From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 5:22 PM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - RansomWare



Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

October 2010

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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

Cocktail Talk is archived on


CherryRansomWare. Technologically it's nothing more than a virus, like a pimple. But add insult to injury and it gets worse. Peepologically* it's still a pimple, in the middle of your forehead, on your wedding day.

 It's criminal. These guys give you a virus so they can sell you a cure. A cure that doesn't even work.  This is how it goes.

Somewhere along the line you're minding your own business, performing routine internet tasks, and somebody slips a little something into your Cosmopolitan. Like GHB at a Frat Party. But instead of waking up naked in a strange place you get a very official looking warning telling you you have Viruses, Spam-Ware, Ad-Ware, and threats with very scary indications. Funny thing is, the program telling you about all these things, is all these things.

The little package in your Cosmo is a Trojan False Alert Virus. You agreed to download it, unknowingly, when you downloaded something else. It hitch-hiked and snuck into your party. False Alerts tell you you have a bunch of problems, when you really don't, hoping to trick you into infecting yourself at their request, and eventually into buying their Anti-Everything panacea. It advertises, unsolicited, constantly, which is Spam-Ware and Ad-Ware.

After you get the false alerts you're offered a solution, a way to cure all that ails you. You have reached the point of no return. Decision time. Failsafe.

Turn off, unplug, trip the switch. Don't Shut Down. Unceremoniously, and with great malice, pull the plug from the wall. Don't click on anything. This is an instance where No might mean Yes. Don't close anything, Don't Save anything. Whatever you lose by unplugging is less than you risk through indecision. Unplug, count ten, plug it back in and hope for the best.

If it's too late, it's too late. I hate to be the one telling you your baby is ugly, but someone has to. Pick up the pieces and go home.

Maybe you feel computer savvy and think you can fix this. Maybe your Brother-In-Law works for a company that is somehow related to the computer industry. Fine. Google the name of the "Anti-Virus"  software popping up with the false alerts. Read what they say about removing it. Site after site will tell you to download some software or run their "Free" scan. Look at the names of these websites. Are any of them Trusted websites like Microsoft or Symantec? No. Because they're in bed with the same clowns that gave you the virus in the first place. Some of them even walk you step by step through procedures to disable all your defenses and cripple your PC. If you don't believe anything else, believe this; If you can't spot the patsy at the Poker Table, it's you. 

Maybe you hope if you pay the ransom they'll release your loved one unharmed. I've seen "Dirty Harry" 13 times and it always ends the same. Which brings us back to Failsafe.

Smart Money is on you rebuilding your PC from the ground up. It takes time and you want to avoid it. But in the end you'll most likely to be adding that time to the time you've wasted chasing rainbows. I have ongoing conversations with people that have been chasing a solution for months. What have you got to lose right? If it gets worse then you rebuild, if you fix it you save all that hassle. I'm just saying set a time limit, be realistic,  

Rebuilding is a hassle.  Install Windows, format the hard disk, install AntiVirus Software, find all the CDs that came with your PC, get to the internet, update your Anti-Virus  from the web, install years of Microsoft updates complete with restarts, then install your software and personal data. Even if you have a System Restore, like Dell, you have to run all the updates and add back your stuff.


If you've had this happen before, you're probably better prepared for the possibility of it happening again. If you haven't, you're probably not. You can be, but that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk. 


Thank you for reading,


Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.


* I have no idea. But usually putting an asterisk after something makes people think you can explain it and they never read down this far. 


CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!


CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.

CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the  use  of information technology.  We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.

CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.

We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.

Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being  the foundation of  Development.


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