Don’t play a game on FaceBook – it may destroy your network

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Don’t play a game on FaceBook – it may destroy your network

My neighbor’s computer network problems

I live in a condo unit. On the same floor, I have a retired computer worker living there. He played a slot machine game on Facebook – with disastrous consequences. His main computer has its boot sector destroyed.

There was no easy fix available. Why? Because he didn’t have a Windows installation disk. The best thing I could do is direct him to three local computer repair facilities.

Luckily, he had a second computer. Or was it? When he turned it on, it displayed a bogus security screen. The result of clicking that screen would have been to buy bogus security software.

English: The Linksys by Cisco Network Media Hu...
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I did some research on how to remove the object. It suggested a popular removal tool, followed by running the software Malwarebytes. When I clicked the removal tool on my computer, it gave me the download link. If I followed the same procedure using his computer, it gave messages like “URL not found” or some bogus article – different from the one I received for the same Google search.

Some more research came up with an underlying culprit. This rascal has some bad kids – key loggers, etc. It’s probably the cuprit that kept displaying the bogus links for a popular removal tool. But I found a “not so popular” removal tool. It was something a blogger created and shared on his blog. The bottom line is that it worked.

But the bogus security message kept displaying. After researching how to manually remove it, I set the option to display hidden windows files and folders. Then I needed to manually rename the bogus executable.

When my neighbor took his main computer to fix the boot sector, my modem stopped working. I called Comcast to investigate and they couldn’t send a signal to the modem. Since it took a couple of days before a technician could arrive, it was time for seeing what networks were present.

Guess what happened? I automatically connected to a network. It took some investigation but it turned out to be my neighbors. It seems when you remove the computer the router software is installed on, you can connect to the network.

When Comcast arrived, they traced my problem to a low signal strength. The solution was to replace all the splitters with newer models. When my neighbor got his computer back, his network prompted me for a security code.

Swahili lessons by cell phone
Swahili lessons by cell phone (Photo credit: caribbeanfreephoto)

So what happened when his computer was removed from the network? Why could I get into his network without security? Anyway, since I am on Comcast and his network is ATT – I made a proposal. Let’s allow each other access when there is a network outage or equipment breakdown. You almost never have a complete meltdown

Here’s some tips for setting up router security:

  1. Don’t use the default name the vendor provides – like Linksys, Netgear, etc.  Change it to something unique like “Diggin’ Up Bones.”
  2. Disable the router id broadcast (i.e. SSID).  Imagine driving a car through a gang populated neighborhood, with a car sign saying, “this car is carrying a million dollars inside.”
  3. Use the highest security available.  I suggest using PSA2.
  4. Don’t use phases for passwords. Not unless you convert them to some obscure language like Swahili, Esperanto, Latin or Klingon.

I also suggested my neighbor contact Facebook regarding the game he played.


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