I am having a very bad day. If I had to rate how bad on a scale from one to ten how bad it is, I’d give it an eight and three quarters. It’s only eleven in the morning as I’m writing this, but the day has been terrible enough so far that I feel justified in saying this has been the worst day of summer vacation. Why is it so bad?
Well I got up and turned my computer on like I would on any other day, but then something weird happened. After seeing the windows symbol signaling the boot-up program, the screen went white. This isn’t overly odd, sometimes the screen would go out for a second before getting to the profile selection screen, but it usually turned black. Then I saw something that made my pulse pound.
There was an FBI symbol on my computer screen, and underneath it were the words ‘Your computer has been blocked.’ I found it odd that it said blocked instead of locked, since blocked wouldn’t stop me from entering into my programs, locking the computer would be a far more accurate term for this situation.
I read further down to the text and it charged me with some crimes that I had not committed, most notably the possession of an assortment of illegal pictures. Obviously I do not possess any of these things, but what got me thinking was what came a few paragraphs after, something along the lines of having malware that accessed these illegal pictures. This seemed like something that was possible, so instead of totally disregarding the text I read on.
It was a bunch of legal jargon, albeit a much more simplified version than what I’m used to. I’ve had to do some extensive research using court cases for the speech team and some of my classes. Usually they used a lot of big words, this didn’t use any. It cited a bunch of different articles stating fines and various charges I may be under.
At the end there was big green lettering telling me that if I didn’t pay a fine of three-hundred dollars within a period of forty-eight hours I would be tried in a court of law. I went up to the payment system they had and immediately knew something was up, they were requiring me to pay using something called Moneypak. I had no idea what that was, but I knew that if it was the FBI they would have way more payment systems, but I was still unsure whether this was a scam. Threatening me with breaking the law made me want to be absolutely sure it wasn’t the FBI before I started trying to break the lockdown they had on my computer.
I looked up at the computer information that they had displayed. The profile name was right, but the IP address was way off. I’ve seen my IP address thanks to little programs they have on forum websites I frequent, and know for a fact that my IP begins with 193 not 79. If it was the FBI they wouldn’t screw that up.
So now came the time when I pulled out my phone and went to Google for help. I typed in FBI and on the search suggestions FBI virus was the second most searched, right after the FBI itself. I went to various different tech websites and they all told me I’d have to reset my computer and rapidly press F8 while it was booting up, this should have sent me to a screen where I can change the computer mode to safe mode, shutting down all processes except the command prompt and anything I manually started. Unfortunately hitting the F8 button like my life depended on it only rewarded me with the FBI screen again.
So after a few tries I figured my computer was unsalvageable, but at some point the Windows boot-up screen was replaced by a Dell boot up screen. The Dell boot-up screen had yellow text in the corner, F12 Options. Or something along those lines, I was too stressed to really commit it to memory.
This sent me to a blue screen, which was really scary since my last computer had run into the ‘blue screen of death.’ The ‘blue screen of death’ usually signaled that it was time to get a new computer and anything you had on the current computer was lost forever. Thankfully this wasn’t the blue screen of death; instead it was some kind of strange system options screen.
I considered running a diagnostic test, but decided that it probably wouldn’t help. This problem was probably program based, a diagnostic test would tell me if there was something wrong with the hardware. Instead I went to the boot-up options and decided to try something called legacy mode. I have no idea what it’s supposed to do but I gave it a try anyway.
It did literally nothing, it didn’t even let me boot-up completely. As soon as the computer turned on I was sent to a screen that told me I had no operating system installed. I retried a few times and after three I opted to go back to the boot-up options. I tried several things that didn’t help. Finally I was out of options. I would have to boot-up using whatever disk I had in the computer at the time, which was The Best of Abba.
Apparently, the Abba CD has some kind of program on it that let me get to the mode change screen. From that moment until I get sick of Mamma Mia, Abba is my new favorite band.
I got into safe mode, started up the task manager and launched the system restore program. Thankfully there was a system restore from the beginning of the month, I scanned it for problems, but it seemed ok. Right now my laptop is reverting all programs and settings back to the way they were on August 4th, and as soon as it’s done I’m shutting that thing off and waiting for my tech guy to get home. Hopefully the virus wasn’t lying dormant for twenty-five days, but just in case I’m not touching it. Thank you internet and a special thank you to Abba. Now if you excuse me, the librarian is yelling at me to get off the computer.
Dueling against me is like getting stomped in the balls repeatedly by a man in a bear suit. The bear is wearing a hat and a bowtie. It's random and slightly painful. I speak from experience.
It looks like this:
P.S. the man on the ground is me
P.P.S. The man in the bear suit is also me
P.P.P.S. The opponent is probably the building or the tree or a very scared onlooker.