The Ransomware that Took Out My Desktop

The Ransomware that invaded my desktop was called Zeus.

Trend Micro says, “Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid.” To learn how Ransomware arrives on a computer, click the link in this paragraph and read Trend Micro’s post.

The Ransomware that invaded my desktop on February 12, 2017 popped up on the right screen through Firefox and my g-mail account.

The invasion took place in stages.

I use three browsers: Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox and two are often running at the same time since I use two screens with my desktop. The left screen is used for Google Chrome and the right screen for Firefox.

My first attempt was to restore my system to an earlier date but there was no early date. I think Zeus got rid of that option because that has never happened before. Restore has always worked to deal with similar problems, but not this time.

Zeus took over my right screen on Sunday and flashed a loud message that I had to obey or else. It was noisy and irritating. To get rid of it, I deleted the Firefox browser from my computer.

I thought I’d defeated the threat, but I was wrong.

Google Chrome kept working and Zeus didn’t appear again.  It wasn’t until late Monday morning on February 13 that I couldn’t access any of the files stored on the desktop’s hard drive. Then the desktop stopped working.

I now know that Symantec.com offers a free removal tool for Zeus. “Our free tool will check if your computer is infected by Gameover Zeus and remove the Trojan if it’s found.” In fact, most if not all computer security programs like Norton offer some protection from Ransomware.

Zeus isn’t the only Ransomware out there, so beware.

The security program I was using at the time of the Zeus attack was Bitdefender and it had been offering me Ransomware protection for several weeks at no additional cost, but every time I attempted to accept it, I found the process too time-consuming and confusing, so I didn’t follow through. If it had been a simple and easy process, that ransomware protection would have been active.

Anyway, don’t do what I did. After I deleted Firefox from my desktop, I used Google Chrome and continued to use both of my screens through that one browser. I never saw the Zeus pop-up Ransomware screen again, but Zeus was still there hidden away in my operating system eating it.

On Tuesday, a friend recommended that I take my desktop to R Computer that another combat vet he knew, who has trust issues, swore by.

The R Computer tech said that there is no 100-percent protection from a computer virus like the Zeus Ransomware. Some security programs are just better than others.

The R Computer tech struggled valiantly through the rest of the week to get rid of Zeus and recover the desktop’s operating system, programs, and files, but there was no easy fix because the hard drive was also dead.

The stress from the Zeus virus must have shortened the harddrive’s lifespan.

Nothing lasts forever and hard drives have lifespans too. To find out if there is an average lifespan for hard drives, I turned to LifeHacker.com . Life Hacker says, “Any hard drive in active use is essentially a ticking bomb. Let’s be honest: It’s not a matter of if a hard drive fails, it’s a matter of when, and how lucky you’ll get postponing that as long as possible. If you’re really lucky, it’ll be after you’ve upgraded to a new one. If you’re unlucky, it’ll be in a matter of months or years, and when it does die, we can only hope you’ve made sure to back up your computer before it happens.”

As the week slipped by without a computer and internet access, I felt lost, but adjusted and started to read more from real books and go out more often. I even went on a 3-mile solo walk, something I seldom do since I prefer walking with a friend or a group. It didn’t take long before I realized that the internet and social media is an addiction that destroys life in the real world outside of cyberspace.

Planning to spend more time away from the computer, I wondered if there was a 12-step program to help. If you are interested, I Googled “cyber addiction” and found ITAA, Internet & Tech Addiction Anonymous that offers a 12-step program.

If it was only the internet and social media at stake, I might not be here writing this post, but I’m an author with an addiction for writing that I don’t want to get rid of, and my next book is going through final revisions before I send it off to an editor.  That’s why I bought the laptop last Friday that I’m now using.

I’m glad I’ve been backing up my files on a regular daily basis for more than a decade. 

My desktop is still in the shop. When it comes home, it will have a new solid-state hard drive (with a longer lifespan). and my programs and files will be on it ready for me to get started again.

