Friday, December 5, 2008

Tis the season to be hacked...

Fortunately, I think I caught this one before I ended up like LRNs. Unfortunately, I think this one may have had some very ugly side effects.

Ok, now to confess my idiotic noob moment. I'm far too trusting and clicked on a message from an old high school classmate in Facebook, thinking it would be some cool nostalgic stuff from the old days. Nope, it was a loader for Infostealer.gamepass, a MMO password stealer. Dumb I know.

But I caught my mistake and immediately began running Norton to wipe the thing out. But here's my problem, a full system scan on Norton takes about 2-3 hours and it was 11pm when I caught the bug. So I let Norton run and went to bed, figuring I'd finish dealing with it in the morning.

Woke up this morning to a non-functioning computer.

I've changed my password to my WoW account and Armory seems to indicate that my account has not yet been breeched (I still have my stuff according to it.) I did all this on my wife's computer, since mine is dead...dead..dead.

The thing I can't figure out is how a password stealing keylogger could blow up my CPU. There's no mention on any internet articles about it having such a malicious side effect. It's just a password stealer. I suppose it could be that my computer was just ready to give up the ghost anyway, but that seems pretty unlikely also since it's less than 2 years old.

So Nord is out of action on WoW for the foreseeable future. No clue when I'll get my computer fixed or replaced.

Update: Good news. Turns it out, odds are good it wasn't the virus that fubar'd my machine. It was the virus checker itself, which scanned my active RAM and apparently stumbled onto a defective or loose memory chip while doing so. That's what caused the crash and the subsequent headaches.

I've reconfigured my hardware, shuffled the chips around, and everything seems to be working again. Virus has been eliminated and I'm running further scans to make sure it's gone for good (FYI, it was Koobface, not infostealer.)

Should be back up and running shortly. Sorry for the false alarm, but this was likely to be an issue in-game eventually anyway.

5 comments:

Mardigilian said...

Ack--when I saw the yahoo headline about it I thought about you. We'll keep an eye out for your toons til you get back up and running.

LRNs said...

Crap. If I had the time and energy, I'd drive up there and fix it for you.

Nord said...

Appreciate the offers. Not sure what you could do. Thing doesn't even boot up now, just flashes drive lights and makes a clicking noise.

Still no idea how a keylogger could kill my machine like that.

LRNs said...

Doubt it was the keylogger, but rather that it set of a chain of events. Something could have gotten screwed up in the boot sector. Or you could have a genuine hardware failure.

Nord said...

Done some more digging. Apparently, there are two major Facebook infections that have been running rampant these past few months. One is the keylogger I mentioned in the OP. The other is a virus called "koobface." Not sure which one I caught, since the machine blew up before I could read the virus scan.

I'm probably going to yank a hard drive from another machine and see if I can boot. That ought to indicate if it's a boot sector problem.