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jca's avatar

Does what I'm describing sound like a computer virus to you?

Asked by jca (26823 points ) May 18th, 2011

First, what happened yesterday: I clicked on a link in an email that someone sent me. I think this person’s email account has been hacked, because this was the second time I received something fishy from him, and I know it’s not him. (the first was links to a prescription med website, this was some computer site) and once I clicked on it, my computer McAfee security had the red symbol indicating it’s a bad site. OK that was yesterday. I had nothing weird happen to my computer. I use Mozilla Firefox if that helps.

Today, I can’t sign out of my AOL account. I have another email address, for my daughter (used for party RSVPs) and I can’t sign out of mine in order to sign onto hers. Even when I x out of it and google AOL, it opens with mine, and yet again, I can’t sign out.

To clarify what’s happening, when I click on “sign out” it says “signing out” and then it opens again automatically with my same homepage, as if I never signed out.

Why would this occur? Does that sound to you like something fishy is going on?

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9 Answers

WasCy's avatar

It does seem like some kind of “malware”. Whether it’s a true “virus” or not, I couldn’t say, but colloquially that’s a “yes”.

I’d recommend that you download and run Malwarebytes (free) to check out and restore your system to what it should be.

And try to avoid clicking links in the emails that people send you, especially when they’re sent with no other information or accompanying message that indicates that “the human you know” wrote it with you specifically in mind. Even then, it’s best to beware.

creative1's avatar

Yes this is a virus, and you want to delete the email immediately and anything that looks like it. What it will do is hijack your address book and send out the email to your entire address book from you the same type of email. Anytime you see one of these be sure to delete and and emtpy the deleted folder. I got one and it did it to my yahoo account and when I told yahoo they said to look for an this exact type of email and it was there in my in box just buried.

WasCy's avatar

GA, @creative1. That’s one reason why I recommend the creation of a dummy “contact” in your contacts list such as “AAA Spamcatcher”, with your own email address attached. That way if you get a mail sent to “AAA Spamcatcher”, you know it came from your own system using your own address book, and you need to do repair work.

blueiiznh's avatar

It is a malware or spyware.
There is one going around that sends links out to all contacts in your email.
I would export all your contacts somewhere and delete them until you get it fixed.
If you want to see how often it fires off or that it is not doing it any longer simply leave one contact that emails yourself.
If you need help on finding a good free tool, ask away.

creative1's avatar

@WasCy I did that was how I knew what happened, but it sent it to my entire address book

Cruiser's avatar

I would strongly suggest backing up everything and anything you can before you shut down. I had a similar virus and after I turned off the computer…it would not re-boot. Had to pay a lot of money to get the data transferred before they reformatted the hard drive to wipe the virus out.

blueiiznh's avatar

Also, the last thing you want is one of your contacts like a new SO, parents, boss, prospective anything be getting an email from your account asking about their need for viagra and infecting their pc with an inappropriate email.
Fix it Dude

Blueroses's avatar

A lot of that goddamned malware will shut down or bypass your antivirus program. Clever little fuckers. Get rkill and malwarebytes downloaded, restart in SAFE mode and run rkill before you run MWB.

You can also rename the MWB .exe file in the folder so the malware doesn’t recognize it.

HungryGuy's avatar

Yup! You got a virus! Never, ever, EVER open an attachment that anyone sends to you in an email that you weren’t expecting, even someone you know sending you “family photos,” without scanning it with your A/V first and even replying and asking if they sent it…

And to make matters worse, YOUR computer is now sending similar emails with the same virus to everyone on your contact list as we speak, without you even being aware of it (unless one of your friends replies and asks you if you sent them a strange email)!

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