I have two large 27-inch screens that have been sitting dark for a week, and the 15-inch screen on the new laptop is small in comparison. I admit it. The larger screens spoiled me.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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9 thoughts on “The Ransomware that Took Out My Desktop

  1. The new era of Tegnologia is the biggest major problem; More advanced technology more information is stolen. Nothing has ever been so dangerous in history; Never the intelligence of this country has been victims of countries without any wisdom. You can not rely on those who create destructive viruses to be able to avoid cyber security is the same as avoiding it every time; Every day the pressures and problems increase; Technicians sell or sell to those who destroy or seek information for Wiki leaks; For example in China the iPhone is being made the galaxy and the clones are identical; It is no longer easy to know what is true or false. For example in the automotive industry; The car models change completely every 5 years Those who work secretly in the auto design department; Sell ​​is fraud but an example if the Hunday takes a model similar to the Totota Camry; It is logical to think that it was the sale of an individual who, by millions, sold or provided other auto industries with the designs that would most attract the consumer, is fraud on both sides; Everything is sold; From a phone and its technology to weapons of war suddenly a country that is not expected to take out a weapon that was not expected; Now North Korea ISNorth Korea dirispetc littlefinger is a big problem in the last few years after the cold war is over, the world is more dangerous. How is it possible that North Korea; Fire missiles passing through Japanese territory? It is logical that North Korea bought by the black market the ex union society’s ( cuenticos sold that technology at the black market after Reagan and Gorbachev start destroying weepons of mass destruction )At present, any country surprises with dangerous weapons; Is Korea a danger? The world goes every day in self-destruction. Am i wrong Or something wrong is happen? To many Litlefingers North Korea maiking fun of Litlefingers . Litlefinger is taking control of this country and others country destroying America . IT’S Litlefinger and Idiot or idiots act as Litlefingers . Is insane atack your country and let others country free roud to fight by sorprise is this country runing by idiots that have Hughes fortunes but no brains . Litlefingers has no brain ; I think that Littlefinger is a evil robot and Capitan of American need to fight this robocot and Litlefinger has robots eyes 👀 and noice voice of evils transform and his head is never I seen a head as Litlefinger as well Litlefinger has no human hear . IF walk as a dock ; LOOCK like a dock and the noise is like a dock it’s a dock right ?
    Litlefingers is an evil robot 🤔😬😜

    • Littlefingers is one or two of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.

      Death, Famine, War, and Conquest

      The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to John of Patmos, at 6:1-8.

      • I JUST COMENT ON SAY NO TO DeVos and my comment is not there because I don’t know . Why ?
        I have seen and learned different forms of education; Public education in Cuba, Education publishes Cuba and Union of Soviet socialist republics; At age 21 in 1995 I came to U.S.A My children were born here in Dade County Fl. My firstborn was born on February 13, 1998 and my child on July 1, 2003. My son was born with ADD (ATENTION DEFICIT DISORDER) My child is very healthy mentally and physically. Both studied in public schools where professionalism and love of students radiated; The assistance and help my Son with Disability was excellent. ADD is a Concentration Bias. My son was a Major League Baseball prospect. What a mistake I made; A Principal of a Charter schooll wanted my children; For baseball and my girl with honors. Long history Short my are suffering physical and mental abuse; And my child refused to go to the Charter; The main an evil was so cruel; He never provided help to my son; Disables; Teachers were not qualified to serve students with disabilities; They have no idea what IDEA OR SECTION 504 means. BUT IF THEY ARE VERY ABUSEFUL AND THE RESULT MY SON CAN NOT ACHIEVE HER DREAM AND MY GIRL IS IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL. MY GIRL IS STUDENT NUMBER 1 AND WITH ADVANCED CLASSES AND IS PREPARING AND GIVING LESSONS OF LAWS AND THANKS TO THAT PUBLIC SCHOOL MY CHILD HAS SHOWN THERE IS NOTHING TO LEARN IN THE NEW MODERN AND LUXURY CORPORATE BUSINESS CENTERS (CHARTERS SCHOOLS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND ABUSE IS NORMAL AND THE LAW SHOULD FORCE THAT THE CHARTERS SCHOOLS CLOSE THE DOORS AND OPEN BUSINESS BUT NOT WITH STUDENTS, SCHOOLS CHARTERS ARE LONG-TERM, WANT TO KNOW MORE PREGUNTEME AND THERE IN WORLD PRESS THERE ARE MANY WHO KNOW WHAT I HAVE SUFFERED I HATE THE WORS SCHOOL SYSTEM THE NEW REFORM IF I REFORM OR DESTROY? I WILL NOT WANT TO HAVE ANY REFURBISHMENT OR DESTROY THEMSELVES IN THE GREEN AREA (WHITE OR BLACK) CHARTERS ARE IN THE GREEN AREA GUYS!

