Dealing with a stubborn virus

I have talked before about Sophos and how wonderful it has been to use. It ran into a virus yesterday and it took some time to resolve it.

The problem was a class of virus called Command & Control. These are more sophisticated viruses that send information back to an internet connected server. It might be the screen captures, or specific data. The problem is that this is a custom virus that can’t be immediately fixed. Here is how I went about fixing it.

Dealing with a stubborn virusFirst I googled to find the most information I could about the error message. I found a couple of Sophos library references that were not helpful. I also read about a similar virus since often you can use the steps for one for another. The similar virus wasn’t acting like this. I think it might be helpful if I wrote it out in number form.

Dealing with an unknown Virus

  1. Google to find as much information you can about it. If no information exists search for the generic class of virus.
  2. Try additional free utilities. In my case I tried 3 utilities that a website said would fix an earlier generic form of the virus. Two of them didn’t help, but MalwareBytes found things and deleted them.
  3. Download utilities from Sysinternals such as Autorun and RegDelNull. These help you see if there are any processes that don’t look normal. If you don’t understand everything in this tool that is ok, you are looking for a lack of information in the place where other things show information. Autorun also helpfully highlights in yellow and red issues that demand your attention. After running these tools it showed that there weren’t any issues.
  4. Do additional full scans after trying each fix. If the problem exists it might coexist with other problems. In this case, it found a similar problem and was able to fix it automatically. Run a deep scan at least 3 times to make sure it is ok.
  5. Delete the generic warning error in Sophos when Sophos tech has confirmed there is no virus. If Sophos finds it, it will alert you as the administrator with an email.
  6. Explain to the client what happened and how to prevent the error in the future. Often the error couldn’t be avoided by using a Windows system so you can still suggest using a Mac if they want to avoid these problems in the future.
  7. Sit back and enjoy being able to figure out complex things quickly, and be happy you thwarted an illegal attempt.

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Wanna go wireless and charge your devices? You can!

Wanna go wireless and charge your devices? You can! You can read more details in this article from Fast Company. Isn’t science great?

What is even neater is that one day all of our electronic devices won’t have a cord. I shared earlier research of a radio that ran on the power of its wireless signal it received. Clearly things like this will make a huge difference in the ability of rural and places with no wired infrastructure to have utilities.

Wanna go wireless and charge your devices? You can!It is really too bad that Tesla didn’t get to finish what he started. It would have been an incredible century to have wireless electricity. I have no doubt that would have increased our technological development. It is hard to overcome the market forces, but time is on the side of science. Eventually the truth does come out.

What is even better is the implications this means. Perhaps by having different frequencies we can switch electrical providers as easily as we change a channel. This technology might even filter down to wireless internet access. Certainly having worldwide Internet access that doesn’t depend on wires would be amazing right?

It is hard to imagine when a technology is first starting out where it might go. It would be wonderful for technology to be open sourced and available to anyone who cares to understand it. I think our patent system is broken when instead of encouraging innovation, it rewards people who are litigious and abuse the system.

One day I have no doubt that things will be wireless and that we won’t have the bulk of things we have now. Will that help equality? I hope so.

What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about charging cables or adapters to make things powered? Imagine all of the efficiency we could gain by not having to have transformers change the current from AC to DC. Or better yet, the materials that we would save in not having to have heavy and inconvenient power supplies. It also makes things cheaper since we don’t need to have the built-in power supplies in desktops or any other devices. It could be the next generation for computer and technology design. Imagine things built for their function rather than because of structural and part considerations.

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