Never Let Marketers Near Your Laptop (also: Why I’m running Vista now)

Personal by on February 10, 2007 at 6:24 pm

One of our marketers (who shall remain nameless), decided to ‘pimp my laptop’ while I was away from my desk.

She started with a unicorn and rainbow image on the desktop. She moved on to a Pamela Anderson screensaver, and was on her way to sending a few choice emails to coworkers from my email client.

Uh oh… a screensaver? Nothing says “spam me” more than a screensaver install. Especially a Pamela Anderson Screensaver .

I’d expect my grandmother to install a screensaver, and probably even my dad. However, the a marketer at an Internet firm? Whose husband works at Microsoft?

Uh oh. Here’s the McAfee SiteAdvisor report for the domain the screensaver came from. I’ll save you the suspense, it had this image on it:


Spybot found a Trojan, Kuasio.ka, a new Trojan that only had entered the definition files less than a month ago. However, Spybot didn’t find the program, just the registry entries. After install, the Trojan disabled Windows firewall (and notifications of course). I don’t know what it did from there, but once XP has been violated it is virtually impossible to guarantee that its clean.

So, I’m on Vista now. If you’re thinking about doing a clean install on your laptop, don’t. Drivers were missing, programs don’t run right (I had the biggest issues with Firefox and Gaim) and after a day of hacking around, I still don’t have my environment fully set up yet.

Now, I just need to figure out an appropriate response.


  1. Kurt — February 13, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    > Now, I just need to figure out an appropriate response.

    Strapped to an anthill in the desert at noon would be reasonable and proportional.

    Lacking that, doing an install of Windows 95 on the nameless marketer’s computer might be effective.

  2. opal — July 17, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

    i am new at all of this. i did get a virus recently, that sent my computer crazy. A friend told me to d/l a program called spyware, search and destroy, which i did, and after it’s first scan, found 60 viruses. i was able to clear/destroy them, update my anti virus and scanned, etc. until my computer seemed to be working better than ever. I continue to scan for spyware and viruses, daily. The one spyware that continues to show up on the “search” is this: kuasio.ka , every day i destroy it and the next time i scan its there again. What is this please? how do i keep it off my computer? if you can help me in any way to understand this further, it would be very appreciated. Thank you, Opal

  3. Dave Naffziger — July 17, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    opal, I think you’re best bet is to reformat your hard drive and reload the OS. I know it sucks, but given your virus count, someone probably has installed a backdoor on your system. You should probably find someone to help with this as the potential to screw up your system is high.

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