      • THE PROPHECY POINT AS A FIRCE

        Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword.+
        6 (TRADE AND BUSINESS RELATED TO ITS HIS WAY OF RULE ). AND THE OTHER 6 ARE RELIGIOUS THAT SAY THAT THEY ARE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANS OR OTHER RELIGION THE VOTED TO TRUMP THAT CLEAR THAN 666. WILD BEAST . LITLEFINGER- CORRUPTION AND FRAUDS AND BUSINESS AND RELIGION HAS SHOWN THE GREAT RAMERA OR PROSTITUTE.

        HOW MANY HORSE ? POSIBLE 1 ; 2 or 3 But Trump don’t want fight the Kind with the white horse . I have to tell the true meaning God will destroy those are destroying our planet and this Evil president .
        1- Is a dangerous person that can destroy the ambiental sistem ecology.
        2- This Evil want support the torture
        3- Discrimination to the women’s.

        THE FIRTS LADY OF UK SAID THAT IS INSANE AND SHE WON’T LET THIS GUY CHANGE THE ECO SISTEM AND TORTURA NO WAY AND SHE WAS CLEAR WOMENS DESERVE WHAT LITLEFINGER DON’T DO ( LOVE AND RESPECT- THIS PRESIDENTE HAVE NO CLUE THE MEANING OF LOVE ; RESPECT AND COMPASSION . THAT’S IT AND THANKS BECAUSE A GREAT EXCHANGE OF OPINIONS AND SPIRITUAL IS THE FACT SPIRITUAL PERSONS FIGHT EVILS AND GOD IS REAL FOR YOU THE SAME GOD WHO YOUR MOM LOVE THE SAME WHO I LOVE TO . GOD IS LOVE AND TRUMP IS HATE AND MORE HATER.

      • THE FACT IS WHEN PEOPLE ARE TELLING PEACE AND SECURITY DESTROYING REPEATEDLY. IS NOT TIME YET AND THIS GUY IS NOT A PEACEFUL GUY . COMUN SENSE IS I LITLEFINGER HAS A BID MOUTH AND IF JESUS WAS KILLED FOR TELL THE TRUE ; THIS GUY COULD DIE FOR LIE EVERY 5 MINUTES.

        The Bible’s Viewpoint
        Will Diplomacy Bring World Peace?

        WOULD you like to see an end to all wars? Surely there must be some diplomatic solution to national and international conflicts. Many feel that if world leaders simply worked together, war could be done away with. Likely, however, you are disappointed with the results of diplomacy. For centuries diplomats have ratified treaties, formulated resolutions, and held summit meetings, but few issues have been permanently resolved.

        The Bible has much to say about diplomacy and peace. It answers the following questions: What factors presently prevent diplomacy from producing peace? Should Christians involve themselves in diplomacy? How will true peace finally be attained?

        What Is Preventing Peace?
        Several Bible accounts illustrate how person-to-person contact can lead to peace. For example, Abigail skillfully convinced David and his army not to avenge themselves on her household. (1 Samuel 25:18-35) Jesus gave an illustration of a king who had no reasonable recourse but to send out ambassadors to sue for peace. (Luke 14:31, 32) Yes, the Bible acknowledges that some forms of diplomacy can resolve conflicts. Why, then, do peace talks often meet with limited success?

        The Bible accurately predicted that our times would be troublesome. Because of the wicked influence of Satan the Devil, men would not be “open to any agreement” but would be “fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride.” (2 Timothy 3:3, 4; Revelation 12:12) In addition, Jesus prophesied that the conclusion of the present system of things would be marked by “wars and reports of wars.” (Mark 13:7, 8) Who can deny that these have become increasingly prevalent? That being the case, is it any wonder that attempts at peace between nations often prove futile?

