We’ve been getting a number of messages privately and on FB about error messages at the top of our homepage. We know there’s an issue, and in-house tech-mama Michelle has been working on it, but there’s some nasty virus-y crap out there, and it seems resistant to eradication.
That said, we’re still trying to figure it out. In the meantime, if you keep seeing this message, here’s what you can do:
1. Please make sure you have a decent, updated virus/malware-protection program on your ‘puter. I’m talkin’ to you, PC-users.
2. Tell us. Keep telling us. We’ll root it out eventually.
3. If, maude forbid, you get bit by this bug, don’t freak out. annajcook and I dealt with this earlier this week, and foureleven is dealing with it now. It looks worse than it is. You may need someone with sharper computer skills, but if you get a Windows-looking message saying you have massive file corruption, hard drive failure, all sorts of heart-attack-y things: THIS IS A LIE. The program is a trojan horse of some kind (called something like “Windows Vista Repair”) that just makes you think you’ve crashed and lost everything. You haven’t.
I am no programmer, but this link will help those of you who are. If you’re not, find someone who is a bit more computer savvy to help you. The Dude (who is just sort of knacky with this stuff, but doesn’t have any training) helped me. Regardless, everyone should know that the virus uses very convincing-looking Microsoft-type messages to inform you of the dire situation on your computer. It will also offer to run a bogus “clean-up” program that leads in to a false “you’ll need to upgrade” message. That is, buy something.
I don’t know if people who try to buy the upgrade would get more crap on their computers, or if the whole thing is a credit card number-fishing expedition. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING OR GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER TO ANYONE THIS WAY.
Anyway, the other horrible thing this virus does is hide most of your files (by making them “read only” or changing the “permissions” setting), making it look like you’ve been wiped clean. Presumably so you’d panic and try to “buy” their “program.” Fuckers. You can solve this after you get rid of the virus by going into “Properties” or “Options” or something…I can’t remember, I was just trying everything and finally something worked.
If you have already dealt with this because of our site (although it’s all over the place): we are very sorry. It’s a huge pain in the ass. If you have additional links, tips, or hints, please share in comments.