Malware Attack

If I ever come across a person who writes Malware – I promise that I will break their legs.  It’ll be worth it, and if I’m ever called to someone who writes this stuff I’ll make sure that their injury gets worse before they reach the hospital.

If I come across the person responsible for the “aurora.transponder” malware, I’ll start with the legs, but they will end up in little bits (I think it’ll be justifiable homicide).  Actually I think I’ll flay the fuckers alive.

I’ve spent all night using MS Antispyware, Spybot S&D and Ad-aware, all to no avail – I’ve even been manually removing registry keys and the like.  It is similar to when my car gets stolen, it’s frustrating because I’m being attacked and yet I have no-one I can punch over this.

A couple of people have suggested that I get an Apple Mac to combat this problem, unfortunately I don’t have the funds for it, but I do have a plan…

Over on the right you will find a little button.

You can click this button to send me money.  Yep, it’s begging time.

I get around 9,000 to 10,000 visitors a day, so if they all were to donate just 50p ($1) then, not only would I have enough for a nice shiny Mac, but I’d have a load left over to give to a charity.

And of course, you wouldn’t have to put up with my moaning about Malware.

Your choice…

UPDATE: The reason why the Paypal thing goes to 'Brian' is because that is the name that comes first on my birth certificate. Tom is my middle name, and I use that as my nom-de-plume because when I started this blog I wanted that little bit of a separation between this site and my real-life work, partly for patient confidentiality reasons. So don't worry, there isn't some scam going on here, and I have mentioned it before.

Secondly, I'll never charge folk to access this site, all donations are voluntary – you won't get any extra content except a 'thank you' email from me. The reason why some sites are asking for donations are because these things do cost money to run (to be fair, it's not much if you pick the right hosting solutions), and some people would like to at least break even on providing content. At the moment it costs me about £25 a month to run this site (including the hosting for the upcoming podcasts), and I get so much out of this site, and the great people who read it, that it is well worth the money.

30 thoughts on “Malware Attack”

  1. spyware doctor is the best. my boyfriend is in IT and that's all he uses. brings computers back from near-death. he also recommends webroot spysweeper.-curare

  2. I'm sure someone can post you a set ofLinux CDs for considerably less than the

    price of a Mac…

  3. …because I'd like software that doesn't understand half my hardware, and requires a degree in computing to install a word processor.I've tried Linux of various flavours many times over the years – and always with the same results.

    Total bloody confusion.

  4. One solution might be to use linux to remove the malware. This certainly works with viruses, I don't know if they'd cover malware too, but basically because you're running linux the program can't undo any changes you make. has details – it uses knoppix, which you get from – you burn this to a cd, have the cd in when you boot up, and you can run a virus scanner from linux.

    I'm happy to try to give advice if you have a hard time getting though it. Basically this is a very useful tool to have because it guarantees that no matter what goes wrong you can still boot your computer and almost certainly get at your data, and in most cases can fix the problem too.

    But as I say, I don't know if it would work for malware, it all depends on whether it's considered sufficiently virus like by whoever writes the virus scanner.

    For help, email me – use but change 23_04_2005 to today's date (spamtrap)

  5. Repave the HD, easier and much more emotionally satisfying :)If you have a recovery disk, go get a copy of Aloha Bob's PC Backup and backup all your important data. (Unless you know how to do this manually)

    Go download MS AntiSpy and XP SP2. Stick em on CD.

    Format the HD and reinstall XP.

    Install XP SP2 and AntiSpy before you hook up the PC to the internet.

    Make sure the firewall is turned on. Average PC infection time is 12 when unprotected.

    Buy a copy of Norton or McAfee or whatever virus protection software you like and install it.

    Run Windows update, till you have nothing to install, set up AutoUpdate to download and tell you when new updates need to be installed.

    Restore all important data.

    Use Firefox and Thunderbird.

    Never, ever use IE again if you can help it. If you have to use it, make sure security is set to Medium-High.


    Try and get a Ubuntu Linux distro and install it. It recognizes more HW than you might guess and the UI is leaps and bounds above what it used to be like, even from a year ago.

