Can I get a virus even if I don't turn on the other computer? How can I avoid getting the virus?
A computer has to at least have an electrical current running through it order for the virus to be executed and it do its thing. So no, you can't get a virus if the computer is completely turned off.
A computer also has to be involved in the exchange of information, whether it be through inserting a flash drive into the USB port, executing a program, visiting a web page, opening a file, or not being fully secure while residing on a network (wired or wireless) that consists of other devices that carry a virus, if there's to be the possibility of the virus further propagating.
A virus is just like any other piece of data...the only difference is that a virus is designed to intervene with the natural processes of a computer, whereas most any other file/program assists you in what you're trying to accomplish. Also, a virus may be equipped with tools that allow the virus to spread, whereas a typical program/file is restricted to the user's intention and manipulation of the data.
I know this is an old post, however I need to mention that this final answer is not correct at least not any longer.
I've been through hell the last year with what turned out to be a man in the middle attack, and arp cache poisoning of my router. I am extremely experienced with a career that includes programming for 10 years with Hewlett Packard in Lake Stevens, WA, then Microsoft in Redmond, WA. as a Business Manager for 12 years. I worked in the OEM group reporting to the director and programed in SQL and become very proficient with windows operations.
I noticed what I thought was virus starting with filezilla (a website file transfer program - aka ftp) April 10 2014 when critical files were accessed on my web host (.htacess and config, php.ini, .passwords for protected directories, etc). Long story short. I had a virus that I couldn't get rid of. 10 NEW PCs destroyed along with the 6 old PC's in 1 year.
Using wireshark I discovered the following: The malware I had on my home network emulated a windows server and told all the computers on the same network that they were clients and reporting as a workstation to this malware induced local network "server". It went around to all my local PC's, disabled network adapters sequentially until it has every single mac address of my home network adapters. Then basically rerouted all my home PCs to report to some server in china. All my personal documents were transferred. The 8th or so PC was in my home office, not connected to the network at all, but powered on. Approx 3 days later I reviewed the event viewer and Wireshark and could see that this brand new Toshiba home PC was infected! The problem I soon discovered was with windows server 8 and 12 smb protocol. ( the malware takes local control by installing active directory and telling my home computers they are workstations)
Even 1 single infected computer will emulates a server and can infect another using smb (at least in fall 2014) even though it wasn't connected to my home network. I could see the brand new Toshiba finding file fragments in the event viewer (in control panel/administration) up until it managed to create a group policy from the file fragments and this brand new laptop was owned by the bad server.
Sorry not a short story... It's been hell. I have a pile of dead hardware, even a mouse or keyboard can spread the virus I caught instantly. All infected PC's need air gapped as they may have the ability to spread malware to other PC's. Security is #1 and my eyes have been opened. I'll spare you all the extensive troubleshooting I did, total hard drive wipes, etc. Even Microsoft tech center located in Bellevue Square couldn't fix the computers. They've patched several vulnerabilities in the last 6 months and the hackers are quiet and stealthy.
Just a word to the wise.. Do not underestimate. Assume the worst. Hackers are not going to share the ways they can compromise a network, whether it's my small network or a nationwide chain. I hope this helps someone. I'm just now getting out of a 12 month nightmare.
I would like to say I am in a very similar situation which has been going on for the last 2 mos. We 1st noticed that the router used for U-verse tv began acting unusual until it finally stopped working and when I contacted the carrier, ATT, they said that it had been blacked out so they were unable to see the exact history of events. We had a new 1 sent. Same problem. Finally the next 1 was brought to my home so they could install it. The man installing my new router changed a setting that created a log that could be viewed by myself and ATT. Upon reviewing the log it repeatedly said, "hijacked & rerouted to 3rd party router." I was shocked!! ATT was of no help stating they could not help me in identifying Ip addresses or investigating. Disappointed to say the least.
Around the same time the 3 of us that remain in the home began experiencing odd things with our cell phones. 1 is not a smartphone, 2 were Samsung Galaxys 3 & 5. The 3 finally became inoperable. I own the 5 and continuously power off and remove the battery, only using when necessary. My boyfriend had the 3 and has gone through 8 other newer Galaxys and atleast 5 non smart or android devices. He's made many trips to the ATT stores as well as speaking with Samsung who had him mail back 1 of the devices to be investigated further. He owns a business and is taking a major hit. We have both bought pay as you go phones, which are fine as long as we turn off all data.
