Sunday, July 6, 2014

#ROW80 3RD QTR 2014 – POST 1 – STUPID COMPUTER TRICKS, NOTES FROM DA 'HOOD, COMMITMENT



I was working on a really nasty trojan infestation at the time of my last post. What I thought was going to be a quick fix, turned out to be a giant hairy mess, with cooties. On an HP laptop, dual core, Windows 7 Premium, that my neighbor had bought for 200.00. Her niece had borrowed it and done some OOvOO and Skype and the usual kid stuff, WITHOUT benefit of the new Microsoft Security Essentials package (which right off the bat, has me asking a million damn questions, such as, doesn't MS already HAVE its own Defender and Firewall for Windows? If so, then why do they need this add-on? They do, don't they, but they don't work worth a SHIT, so MS came up with an app that is like malwarebytes or AVG, or Norton, or MacAfee). A note here, I know I'm in for a laff riot, when a user hands me a laptop with all of that installed and running, or trying to run. Pick two and stick with them, preferably malwarebytes (the free version is just fine) and AVG – BUY the licensed version. MacAfee and Norton are terrible and Norton is so horrible, I used to call it back in the day when it was “Disc Doctor”, “Kevorkian Disk Doctor” it's that horrid. It was known to cause instant suicide if even placed in the proximity of hard drives. MacAfee uses a weak algorithm; stay away from it.

Now that I'm through ripping on all the hideousnesss for a minute, let me tell you what you need to know if you come up with this little gem: f5f5dc.com. Find the nearest cliff and jump off. Just kidding. If you run a pingback on that bastard, it's going to take you to a 404 error screen, along with your quickly evaporating store of patience, so GOOGLE this bastard: "f5f5dc.com" for this:


Bad juju. Anything east of the Iron Curtain is pretty much bad juju. Don't get me wrong. I do a lot of work with the Russians on SAT@home and they are my second largest readership, but for some reason, the majority of trojans and malware come from east of the ole' Iron Curtain. Anyway, this nasty little booger snuck in with our old friend JAVA, on my friend's laptop and is called an “exploit” because JAVA is designed to be “exploitable”. You can read that article here. JAVA is evil and should be killed, buried and drawn-and-quartered ASAP.


This guy helpfully supplied an ENTIRE copy of his what his O/S was trying to do and I isolated the 27 instances of the call commands to HOST or devices/servers outside of his laptop. I had more than 50 such instances on the laptop I was working on and by that time, very little space for any operations by the PC itself. Maddening.

All that aside, trying to run Restore after running malwarebytes on my friend's laptop didn't fix the problem, because the site, or non-site f5f5dc.com is set up to download a little number called tesch.b9 (a true reiterative trojan-high level threat), which causes that laptop to “call” or to try and open numerous browsers via ports, only it truncates that operation and never goes any farther than launching the svchost.dll32 file. Not once, not twice, but as many iterations as the computer will allow until the system is so bogged down, you cannot do anything. At. All. Needless to say, this threw me; I'd never seen it, and when I looked in Task Manager under “Processes” I saw 50 of these svchost.dll32 files and had not yet opened a browser although I was connected to the internet.

I rebooted into Safe Mode without the Internet and saw the various programs, which I removed via Control Program; Adobe Reader, Java, SpyWareBlaster(?), OovOO, but left Skype. I restarted and tried to start a normal session and got the same nonsense. Shit. I was left with nothing but the System Repair, as if the computer had just left the factory to fix it. I found this information from a website called “Tech Support Guy”, found here.

For John Holton, and a few others out there who asked, if you run the malware bytes and the system is behaving properly, but calling for new browser sessions, the best instructions in the world are to be found here and make tons of sense. For everyone else, if you're on a PC, and even if you have itunes, or whatever, you need to seriously reconsider whether you want to keep running JAVA. I haven't run JAVA since 2011, and I have 4 systems, and have not had to reload anything. But, it really sucks if you lose all of your data files, especially your pictures and your videos. Do yourself a huge favor and check out Dropbox and Synch; they're free for the first 5 gigs and you can safely store your LOLcats, recipes for onion dip and pictures of little Johnny dropping Gampy's dentures in the toilet.

I'm still batting .1000 for fixes, but the trojans get nastier and meaner and I can only do so much after the fact. Someone needs to bring me a nice relational database problem, or something; this living on the edge has got to stop!


