WHAT A MALWARE TAUGHT ME


I recently encountered a problem with my laptop browser which I hope I never encounter or nobody ever encounters. My browser couldn’t connect to the world wide web even though I had a good network connection. I initially thought the problem was from my browser so I tried other browsers but encountered the same problem. I also realized there was this web page that constantly appeared as my homepage in all my browsers in as much as I changed my browser homepage settings. I decided to scan my laptop for viruses and my Antivirus quarantined some infected files but the problem still persisted. I complained to a friend who is a computer geek and he told me it’s a malware infection.

The big question I asked myself was; How Come?

I’m using a version of Microsoft Office which I haven’t activated using a product key. This is because I didn’t purchase the software so I’m not privy to get access to the product key.  Last 2 weeks I received a notification that my software would expire soon so I should enter the software’s product key to continue using it.

To enable me to continue using the software without any interruptions I resorted to an easy way out. A friend recommended a software which can activate Microsoft Office without entering a product key which is free. I downloaded it and unknown to me, there were series of malware embedded in it and one was a browser hijacker called Fanli90.cn. Fanli90.cn  Browser Hijacker is a browser hijacker from the Adware/ShortcutHijacker family that changes the home page of your installed browsers to the site fanli90.cn. It does this by modifying the shortcuts for all of your installed browsers so that if you use them to open the browser, they will automatically open to the fanli90.cn home page.

This malware hijacked my browser for 2 weeks thus bringing all my works that needed the internet to a halt. I had to download 6 different malware removal tools just to get rid of the malware.

Could I have avoided this mess? Absolutely Yes!!! This is a laptop that has been programmed to run different software and to be able to use some of the software such as Microsoft Office, you are required to purchase it and get a license key to give you full access to its features. I just didn’t see the need to purchase a ubiquitous software such as Microsoft Office and in trying to circumvent the procedure of activating it with a product key and continue using it, I ended up infecting my laptop with a malware making me waste 2 productive weeks.

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This is how we sometimes approach issues in our lives. We tend to overlook minute things and take them for granted and ironically, some of the things we give less priority to can make or unmake us. Since we regard them as little, we do not give them the required approach but rather tend to use shortcuts and they end up hurting us in the long run.

When I was first thought ICT in school, there was this term that my teacher mentioned during the course of our lesson. i.e GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out). GIGO basically means the quality of output is determined by the quality of input. If incorrect data is input to a program the output is unlikely to be informative.

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The life that we’re living has a GIGO principle. Life requires some quality input to be put in by us in order to get a resultant quality output from it. When you try to circumvent this principle, you might end up getting results such as delay, disappointment, failure etc.

My experience with this malware has thought me never to take anything for granted. In as much as some things look minute, I have to give them the needed attention and apply the required principle in order to get the best out of them.  I hope you also do same.

In case you’re under a malware attack click here to find steps on how to remove it. You can also download Malwarebytes

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