General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

What does it mean to say that my IP address is infected with a virus?

Asked by LostInParadise (25374points) September 22nd, 2018

I got a message on my computer saying that it was infected. It gave a phone number to contact Microsoft. I called the number, which I assume was in fact Microsoft. If not, they went through a rather elaborate routine. The tech person I spoke to said that not only was my local computer infected, but also my IP address. They said that if I replaced my computer with a new one, the new one would be infected by the IP virus.

I just shelled out $500 to have them clean things up, including a firewall to secure my IP connection.

What I want to know is what it means to infect an IP address. Is there some server on the Internet that contains information? If so, what information?

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22 Answers

2davidc8's avatar

Uh-oh. This is a very common scam. I’m concerned that you were “had”.
My understanding is that Microsoft never sends out messages like this.

LostInParadise's avatar

Like I said, if they are hacking me, they are extending considerable effort. I got a case Id. They gave me a phone call after they worked on my computer and said they would call tomorrow to check that everything is okay. If they were scammers, I would expect them to just take the money and run.

I also got a notification from Google a few days ago, asking if I had accessed my account from a particular IP address, which I did not recognize. Google suggested that I change my login address, which I did. It seems plausible that someone had broken into my system.

2davidc8's avatar

Not necessarily. Now that they have your IP address, they could come back for more.

imrainmaker's avatar

Check the case id on Microsoft’s support website / system and see what you find.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It means you got HAD !

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They know your IP address and they’ll be back !

Tropical_Willie's avatar

… and your credit card will be use to buy train tickets to Belgium from Rome, Italy.

johnpowell's avatar

Call your credit card company and issue a chargeback. This is a common scam.

Your computer is now compromised. You must reinstall Windows from scratch.

IP infection isn’t a thing…

Seriously. Consider your computer compromised. Web browsers store all your shit (passwords, history, bookmarks) in a single folder that you can copy to another computer and it will look just like you with all your passwords ready to go.

There is a very good chance they nabbed that folder.

YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD RIGHT NOW FROM A COMPUTER THAT IS NOT COMPROMISED. From there go change every single password that is sensitive. Then have somebody back up your important shit and re-install Windows. And no, you can’t just run some virus scanner and have it come back clean and think you are safe.

You are in a world of shit….

Inspired_2write's avatar

Also when you changed your login for google , it may had not been Google and now they have your password for that too, and compromised other programs that you signed into.
Hope it wasn’t , but likely.
Sorry for your troubles.

Zaku's avatar

There is no such thing as an IP address virus. An IP address is just a series of numbers, like your phone number.

There’s also practically no such thing as a company which sends you an email telling you you have a technical problem and to call a phone number. There are scammers that do that, such as those you just talked to.

As @johnpowell wrote, everything you told them and probably everything on your computer, the scammers now have and are likely busy taking advantage of, or at least they could be.

Your PC should be taken off the Internet and probably turned off ASAP.

Don’t just stop payment but report that you gave your CC info and access to your PC to the scammer, so that CC needs a new number and card, as well as new numbers and cards for any cards that might be findable on your computer, etc.

Your computer might have a keylogger installed, etc, so yeah you need to set up new passwords (for practically everything – email, social media, web sites, gaming sites, paypal, everything) using a computer they don’t have access to.

If you have data you want from your compromised computer, you should probably have a real security professional take the hard drive out of it and virus check the files you want to save, then I’d do a very thorough wipe of the computer and reinstall the OS, or even just get a new computer.

imrainmaker's avatar

Here’s link Microsoft tech forum having same details as yours..(I’m surprised to see there’s only one reply on the thread) in the reply there’s one more link which talks about these scams and what steps are to be taken if that happens with you.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m sorry but like others have mentioned you were scammed.

ragingloli's avatar

Yeah, you have been scammed.
And if they do call back, they will escalate the scare tactics to extort even more money from you.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks all. Good suggestions. Feeling a bit stupid.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Just curious now…but did you log onto Fluther using this same computer?
If you did are we now infiltrated?

Zaku's avatar

@Inspired_2write The scammers probably don’t care about Fluther, but could probably get his Fluther password if they cared enough. That’s about the extent of it, unless @LostInParadise is a moderator here and it’s the scammers’ evil agenda to get moderator access to Fluther. ;-)

dabbler's avatar

Sorry to say, I’m with the consensus that that was a complete scam.
Microsoft never calls about a problem, there is no such thing as an infected IP address, and whatever they did probably seriously compromised your computer’s security.
There is every reason to think they installed a key-logger that will send to them every keystroke you type. That might not matter much until you are typing passwords…but it is good to assume they have every key you type.
As elsewhere mentioned they also probably have all the files from the most interesting areas of your computer.

Your machine needs a thorough scan/fix process.
Do you have any record of what they changed or installed? Uninstall and restore things if you can.
Do you have a windows image from before the time of the call? If so then restore that to throw out whatever they did.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

This is a case where you don’t mess around, you wipe the drive and start over.

2davidc8's avatar

Now some people in my area are getting phone calls saying that “Microsoft” has a refund for them. Beware!

johnpowell's avatar

Do not think you can click a few buttons to fix this. It must be reformatted and a clean install of Windows.

If anyone wants proof let me take over your computer with teamviewer for 10 minutes. I will do a very simple thing that dumps your entire user folder onto mine that no virus thing will detect.

LostInParadise's avatar

I understand what you are saying, but I am hesitant about wiping my disk completely.

chyna's avatar

@lostinparadise I get that you are afraid to wipe your disk. I would hate to lose everything also. But the alternative is much, much worse. Your identity could be stolen, all banking and credit information hacked, millions could be spent in your name. And the time and effort and money hiring lawyers to clear all this up will not compare to just wiping your disk and starting clean.
You posted this 2 days ago and haven’t done anything yet makes my heart rate go up just thinking about it.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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