Real AV virus can really kill your computer


POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In an amazing demonstration of “;reverse bachi,”; my home computer crashed the day after I had ordered a 500-gigabyte backup hard drive from Amazon.com. When I hit the final button at Amazon confirming my order, I thought I heard some soft snickering coming from my PC. It was as if it were saying, “;Nice try, Sunny Jim, but you're just a LITTLE late. HAHAHAHAHA!”;

The computer had become infected with an insidious and well-known piece of “;malware”; known as the Real AV virus. To add irony to the reverse bachi, Real AV stands for Real Anti Virus and purports to be software that protects your computer from destructive spyware, adware and, generally, mess-up-your-life-ware. In fact, it infects your computer with a virus and then alarmingly flashes you messages every two minutes that say, “;YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED! GO HERE TO FIX THE PROBLEM!”; And “;here”; in this case is the Real AV Web site, where you are asked to pay for software from the very people who infected your computer.

It is all a scam to get your money, and you will never be able to completely rid your computer of all the viruses and Trojans that Real AV not-so-secretly spread throughout your system.

If you have a PC (this is where all the Mac owners begin howling with laughter since their machines are largely safe from viruses), don't go near that Real AV site. But if you Google Real AV, you get about 65 million hits, and most of those involve either people outraged that they have been attacked by Real AV or alleged methods to get rid of the odious software.

  My computer slowly began to shut down as I tried to find ways to beat the virus, until finally the entire operating system failed. There was one back door into the computer, and with the help of my new friend in India who works for Microsoft, I spent 2 1/2 hours trying defeat the beast using various anti-virus programs. But to no avail.

I then got hold of my latest local computer tech/exorcist, Chris Picciotto of Kali Systems, and he broke the bad news. He could spend several hours spelunking into the computer trying to seek and destroy all the nasty things lurking in my machine's innards, but that would cost more than it would cost to buy a new computer and the patient likely would die anyway.

Like a malignant cancer, if just one element of the any of the Trojans and viruses Real AV loads into your computer is left, it can regenerate and crash your computer again. Chris generally handles only corporate clients, but I was able to get him to help me buy and set up a new computer by incessant whining. He managed to save most of my data and e-mail files and scan them to make sure none of the viruses were transferred to the new computer. But it took a week to get all the programs up and running. You don't realize how much of your life is on your computer until you think you might have lost it all.

Real AV and its ilk should be prosecuted criminally for fraud and theft, but it is likely outside U.S. jurisdiction. At the least, Google and other directories should block any access to those sites.