I’ve been offline for the entire weekend as I caught a virus. Despite tripping along through cyberspace practising safe surfing, and always, always using anti-viral prophylactics, my little workhorse laptop caught a virus. A nasty one. I was just finishing posting something on Friday afternoon when all of a sudden my computer locked up and a message appeared on my screen.
It said that I’d been doing some dodgy surfing. (I hadn’t, just so you know.)
It said I had broken the laws of Great Britain. (I hadn’t, not even a little bit. No, not even speeding)
It said that the West Yorkshire Police Constabulary had locked my screen and would only unlock it IF I paid £100 to them good men in blue.
It helpfully gave me all sorts of imaginative ways to pay. One was called Ucash, which I thought was kind of ironic. I’ve been called many things in my life but one thing I’ve never been known for, is being a UCASH kind of facility. True, the teens like to try and get cash out of the UCASH machine automatic teller of Mum, but even they are thwarted when there the fiscal cupboard is bare!
Despite which, why would the West Yorkshire Police only charge me £100 for breaking the law? And why wouldn’t they burst through my front door, dressed in black wielding pistols and door ramming thingys?
Of course it was a virus, but the really tricky part was figuring how to get out of the locked screen to run the virus checker. And there’s a question right there….why didn’t my virus checkers shield me from this threat? What happened?
Was there a hole in the (technological) condom?
We spent the rest of the weekend pouring over the McAfee and Kaspersky forums trying to figure out how to get rid of it. As an aside I was amazed at all the offers of help via Twitter, text message and on Facebook – thanks everyone!
We managed to disinfect the laptop by running a Kaspersky Emergency disk and booting from the flash drive and are now finally back online. I still have questions though.
Why can’t we deal with real human viruses as effectively?
And why did I get the virus in the first place when my virus checkers were purportedly functioning properly?
Have you ever had experience of virus checkers actually working?
Image: Flickr CC