The other day I was checking my e-mail online and also had a couple other windows open including WordPress and something for my contract when I got a pop-up from Java noting that it could not find a file for the update. I clicked [OK] to close the message and then at that moment the event started to slowly work its way from the causual thoughts area of my brain to the storage and disposal center. While on it’s way it passed by a memory review station and since it was a low priority thought it was given less energy than the other thoughts coming though.
After about five minutes an alert in my brain suddenly shot a message to my panic center and I was put into keen awareness that what I had done wasn’t an approved action. I had not been given any message to update Java and so the pop-up had to have been generated by a website with malicious code. By clicking [OK] I was not dismissing an error, I was approving the installation of code to my computer and a moment later a finger had pressed the power button to shut the system off right there.
My initial scans with some utilities couldn’t find the actual program that was in my system but rather an infected support file. At one point during testing I could see what I had agreed to was an installation of ScareWare and it was looking to extort me for whatever money I had on hand. Thankfully I know better.
The next day I had the system up and running back to the way it was before I clicked that malicious [OK] button. I proceeded to install some added security programs to help protect me from myself in the future but once I rebooted the system after the installs, Windows only only go to a black screen. Crap.
It is a good thing that I had recently backed up all of my data but I really did not want to go through the reloading of XP again because with all of the updates it takes DAYS to get it done. So, being my resourceful self I found information on using the Recovery Console to delete the system registry and use a backup to return the system to a previous state. Back at Gateway we used to do this with older versions of Windows in some cases and it actually works quite well.
So, after another day of messing around with it I finally got it up and running and the added security installed. Problem is that the program that is wild on the Internet is fairly crafty and I still get a pop-up when searching for information on some sites. Rather than clicking anything on that malicious present I just shut my system off. Better safe than screwed.
The whole experience has given me a little extra motivation to do some more optimization. I found a site called Black Viper that gives information on turning off key Windows services to make your computer work a little faster and it applies to many versions. So far my system responds a bit better and should work great until my next moment of stupidity.