Stop right now and go update your Windows patches.

And your anti-virus program.

And your firewall.

I have just spent the day reinstalling Windows and its assorted service packs, updates and patches, and hunting down and updating various other drivers. Great fun with a dial-up connection.

It had a virus, PE_TENGA.A, which makes me this month's poster child for the importance of keeping Windows patched and updated. It exploits network vulnerabilities, replaces executable files and changes registry values.

Symantec doesn't think too much of it -- limited threat, low damage, easy containment, etc., and while Trend Micro has it listed as high threat and damage potential, they do not have it listed as wild. Both say it does not propagate through e-mail -- I can tell you it tried, which is how I stumbled across it.

I highly recommend both PC Housecall and PC-cillin -- both will give you much better, deeper scans than either Norton or McAfee and will identify every point of infection, which can be interesting as well as useful.


Dana said...

I use PC-cillin. Always have, always will. ;)

snowballinhell said...

I don't have to do that if I run a Mac, right?

Sorry, just couldn't help rubbing in the Macs-get-no-virii thing. We miss out on cool games, though.

Ghost said...

It's kind of a nifty virus, though.

I would classify it as a white hat type, because all the data was intact. You have to repair your software installations, which obviously you can't do without the original disks. I went for the full wipe and reinstall because I still hadn't installed SP2 because I was afraid of what it would do to my programs. :)

I fixed a computer for somebody a few years ago that had something similar -- it came disguised as a KaZaa download. The kid was enormously surprised that all his programs were gone . . .

And sorry, Snow -- officially there are Mac virii out there. They tend to be fewer and further between because Apple has such a small market share. This is expected to change now that the price has come down so far on the new, fast-food-burger-sized Macs ($599 and $699).

Yes, I want one, but I want a 64-bit Athlon and bigger, badder video card more.

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