subscription.
About two weeks after I renewed, on booting up one AM, my system was completely locked down. A small window stated my system was infected with a virus.. In the meantime, a page was running in the background that was advertising Antivirus Soft. No matter what I did, Nothing could be opened! Therefore I could not reach my CA Antivirus to scan my system. After exhausting all options, and 3 days of working with it, I finally relented and opened the “Soft” program and subscribed to it!! Immediately, every thing opened up, aftr installing, and ran perfectly! I tried to send a message to CA to inform this of this problem and my e-mails have been sent to “undeliverable”. At the cost of $48 for CA (two-yrs.) And $68 for “Soft” (lifetime), I feel as though I have been (snookered)!! Can you solve this problem for me, and any others who may get entangled in this trap? I am using Incredimail.
Please advise, Jeanne
You have indeed been snookered! The program you are referring to, Antivirus Soft, is just one in a long list of malware programs that have been infecting computers.
Antivirus Soft is not really an antivirus program. It has taken your computer captive and held it for ransom. Unfortunately, you paid that ransom with your credit card, and now the thieves who created and distributed this program have your credit card information. Your first step in recovering from this malware is to contact your credit card company, dispute the charges, and get a new credit card number!
The next step is to get all traces of this program off your computer. You can search google for directions on removing Antivirus Soft, and try following them, or your can bring the computer to your local repair shop and have them remove all traces of the program for you.
Some of these ransom programs are very hard to get rid of, and the only option to be completely sure it is gone is to erase your hard drive and reinstall Windows.
Once you have a clean computer, I would suggest a more robust antivirus, and anti-malware program like AVG Internet Security. In addition, it helps to install Spybot Search & Destroy at www.safer-networking.org and Spyware Blaster at www.javacoolsoftware.com
Both programs are free, and if you keep them updated, they will protect your computer from many of these malware programs.