Tales from the support crypt: infected DVD drives, antiviruses that blow fuses and more

Talking viruses, infected physical devices, lights that go out are some of the “problems” Panda Security’s tech support service has had to face. Many of them were not a result of computer viruses, but of confused users. This proves once again, that antivirus manufacturers must make a special effort to increase user knowledge regarding computer security and malware effects.

Here is a report from the PandaLabs support team:

Viruses infect physical PC components

A few months ago, PandaLabs engineers received a mysterious box sent by one of our customers in Germany. On opening the box, they found a letter in perfect German, which read:

Dear Sirs: I am a client of yours. Given that I cannot disinfect my computer’s DVD drive, I have enclosed it for you to clean it and send it back to me. Sincerely.

In the box, was an empty DVD drive. The team in our laboratory “cleaned’ the DVD drive, not with a signature file but with a cloth and alcohol, and put it in the box with the following note: “Dear client: Here is your clean DVD drive. We have cleaned it with alcohol and cotton wool. You will have no more problems. Kind regards”.

We had no further news from the client, whom we hope was happy. In short, DVD drives, mouse devices, keyboards and monitors cannot be infected. It is PCs that can be infected, and consequently cause other devices to behave erratically.

The antivirus blows fuses

We have had clients who have blamed the antivirus for numerous things, but we had never been told it was responsible for blowing fuses. Here is one of our client’s queries:

Hello: For some time now, my fuses have been blown, and until the power is restored, I am left without electricity (light, fridge and other electrical appliances).  I have carried out several checks and have reached the conclusion that it could be caused by my “Panda Titanium” antivirus which I am very satisfied with. I think the antivirus blows the fuses when trying to update while the computer is turned off. Could this be the cause? Please send me a reply so I can solve this problem.

No comment…

Talking viruses

As if in a terror movie, some of our users claim the viruses that reach their computers talk to them in a mysterious way. Many users send us their conversations hoping our technicians can interpret them. Here is an example:

Dear Sirs: I am contacting you regarding a virus that has entered my computer. My incident number is 553750. I have sent you the notepad the virus has written to me. It has told me there is no virus, but it is in my computer, probably in the memory. It is therefore difficult for me to send it as the virus claims noantivirus will destroy it. I have attached the message the virus has sent me.

Together with the emails was a very long txt file in Spanish.

It is clear viruses are cheeky and hide in unthinkable places. Here is another example:

I was infected by a virus a week ago. The virus said “you fool” through the computer speakers. I do not have bios, I do not have anything, only the motherboard (Asus k8v Deluxe) and a microphone (AMD 64-bit), RAM and graphic memory. It always repeats the same words: “you fool”. I changed the bios and it continued the same. I think I know where the virus is: it is a 1MB chip of the motherboard (w55f10b). I cannot reprogram it, as there are 3 chips inside (one is an audio chip). I bought another motherboard, the same as the one I had, installed it, and also installed the microphone, RAM and graphic card. I was shocked when it still repeated the words.

To end this briefing, we would like to inform you that according to our clients, viruses and antiviruses make different sounds.

Three days ago, when I sent a fax from my PC I heard a sound which I once read corresponded to that of a virus (the sound is similar to taking a foot out of jelly). I have scanned the PC with the antivirus several times and it has not detected anything, the virus is still there
For some time now I have been unable to make my ActiveScan Pro work. I enter the user name and password, but the only answer I get is a “fart’ sound (pardon the expression).

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