A couple of months ago, I came across a pornography netbot. It was exciting–and scary–to see. Right here in Calgary a computer on was on an illegal botnet. Without my client’s knowledge or permission, her computer had turned into a zombie. It was serving pornography to the netbot’s customers at the expense of my client. As a zombie, her unresponsive and super slow computer was useless to her. It was part of a netbot, a group of computers networked together for an illicit purpose, in this case to serve porn photos. The computer was so tortuously slow it was taking more than ten minutes to get on the internet or use other programs. The client hired me to help. She didn’t know what was going on except that her computer was full of junk. She was a very nice and interesting woman, a Calgary entrepreneur and artist, and a victim of some not-so-nice online criminals.
This happened because of malware. An stealth-installed program had compromised the computer’s security. The computer file sharing was turned on. All the computer’s resources were being used up with the botnet’s processes. A shared folder had .zip files that were full of porn. They had names like hotbabelick.zip. The virus software had been rendered ineffective. The anti-spyware I used also didn’t work well at first. I tried to turn off the processes in Windows Task Manager but an error message popped up saying I didn’t have the authority to stop the process.
I did manage to stop enough processes to allow the virus software to start working. By the time I left, the computer was much faster. And after I left the client told me that Spybot and Ad-Aware had removed the botnet programs.
What works best in a case like this, is to take the computer’s hard drive out and attach it to a computer in my lab and run the virus and spyware removal programs without the operating system which is repressing the virus and spyware programs.
If you have spyware or malware, I can help. Call (403) 287-0105.