I just have a couple of questions - and I hope this is the proper place on the site to submit them.
This past week my PC was taken over by Hijack software from www.onlinesecurityworld.com/shandler.PHP?. I have the Norton Internet Security 2005 software installed on my PC, but I think - like a fool - I overrode it and allowed "New Media Codec Installer" to start, which was the root cause of my problem.
Specifically, the invaders were "Privacy Protector" (with the above URL, ending in 'sg=0'), "Error Cleaner" (~~. ending in 'sg=1'), and "Spyware&Malware Protector" (~~, 'sg=2'). They were eliminated by a techie at Symantec ($99.95 - but money well spent for a non-technical computer user [although I was a heckuva Basic Assembler Language programmer 40 years ago, but a fat lot of good that does me these days] ).
The invasion occurred on Tuesday 7/03 and was eliminated on Thursday, 7/05.
Here's my questions:
1. What is the probability or the likelihood that this particular nasty software could have enabled the contents of my hard drive to have been hijacked and installed on some bad guy's machine, where he/she could peruse the info. in my Word files and possibly get my Soc. Sec. Number, DOB, credit card numbers, etc.?
I ask this question because it will of course be a MAJOR pain to cancel the credit cards, change the automatic payments from them, put a fraud alert on my credit report, and exercise all of the standard precautions against identity theft and misuse of my credit cards. I will do this if necessary, but not if there is only a very slight risk of exposure.
2. What is the probability or likelihood that any of my IDs and passwords may have been exposed to the bad guys?
3. Briefly, and with all due respect, what are your technical and/or experiential qualifications for answering these questions? (I also was a systems auditor for a few years, and I just can't help myself.)
Thank you most gratefully for any qualified advice you can provide.