I want to mention we have also had 5 laptops, 3 of which were new crash within a day of purchase, and our home pc. 2 laptops, as well, were lost.
So I'm very curious as to what we can do. We've installed several security products prior to bringing into our home in hopes of saving our purchase, only to have the same thing occur. It's beyond frustrating. We thought in tge beginning it was just a neighbor trying to steal wifi, however, it's apparent this is way more sophisticated and out to overtake and destroy. ATT acts like we're insane ir personally sabotaging our devices and are of no help. We've made many complaints going as high on the chain as we could go. I'm looking for any suggestions, advice, solution, etc. I greatly appreciate any help. Thank you.
Question for Corinaw: You stated that even wiping the hard drives did not get rid of the virus. Did you just re-format the drives or use some software that truly writes over the data several times? Or maybe there are portions of the drive that can't get written to by such a process. If wiping the drive did not get rid of the virus, are there other places on the computer that the virus could live? Maybe in the BIOS chip? I am not questioning your efforts or expertise, but after reading your post, I had these questions. You are much more advanced in this area than I am.
I had a virus that kept resurfacing even after Windows Defender supposedly removed it. I ended up putting in a new C drive and restoring from an image created a month or so before I noticed the virus. To my knowledge, the virus is now gone (at least Defender doesn't detect it like before.
I am sorry I didn't see the question above until just now. I received a PM from someone asking me a few questions about my experience. Have you folks checked out wikileaks.com lately? These items seem to be part of what got me. "https/wikileaks.org/vault7/#Brutal Kangaroo" "https/wikileaks.org/vault7/#Cherry Blossom"
The CIA developed some highly sophisticated hacking tools and didn't properly secure the sw. It's in our country's enemy hands, and also the pervert next door and the thief scanning for wifi and collecting your data.
Some guy lunged towards me last month pointing his phone at me when I was on vacation taking pictures- It was so odd, I remarked to my husband that I was going to watch my phone closely, and wouldn't you know it, the phone totally reset itself, my password was gone and facetime was turned back on the next day. (I had turned it off).
re:mjslakeridge question, I've wiped hard drives, overwritten the disk to dod standards, and the problems kept coming back. Sorry to say it's been 4 years now.
But Wikileaks has pretty much (I pray) saved US. The powers that be have taken note and are patching their systems ANY USB device can start the infection up again. Including corded mouse and keyboard, thumbdrive, external backup drive and erasing it or reformatting the devices even in knoppix-linux wouldn't fix it. The usb drives would lie about their storage capacity and had a hidden payload.
So this is all coming to a head now I had discovered that I was hacked up to my eyeballs. My skype account was set to allow all incoming connections, and was linked to my microsoft account which was also set up to load all my contacts from skype and messenger and android. Now that msft is removing smb protocol in the fall creators update, samsung is not going to ship their phones with knox any longer and msft making some changes I have hope again.
But I have tossed everything. 15 PC's. Keyboards, Mice, and 50+ USBs. And to think I toasted all of this because I wanted to save a $20 thumbdrive makes me feel a little sick. The cherry blossom hack reprogrammed my comcast router so many times I was there every week to get a new one. Then when I just got back from vacation, my fios ONT was dead as well as the DVR. (I have 2 internet services here due to the problem)
I've spent hours with Google, MSFT, Verizon, T-mobile, and even sent a message to the CIA and FBI (https/www.ic3.gov/default.aspx) begging for help. Now the FCC has sent me a box that is monitoring my internet. MSFT and Google are still checking my accounts.
That MSFT and Google allow aliases, Facebook still has vulnerabilities and my Android phone was so hacked it took 6 hours to boot up when I got a new one because verizon stored 6 months of messages on their servers and it took hours to download all those malformed MMS messages which cracked the kernel.
My life has not been very fun for quite some time, but this is almost over. The win 10 default settings are ridiculous. There are rogue access points in my neighborhood, people are either infected themselves, or doing it on purpose. Mac's aren't safe either. If you use Windows, install EMET (from microsoft) for additional security. They will include it in the fall creators update as well.