Tag Archives: virus

Fighting the Malware Mafia

malwareI’d been plagued by malware on my home computer for a few months. It was one of those particularly malicious creations of evil and despicable “humans” – the kind that takes your browser hostage and extorts money from you to “fix” it. You know, like that helpful mafia guy who for a small fee will be happy to “fix” the problem with his shattering your kneecaps.

I fended off the extortionists for months by repeatedly going through a tedious process of removing these ad programs that got created, by removing browser extensions and add-ons that suddenly appeared, and by removing strange Windows services. It would go away for a while, only to suddenly reappear a day or week later with all new names like “digisales” or “turbodeals.” In short, it simply would not die. It kept recreating itself in seemingly endless incarnations. But they were all the same malware with the same extortion screen shown here.

Of course I tried running every virus, malware, spyware, and adware removal tool I could find to eradicate this vermin including Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, AVG, Bitdefender, Ad-Aware, Spybot, System Mechanic, and others. None of them found or fixed the malware.

Then I upgraded to Windows 10, hoping the problem would go away. It did disappear for a while and I kind of forgot about it. Except, I had this annoying problem in the Edge browser. Whenever I tried to copy a URL from the address box, my browser would hang for 30-60 seconds. To try to identify the cause of this, I removed extensions and changed options. At some point during the process, bang, my malware is back with a vengeance. I could not use Edge at all, even though none of the other browsers were affected.

Yet another round. Tried running all the malware programs again. No luck. How could they fail to identify such a severe virus?? Tried one more program with the somewhat silly name of SUPERAntiSpyware (found here). Their tagline is “Remove Spyware, NOT just the easy ones.” Well, I thought, let’s test that bold claim.

So I downloaded and ran SUPERAntiSpyware and viola! It found thousands of “malicious” cookies and cleaned them up. Total cure. Compete recovery. Poltergeist expelled. Problem solved. I’m clean! No more hostage lockups, no more problems copying/pasting in Edge, and my browsers seem much snappier to boot!

I happily paid for a subscription to SUPERAntiSpyware for all our computers. It is amazing that none of the other big names could find this malware. Clearly they all do just find “the easy ones.” Even more amazing is that Microsoft apparently cannot produce the best tool for cleaning up the system they know better than anyone.

And lest you think “lie down with dogs wake up with fleas” applies to me, consider that my wife joked about that. “What porn sites were you visiting?” I actually don’t visit any sketchy sites, but of course the best way to convince your wife that her suspicions are right is to try to deny them.

Well SUPERAntiSpyware had the last laugh. When we installed and ran it on her computer it found one malware program and almost two thousand adware cookies on her machine as well.

Bottom line. I’m sold on SUPERAntiSpyware. We had other products running when we got that malware and they didn’t help us. Of course, this is entirely anecdotal. You may contract a virus that only one of the other programs will find. But the evidence I have available to me says SUPERAntiSpyware is the one I’ll trust. Here is their link again: SUPERAntiSpyware.