Some Virii Must Be Attacked With Multiple Drugs…

January 4, 2009

Technology

Sinus InfectionAbout a month ago, I went to the doctor to address a sinus infection.  I have always been prone to getting sinus infections.  But for the past couple of years, I’ve found that using a sleeping wedge has reduced my sinus infections to one or two a year.  But last month, I couldn’t beet back the odds.  I think I fell prey to lots of rain and lots of large temperature shifts.  But whatever the case, I had to go and see a doctor.

The doctor confirmed that I did indeed have a sinus infection.  And he prescribed a low dose of Amoxicillin.  While Amoxicillin works well for lots of people, it hasn’t always helped me.  But I though I’d give it a try.  After all, I don’t want to over-prescribe or cause some kind of weird viral resistance.  So I gave it a try.  After about five days, I could tell that the antibiotics had helped some.  But it was clear that they had not totally eradicated my problem.  I still had pressure and nasal discharge indicative of a lingering problem.  But I figured I’d wait until it got worse, just in case my own immune system could beat it down.

Well, after being away from town for a week and flying to and from Atlanta, I could finally tell that I needed to see a doctor again.  This time, the doctor decided to take a more aggressive approach.  He prescribed a cocktail of Amoxicillin and Augmentin.  And he prescribed it for 14 consecutive days.  The doctor figured that he would attack the problem with two sticks – and keep hitting it until it was beaten into submission.  I really appreciate this approach as I want to get rid of the problem.  I’ve had a bad headache for almost a month now.  It will be nice to solve the problem.

That Was An Analogy

But this solution applies to multiple problems – including a problem my duaghter was having.  Yesterday afternoon, Bailey asked if I could check her computer and see if there was a problem.  Bailey isn’t one to ask for help at the first sign of trouble.  In fact, she likes to try and solve problems for herself.  So when she asked me to take a look, I leaped into action.  

The problem was easily identified; I used Spybot Search and Destroy to diagnose that my daughter was suffering from a case of malware.  In this case, she was infected with Virtumonde.   I was surprised that she was infected at all as she was using the “approved” anti-malware products recommended by the University of Kansas.  And even though KU is good, I should have realized that I need to stay on top of these things.

So I started the process of removing Vundo (the shorthand name for this beastie).  I first used the Spybot Search and Destroy tool.  It idetifed three instances of the infection.  And it removed these instances – or so it said.  But afte rebooting the system, I was still seeing bizarre problems (like difficulty logging onto the system and some slugglishness in web operations.  So I restarted Spybot S&D and noted that the same infection had returned.  That’s when I started to get concerned.    

I started reading up on Vundo and learned just how pernicious this little beastie is.  I donwloaded VundoFix.   And started to run this scanning and repair tool.  It also noted problems with Virtumonde infection.  So I let it clean up some things.  And after running this tool, I rebooted and tried Spybot S&D yet again.  And once again, I encountered problems with reinfection.  This one was beginning to remind me of my sinus infection.

So I started bringing out broader spectrum tools.  I downloaded current versions of Sophos Antivirus as well as AVG.  I also downloaded Virtumonde Begone.  Then I downloaded a PCTools utility and a Symantec tool to help along the way.  In short, I startied hitting this thing with multiple attacks.  In the end, a combination of two anti-virus / anti-trojan tools plus two anti-spyware tools seems to have knocked this thing off her system.  

There are lots of references to how to get rid of this beast.  But the forums on Yahoo (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080729134452AA2GPB5) gave me some of the best info.  If you get infected with this one, make sure that you don’t spare any effort to get rid of it as it is quite nasty.  And be prepared to spend a number of hours trying to knock this one down.  It causes a heck of a headache and requires  attacking the problem as broadly as possible.  Indeed, be prepared to get into a two-front war when you attack this bug.

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