Computer virus warning!
I’d like to thank everyone who, from time to time, shoots me email to let me know that my website is harboring a Trojan Virus. Most recently, they reported, it was a version of the SmitFraud virus. I’d also like to thank the folks who post to Forums warning folks about the virus without letting me know, first. Actually, no I wouldn’t.
One of the reasons I love my job is that I get to do research. The link above is one of many I found about that virus. Fascinating stuff. And reading through the articles, one thing becomes apparent: no one picked the virus up here.
First off, Kat Klaybourne regularly sweeps the server for viruses, as does the company that maintains the servers. Makes sense for a service provider. Kat also maintains the latest virus software on her computer and hits the site on a daily basis. Nothing trips for her.
Second, the virus transmits through a codec. We don’t download that information into your machine. We don’t offer anything that would. The places where you do run into such things are sites where you view videos.
Third, any files you pull off this site—that being store purchases—are files that I prep on a Mac. PC viruses don’t live on a Mac.
So, why would folks be getting a message that there is a virus here?
It’s because of the nature of the virus. What that virus does is produce an alert screen that tells you that you’ve been infected. It tells you to buy certain software to rid yourself of the infection.
If you look at it from the programmer’s point of view, then, the virus doesn’t trigger that alert screen at the site where you got infected. That would just warn folks off and you’d get no more infections. Nope, it waits, incubates, and when you jump to some new site, bang it goes off. The site that triggers the alert isn’t the offending site, it just got blamed by luck of the draw. (If the virus is resident in RAM, and your anti-virus program does not scan RAM, the virus would not get picked up until it triggers.)
The link above has got a concise tutorial on how to get rid of the Smitfraud virus. There are others out there, and most concur on the tools you should use. I also read that you want to make sure your Java and browsers are up to date, and you want to be running scanning software that checks RAM on a constant basis. You want that software to be up to date, too. And don’t look at videos, especially pirated vids, on your computer, as these are avenues for infection.
And, again, I really do appreciate the notifications. We do check them out whenever they come in.