May 06 2012

A reason to re-install Windows….

So, I am going to have to reinstall Window to my main desktop.

The reason? Security center was basically destroyed by a flash based exploit.

I noticed a few days ago that, for some reason, the action center icon on the taskbar was just plain gone. Nowhere to be found.  I went to the action center itself and discovered that many security elements were just broken. Windows Firewall, Windows Update, and a few other services, just to name what I remember.

I scanned the system with MSE and checked that it was clean.  I recalled a few days ago that I managed to snag an alert with one file, but it was quickly cleaned, and nothing major had actually come of it.. or at least, that’s what I thought.

Turns out, that was the sign of a flash based system exploit disabling virtually all of my security settings, hoping that a trojan could be thrown into the system, undetected due to the system having crippled security measures and software detection methods; at least, under normal situations. Thankfully MSE detected and deleted it. This, sadly, was after the damage had been done.

I quickly began to look up the symptoms, and thus, learned of the attack and its results.  Then, I began to look up just what needed to be done to fix this problem. It seemed simple enough: enable various now-disabled services, sometimes having to hack into the registry to restore deleted service entries, and everything should have been back to normal.

Sadly, this was not the case. Windows firewall simply refuses to work. I have checked all group policy permissions,  services, and any other special setting you can think of, and all check out proper: it simply refuses to work.

So, the only option for me to have secure system is to reinstall windows. Again.

No, this isn’t the first time I have had to on this machine: back in April 2011, I had to reinstall due to a backup software solution updating, and  causing the system to lock up on boot.  I still don’t know what exactly was going on with that whole event, but whatever, the point is, it was annoying, and pretty pointless, in the end, for me to have had to do.

Oh well. Hopefully this will be a painless situation, but things like this severely tempt me to switch to Linux. Permanently…

Also, obligatory pictures!







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  1. or… you know… you can just use something else other than mse 😛

    1. The thing is, Chris, that MSE is the best antivirus I have ever used; Avira, which I loved and used for years, was adding far to much to my system boot times, and no other option has been as efficient as MSE.

      Something squeaked by in this case, and would have gotten its damage done regardless of the antivirus used: this type of flash exploit has been proven to hit virtually every system just an instant before the AV actually detects and eliminates it. This is why this type of flash exploit is, or was, so nasty. I was left wide open to it due to the adobe flash updater not wanting to work quite right.

      1. what site were you even on/what file did you have that gave you that flash virus thing?

        1. I really don’t know. It could have been any site with any passing flash file: it could have been something on youtube for all I know.

          Even the odd chance of a misstyped URL (I do that on occasion) could have been enough to attack me without me noticing it. One never worries too much when their AV detects something, so naturally in the probably month plus after the system was attacked, I had long ago forgotten just what was going on when that alert popped up and was dismissed.

          Just keep flash updated, or if you can stand to, not installed at all, and there shouldn’t be any issues.

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