I want to bring to your attention a NASTY little virus that almost took over my home PC not too long ago.
My wife said it'd probably be good to post a little something to help people that may be trying to remove the EpoClick virus and i said, "Why, heck dear, that's a GREAT idea!"
(i said it just like that i promise)
So anyways, (this may also work on OTHER viruses that have a similar nature)
with the EpoClick virus , what it does it somehow takes over your PC AND unbelievably your MODEM & ROUTER settings as well. Pretty bad stuff. Somehow it changes your settings and continues to keep forwarding you to places on the net that you don't want to go. SUCKS!
The worst thing about these type of Viri (is that plural for viruseses?)
is that they ALSO try to prevent you and your PC from running or opening any ANTI VIRUS Software. which......................SUCKS!!!
So the 2 main programs i've been using for the past 10 or so years are:
1. AVG Free edition (it's wonderful AND FREE on top of that)
2. Spybot search&destroy (also FREE, but donations are excepted)
With these 2 programs alone, i've managed to pretty much stay Virus and Spyware FREE for about a decade and that is saying A LOT this day and age.
Unfortunately once in a very blue moon, a bad nasty slips through such as the EpoClick. Nothing is perfect when it comes to computers. Especially with all the competing BROWSERS and different companies competing out there. So here is a tip that most folks don't know about.
I just know because i'm a bit of a secret computer NeRd. :) I would still be but the technology has surpassed my nerdiness in the past several years.
(i'm writing this sort of generically so if you've got a virus BESIDES the Epo-Click, read on as I think you'll get some valuable info, good luck never hurts as well!)
First attempt to identify the NAME/Type of virus that you've got. In my case it was the EpoClick. I decided that because everytime it tried to forward me to a website that i didn't want to go to, the new tab would read, epoclick....blah blah something.
So i Googled "epoclick virus"
This really should have been tip 1 but better late than never. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER use the Virus / Spyware protection software that comes with your computer. Anyone I've ever known who has ends up calling me on the phone to come FIX their computer. The main reason is that the OEM software included is only a FREE TRIAL not a FREE PROGRAM like AVG or SPYBOT.
That's a problem because of this: here you are happily using your BRAND NEW computer you are so proud of. All of a sudden about exactly 30 days after turning your NEW computer on, a massive virus attack ensues and your new beloved PC is bogged down and nearly unusable (that's BEST case senario)
wanna know why?
That means, after 30 days if you don't PAY the software company, they nicely DISCONTINUE their virus protection services they were "providing" for you. Great huh?
It's all a big racket if you ask me, and those same companies probably pay the hackers out there to write the viruses that they are "protecting" you from. But hey,that's just my opinion. Don't take my word for it.
So you've identified your virus. And you're not using a free trial program anymore. NOW you've even got to be careful when searching for instructions on the net when trying to get help removing your virus! Ain't that a hoot? Cause guess what? Many websites offering HELP are actually giving you instructions to Install THEIR virus ONTO your PC? be careful who you trust out there.
My advice is, try to find a FORUM or BLOG but just BE CAREFUL
MalWareBytes is the program i used to remove my EpoClick virus.
It is a WONDERFUL program and i think the ONLY program that could possibly remove my problem. HERE's the CATCH though.
Since that epoclick virus was SO nasty and the kind that is coded to not allow you to RUN or INSTALL the software you need to REMOVE your problem, you have got a SERIOUS PROBLEM!!!!
Here is the solution. which brings us to....
RENAMING a file to Trick your Virus.
My nasty virus friend wouldn't allow me to install or run MalWareBytes. So here's what i HAD TO DO.
First find the file on your Hard Drive that you've downloaded such as the MalWareBytes install file wherever it may be. I try to always put things where i can find them easily such as THE DESKTOP.
What you want to do is TRICK the Virus into thinking you are just opening an Internet browser or something so i'll usually rename my program something like iexplorer.exe or whatever. Doesn't really matter as long as the Virus will allow you to open it.
There is a picture of my MalWareBytes icon on my desktop Renamed to explorer.exe at the top of this blog post.
After renaming cross your fingers and the virus should allow you to install the anti-virus software as the virus will be hoping you are opening Internet Explorer so that it can attack you some more :)
Repeat this step if you need to for actually RUNNING the software. You will have to go into MY COMPUTER and find where the program was installed into which folder and manually rename the main .exe file to explorer.exe etc.... and THEN if you want to make a shortcut from the NEW file you just renamed for the desktop that's fine.
P.S. I know this all sounds confusing, but it really will work most of the time. Hey, just think if i wasn't talking in layman terms? :)
Tip #6 (is it?)
Hopefully that all worked for you. Here are some last minute tips that may have prevented you from getting the Virus in the first place.
One thing is, I personally don't use Internet Explorer! I've found that most viruseses are coded specifically for IE because they know that it comes with your PC and 80% of folks will be using it.
Also i've found for some reason (even though i used to love it) Firefox browser seems vulnerable to attacks.
I've been using Google Chrome lately and have had no more problems since. Like i said though, nothings perfect.
When you decide to use AVG like i recommended, you'll want to go to CONTROL Panel and UNInstall your other anti-virus program(s) first as they may conflict and work against each other (and while they are fighting, the viruses just waltz right in, yep)
I know that it is more convenient to let your Browser SAVE PASSWORDS for you, but i just NEVER do this. It may not prevent as much stuff as i think , but i'm just paranoid about that. Not sure if it helps but I just always say NO. If you get a Keylogger virus it'll get all your passwords anyways, but that's just how i do things. I feel the less info saved in the computers memory far as passwords and such, the better.
oh, and last but most important of all,
MAKE SURE YOUR VIRUS SOFTWARE IS ALWAYS UPDATED TO THE LASTEST VERSION AND DETECTION RULES.
Most (good) programs will do this for you automatically for you while you sleep or some point during the day when you are not using the PC. If you only have the updates from yesterday they won't protect you against the Virus that some dude sent you today!!! So that's just how that works.
I know how frustrating and confusing all this computer stuff can be. Just hang it there and don't let it get to you. BACKUP Everything! and make a Backup of your BACKUP!
If you are really worried and let's say you have a work computer for recording music, photography, video editing etc.....
DON'T even hook it up to the internet at all if you don't need to!
That'll solve many problems right there. Or if you must only leave it connected when you are installing a necessary update for your work software or even download the update on a computer you use for the NET and put it on a FlashDrive or CD for your work computer.
I know that i've ranted for a while and may sound a bit nuts about all this , but you'll understand when it happens to you someday. And believe me, if you bring home the bacon solely using a computer in your work and a virus wipes out your whole system, it really feels like your whole life's works has just been destroyed in a split second. It can also put your business out of commission for days or even weeks causing you to lose a ton of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
So, just say NO to Virusususes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
hope that helps!