November 2000: my wife's Gateway PC (256/2Gb Win ME, AOL Dial-up, bundled McAfee A/V) suddenly starts sending spam to all her contacts...at idle! Unit was 8 months old, but Gateway would not honor any repair warranty for 'Intrusions'. Took it to a repair shop, and $250+a week got her going again with a new hard drive -- and gave me the impetus to learn more!
July 2003: My first PC (512/20Gb HP, XP, Juno dial-up, Free Zone Alarm F-wall and bundled Norton A/V) locks-up while in a printing job off-line. Desparately needing it for my job, I did not have the time to self-troubleshoot and use my newly learned skills. Repair shop told me later it wouldn't have mattered as it was infested with one of those new-fangled 'Trojan' thingy's, and even HE couldn't make it work. He bid $400 to install a new hard drive and re-load the OS...opted for replacement of entire unit @ $550.
December 2009: My first laptop ('07 HP 1.5Gb/160Gb, XP, DSL (finally!!), Paid ZoneAlarm A/V/F, MBAM run monthly) starts randomly going to websites other than what I input while online, and getting more sluggish and unresponsive offline. Suddenly I get a message saying my hard drive is infected and may crash soon. I immediately acquired an external hard drive and backed it up...and went to a freind who runs a shop to verify my diagnosis. He put a CD in the drive, pushed three buttons, and pulled the power cord and battery out before he took out his CD. He then said the screen was correct and I had some 10 or 12 trojans in it, and it would be cheaper to replace the drive. I picked up a 320Gb for $90, and he installed it w/OS for $100. Still using it now, wishing I could afford to replace it with a newer, faster, and larger Win7 unit.
November 2010: Home PC ('04 Compaq 2Gb/80Gb[IDE] XP, hardwired DSL, Paid ZoneAlarm A/V/F, MBAM run whenever started, turned off when not used). I was doing some random research for european automobiles trying to identify a car I had seen on tv, when I clicked on a link on a Google results page, and all toothpicks broke loose!! I suddenly had a flashing screen with images jumping up and covering each other, finishing in a page saying "We have identified 17 trojans in your machine! Click here to be taken to a site to remove them." I immediately disconnected the DSL wiring. NOTHING I could do changed that screen...not re-boots, or virus scans...all ended back on this same scam! Even power disconnect for days would not dislodge it. I have purchased two new hard drives, and am waiting to be able to afford whatever best deal I can find on an XP load disc.
Killing is too good for these jokers! How about gouging their eyes out, popping their eardrums, and cutting off at least two fingers on each hand!!!
So, Yes, Many times. And until there is a change of some sort, I don't expect to ever feel completely safe with computers. Saddest part to me is: I don't book faces, my space is not online, and I am NOT a twit. I've had just as good a luck with free A/V as paid. I trust online banking and storage about as far as I can smell it. True 'Internet Security' is naught more than a sales department's buzzphrase.
So I'll remain an agnostic buddhist: I'd like to believe in the goodness of man, but I'd really like to see some first!!
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