Speaking of living on the edge, Alex and I rode the bus recently; actually we ride it all the time, but every so often, you get lucky and something, or somebody note-worthy happens along. It was a Friday morning and already in the 90s and muggy. We were sitting in the bus shelter, on Nebraska Ave., 33605, waiting to ride uptown to some of the stores, when this gentleman appeared, and I use that term the way in which it was intended. This was a gentle soul. He had on sandals, nondescript pants and shirt and a cane. His long, flowing hair was blond and his eyes were blue. He had a long, long, well-kept beard; it was a patriarchal beard. His gaze appeared fixed on some other world. Alex was sitting across from me, and this gentlemen stood between us and a bit to the rear of the bus shelter, so that I could see Alex's eyes. He caught mine, and quickly looked at our gentle soul and said “Hallelujah!” just about the time I noticed that our gentleman was carrying, besides his cane, some kind of wooden stake with a point on the end.


Buddy Jesus wasn't riding the bus that day. I can just hear my  Ma; "You are SO going to Hell, Mary Louise!" and I can hear my Daddy laughing; I was the one who told the Episcopal Priest, who had been invited to Sunday Dinner in a fit of ecumenicism by my mother, "Hmmm, Catholic Lite, All the Ritual, Only Half the Guilt." That's not even my line, but I'd heard it somewhere; my mother spent that lunch with a hideous fixed grin on her face, but it didn't stop her from inviting starving protestant Pastors, Rabbis and various leaders of other faiths over for Sunday dinner. We probably had a snake-charmer or a Warlock, in the crowd somewhere.

I turned my head away from our gentle soul and hissed “I am so going to beat the shit out of you, Alex!” and spent the next seven minutes until the bus arrived trying not to look at anyone or anything. When the bus finally DID arrive, forty-three eternities later, Alex and I kindly let the gentle soul get on first. I burst out, “What is wrong with you? You were making fun of “Jesus, the Vampire Killer! I can't take you anywhere!” The last part of this was drowned out by the 'hood, which decided to drive by and share its music with us, at that precise moment. Yo! BOOM BOOM! Cracklezzz! Yo! BOOM BOOM! Cracklezzz! Yo! BOOM BOOM! Cracklezzz! Yo! BOOM BOOM! Cracklezzz! (The cracklezzz being the part of the sub-woofers that ripped itself in two and died a few years ago, I guess, back when our 'banger was livin' large.) All of this happenin' sound is crammed into a crappy little Toyota Corolla, the car of choice for 'bangers on the go, complete with doors and hood in different colors than the body. The rear sags on one end and the car is belching some ferocious smoke. The driver is either so short, all you can see is the top of his head, or the springs all broke in his driver's seat, OR, he's got the bitch leaned back in a nearly-prone position; he is the personification of phat. The traveling rap show leaves us, just as we get on the bus. Well, my day has just been made.

Everything else around here has been the ole' same-o same-o, minus the knife fights. We still have to pick Señor Cerveza up out of the street now and then, but he's a fixture; at least we know where he is. There's a new restaurant opening up, just to the west of us. At least I assume it's a restaurant; they're moving in tables for four and chairs to match. I can't tell from the décor what the cuisine will be; just so long as they're not serving cat. Just kidding.


Mama, doing the second-best thing that cats do. The first thing is eating.

This is enough of a “debut” for me on what is the eve of #ROW80 3RD QTR 2014. I am committing myself to posting EVERY DAY as I once did when I started #ROW80. I do love to write and getting back into the harness, I know, will make me a better writer and I hope, better equipped to dealing with editing “Music of the Spheres”. I've been trying this whole editing thing, and as one who has always slapped words down onto a page and STET, I don't have this whole patience thing down, nor do I have much of a filter; too much second-guessing.

I took a bit of time off from any social media, which I hope has not hurt me too much. It can be overwhelming, and dealing with home stuff has taken priority; JC's heart attack was a huge wake-up call for him and everything was thrown off-kilter. His health has been much better of late, but I am also a “lone-wolf” in the sense that I get burnt out on people; even online. Blame my Asperger and bipolar, but I always feel I get lost in the shuffle and that is more habitual thinking on my part, and I've been practicing self-affirmation, and asserting oneself. I did a lot of that when I was in the homeless shelter, but that's a whole other skill set, one in which you NEVER back down, even if, as von Clausewitz stated, “war is (or becomes) the continuation of politics”. Obviously, this is much different and besides, I have always been comfortable being alone. But, too much of it is not healthy; I don't want to end up like the weirdo cat-lady.

At any rate, I feel renewed and ready to join in the fun, conversation and camaraderie with other writers, and especially my pals at #ROW80. There's also #NaNoWriMo looming, and I have to figure out what in the hell I'm going to write for this; I hope I'm not a one-trick pony.



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