Are you feeling like a Zombie? Then remove that Botnet!

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A botnet uses spyware and malware to lure you into being one of its zombie computers. And then uses your computer for spamming, storing credit card numbers and other personal data such as passwords and account numbers, distributing illegal types of porn, and creating a its own captive and huge search and advertising network. If you are part of that type of botnet, you can’t search on Google or Yahoo or other legitimate search site, you are captive to that botnet’s search engine and their dedicated services and ads.

Also as a zombie your computer will be strange and slow. You’ll be forced to use a bogus search engine and ads you don’t want. It will seem as if something has taken over your computer. It has. A botnet!

Here’s a free tool RuBotted from Trend Micro that will remove your computer from the botnet, and the botnet from your computer.

Ms. Ducktoes used it on a computer that was so slow it took 20 minutes to boot. And found and removed a botnet from Russia caused by Windows XP Antivirus 2008!

So try it out and let me know if you discover a botnet on your computer. Click here to leave a comment. Ms. Ducktoes wants to hear from you.


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Worst Spyware of 2008

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The worst spyware of 2008 (in my experience) is certainly Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 or one of its many variations. This malware invades a computer in one of many ways, usually bundled with a video codec, or freeware or shareware, or sometimes when you accidentally go to (drive by) a bad website.

Infected computers display warnings and scans that look like Window alerts. They lead you–the besieged users–to buy the rogue product for $40. If you buy the rogue software then the fraudsters now have access to your credit card. (Call your credit card company immediately if this is the case.) And the purchase of the rogue anti-spyware does nothing to relieve the infection, in fact it takes over your computer to make it part of its botnet. This is the part I don’t understand. From my experience the infection makes the computer so totally crippled it can’t function, and for this reason I question how well it would serve even a botnet. But that according to this article is the intention.

And here’s another article about it.

I find Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 extremely difficult to remove. Sometimes it comes back even after a Windows Repair from the cd.

Here’s a post that tells how to remove it.

The spyware that seems to have affected the most readers of this blog, is the Hallmark Card virus. So it is the 2nd Worst Spyware of 2008. Here’s how to remove it.

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And here’s a great slideshow by Channel Web showing the top ten malware in the news.

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Be Careful on "Hallmark and Postcard.exe virus removal" Searches

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I’m concerned. Today while researching the Hallmark card and postcard.exe virus, I got these results on Google.

Google Results for

Image of Google Results

The highlighted result in the middle leads to a download site for Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009, a rogue Antivirus that is really a deadly virus for your computer. I mean a nasty.

So this is the dramatic scenario, my innocent ducklings, you receive a Hallmark card or other e-card e-mail. You know you are not supposed to open attachments on e-mails especially those ending with .exe or .dll but on this e-mail there are none. So you feel safe. There is a link, however, for you to see the Hallmark card (or other e-card) someone sent you. You click the link. Instead of an ecard, your computer fills with the Hallmark card virus, and depending on what variant you download, a pretty bad virus.

Your computer is now looking and acting strange. You’re worried. You search online for solutions. You search for “Hallmark card virus removal”. You get results such as the ones above. You may luck out and click Ducktoes or another legitimate antispyware site or you may click a link to the fraudulent rogue anti-virus Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 above. Immediately your computer starts to fill with an even more lethal virus. So now you have one bad virus and one very bad virus.

The fraudulent website looks like this:

Bogus Antivirus Site

Bogus Antivirus Site

Now Ms. Ducktoes has to go to her day job fixing computers and get back to this later. Please be careful until then. Let me know what’s happening to your computer right now, so I have more information on what new variants there are and the type of frustation and problems you’re having, so I can help you more effectively.

Click on the Comment or No comment tag below. Or e-mail me at

And the virus removal techniques in yesterday’s post about How to Fix Vundo in Safe Mode should also be quite effective agains the Hallmark Card and Windows XP Anti-virus. Give them a try. Until later.

Also I’m curious. What spyware or virus are you struggling with right now? Or if you don’t know, what symptoms do you have? I invite your comments. Comment here.

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