        Also, consider this fact: While diplomats may try hard to avoid clashes, each one’s main objective is to advance his own nation’s interests. That is the bottom line of political diplomacy. Should Christians involve themselves in such matters?

        Regardless of their motives, world diplomats have neither the ability nor the power to devise permanent solutions
        Christians and Diplomacy
        The Bible advises: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.” (Psalm 146:3) This implies that regardless of their motives, world diplomats have neither the ability nor the power to devise permanent solutions.

        When Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, he stated: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” (John 18:36) Peace initiatives are often tainted with nationalistic hatred and political selfishness. Hence, true Christians avoid involvement in this world’s conflicts and its attempts at diplomacy.

        Does that mean that Christians are apathetic and uninterested in world affairs? Are they insensitive to human suffering? No. On the contrary, the Bible describes God’s true worshipers as individuals who are “sighing and groaning” over the bad things that happen around them. (Ezekiel 9:4) Christians are simply relying on God to bring peace as he has promised. Is the end of war your idea of peace? God’s Kingdom will most certainly accomplish that. (Psalm 46:8, 9) But in addition, it will ensure the complete security and well-being of all earth’s inhabitants. (Micah 4:3, 4; Revelation 21:3, 4) Such a superior peace can never be attained by diplomacy or the efforts of human “peacekeeping” organizations.

        Bible prophecy and past experience clearly indicate that trusting in human diplomacy to bring peace can only lead to disappointment. Those who rest their hope for peace on Jesus Christ and support God’s Kingdom will see their desire for true peace realized. What is more, they will enjoy it forever!—Psalm 37:11, 29.

      • I think of Christianity as a virus, cancer, because in the New Testament to many Christians and/or Catholics think Jesus died for their sins so they would be forgiven and get into heaven. Because of that, too many Christians sin all they want and wrongly think that all they have to do is go to Church on the sabbath and they are forgiven. Catholics get forgiven for their sins every week at confession before Sunday and on Sunday they go up to the priest and take the wafer soaked in wine thinking this represents the flesh and blood of Christ, and they are forgiven repeatedly so many continue to repeat the same sins.

        Pathos.com says, “God Did Not Kill Jesus on the Cross for Our Sins”

        “The most common answer for many Christians, “he died on a cross to pay for our sins” (penal substitutionary atonement) is actually a relatively recent concept. In fact, it only became a part of Christian teaching about 1600 years after Jesus was crucified.” …

        “But, I believe Jesus found this popular understanding of sin (during his lifetime and today) to be far too superficial and simplistic. When he said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill,” in Matthew:5:17, what he was really saying is, “I did come to destroy how you are using the Law,” (and, thus, how you understand sin).”

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thegodarticle/2015/03/god-did-not-kill-jesus-on-the-cross-for-our-sins/

        When any of us sin, break any of God’s laws as spelled out in detail in the Old Testament, we carry those sins through our life to judgment day, and God weighs the good we did in life against that list of sins to see what our punishment will be. The more we sin, the more we suffer. Littlefingers is going to suffer for a very long time.

      • Lloyed is traumatic and I understand why is the world getting ready to fight and fight against evils because evils people are here to help others YOU have to tell others the way you did with kids now this is the time of meditate and wait until see it . Jesus died because he told the true but we don’t always tell truth because many times we lied because others teach us wrong we have to fight against ours own insides wars and we have many at this time because of that ley Litlefinger run out gas ether mentality or ..

  2. Sorry you had to deal with this, Lloyd.
    But I know what you mean about cyber-addiction.
    I go to the Y 4-5 days a week, I volunteer, I have various groups of friends I meet for social activities, breakfast, lunch, etc.
    Mr. Zorba and I also like to travel.
    So there is that.

    • Thank you.

      I’ve been thinking about joining Sierra Club hikes in the SF Bay Area but there haven’t been many clear days for the last few months. The rain just keeps coming down. Every week or so there’s a one or two day window between rain, and I end up mowing the grass and weeds. :o)

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