  6. Hi,If you contact me at

    e-liam at

    I'll talk you through getting rid of it. Admittedly it's one of the newer forms of malware, and I'm a bit rusty, but I'm still listed as a security expert on four of the main forums, and a member of the ASAP. I had a quick look yesterday at the problem and it is solvable.. without spending any money.. 🙂



  7. just format the HDD drive, reinstall microshaft windozy, job's a good'un – see not just a pritty face..I wonder if I will be taught computer engerneering or computer science as part of my nusing degree, seeing as though my hospitals (supposed) to be paperless (yeah right) by the end of my course?

  8. Ditto: I'm tempted to throw you a few quid, you're pretty entertaining, but I'm put off by paying it to brian@randomreality since that's not your name. What's going on?

  9. What happened to “please”? And what has “Brian” done that your readers should buy him a new Mac?Rachel in SE7

  10. Hmm not sure what I think of being asked to pay to read a blog, have noticed that it seems to be the “in” thing to do lately. If paying was compulsory I don't think I would be reading that many, or any for that matter. I'm really chuffed that a few people drop by to read my blog every day…I feel more like I should be donating to them for being nice to me.

  11. I think the ancient Germanic execution method of breaking on/with the wheel is a suitable punishment for the malware writers.For a second offence we should get really nasty.

    If paypal were playing nicely for me, I'd chuck a few quid your way. I'll try and fix my problem with it sometime today.


  12. Ahhh, but you forgot about Paypal fees. They'll take at least 10p off each transaction of 50p. Still a pretty big chunk of change though. I'm happy to donate if it means you wont be stuck offline as I love reading about your job and all related exploits.

  13. Tom,A Mac is not necessarily the answer. I've had an iMac for four years. The two best things about it are that it's absolutely silent apart from the occasional bit of hard disk chatter (it has no fan) and so far I've never been plagued by malware (famous last words). On the other hand, the operating system is opaque.

    Before this iMac, I had a Windows PC. I was reasonably handy at sorting out problems and even poked around in MSDOS from time to time. I moved over to Mac when I had a boot sector virus and overheating problems (I live in Spain) at the same time. But I've never been entirely convinced it was a wise move. A surprising number of web sites are not Mac friendly and the operating system is a major drawback. If you like fiddling about with your soft and hardware, if you even like knowing which folder your e-mail is stored in, then a Mac is not for you unless you are prepared to dedicate a lot of time to managing the computer. I have very simple requirements as a translator, hence the age of my computer. All my other Mac user acquaintances have had very expensive recourse to Mac technicians to sort out soft and hardware problems. And boy do these problems occur…

    Next computer I buy is likely to be a Windows PC.


  14. Get a Mac. We have a iBook that I use on the wireless network at home. It is dead solidly reliable and if you stick more RAM in it, it flies. Far cooler too. I've chucked a couple of quid in the pot. Hope it works out and you and you enjoy your new Mac!

  15. If you use the Apple phone line to order, make sure you ask for you *very* nice 20% NHS discount! I kid you not!The shop and online store don't give it, so you have to do it over the phone.

    There are bonus's to working for them after all

  16. Well, as broke as I am, I donated a dollar for you… And trust me, that is a lot for me at the moment.I just wanted to add this for you, too: About two weeks ago, I witnessed a pretty bad car accident, and couldnt offer much help to the people involved other than to talk to them. It made me decide to go to school for EMT training. When I told my friend about it, he sent me a link to your blog and suggested I read up on it. So, in a way, you are an inspiration to me. I hope I helped you out a bit.


  17. I nearly always read Brian as brain and vice versa. And I usually mistype both.I think my grey matter needs upgrading, wonder if I could get anyone to donate money for that?

  18. Thanks Suzie.But don't let the blog put you off the EMT training. It's a much better life than I sometimes make it out to be…

  19. OK, I've sent you a fiver because I really enjoy reading your blog, but based on the experience of three of my friends I wouldn't recommend buying an Apple. Two very expensive laptops and one desktop in three different countries and all very unreliable, by which I mean hardware failures requiring taking them to a repair centre about every 18 months. Also, my UK friend had to spend about two months arguing with them before they would admit that she had paid her extended backup subscription and was entitled to service. But, as they say here in Thailand: “Up to you!”

  20. If you don't afford a Mac that's not necessarily the ultimate solution for spyware and viruses. Keep your anti virus and anti spyware always updated, even if your protection is active there still are risks of infection if it's not updated to recognize new malicious programs. And if you still want a Mac I wish you good luck and I hope you'll get it soon.

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