<%@ Language=JavaScript %> Beware of the Norton Antivirus

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I just fixed the PC of a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless.  I had been trying for several weeks to get something nasty off of his PC.  His PC was running slow and "strange" pop-up windows were appearing for adult porn sites.  He had been running the Antivirus that came with his system (Norton SystemWorks 2000).  He was paying for its regular updates.  He updated it every 2 weeks.  NAV was active and running, according to itself.  

SO I ran Norton Utilities it found NO viruses. (It was enabled and active and updated). I went to Trend Micro Antivirus.com and ran the free online scan.  It found 3 viruses in 5 files.   Following painstaking instructions, I removed them.  Rebooted, they came back.  I removed them again they came back.  I scanned the hard drive with Norton Antivirus it found NONE.  I ran Trend Micro online scan it found 5 infected files.  I have been repeating this process with him over the phone for several weeks.   

He doesn't know how the viruses got on his PC.

So next I downloaded the FREE antivirus I use, AVG 6 from www.grisoft.com.  (Its about 6 mb to download.)  I uninstalled the Other antivirus, installed AVG and it found 5 virus infected files, including a sixth boot sector virus during restart, which was reloading the other viruses.   I created  AVG emergency recovery disks (3 floppies required). It got rid of the boot sector virus and all of the others.   

I read up on the viruses.  The first thing some viruses do is somehow disable the "popular" antivirus packages from catching it.  The other viruses were Trojans.  The ISTBAR virus (with several strains), the STRTPAGE virus and the PORNDIAL virus went undetectable by  the Antivirus that came with his system.  

I STRONGLY recommend to everyone, not to use  the Antivirus that came with his system.  It has proven utterly and totally vulnerable to attack and therefore useless.  My experience in consulting found this time after time.  I have been in the computer field since 1973. The Online scan, Micro Trends http://housecall.antivirus.com  is VERY useful but cannot touch the boot sector viruses.   The GriSoft antivirus updates come from a Czechoslovakian site, which concerns me, but I have used it for about 4-5 years under Windows 98.  It appears to catch everything and has regular updates.  It requires a password to be mailed back to you to install.  (It's serial number to install arrives in Yahoo's Bulk mail folder).     

Bottom line: If you value your PC, use AVG.   

Thomas E. Kolakowski

  20 Saturn Court  
Syosset, NY 11791-6608

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