ABO is having some problems

My deepest apologies, readers. ABO has been having some big problems lately. The site became infected with malware, and trying to restore things to normal has been…um, a trying process. I think my latest attempt at a solution should have solved the problem (if it hasn’t and you get some kind of anti-virus notice when you visit, please e-mail me: v at vsmoothe dot com). But it will probably be a couple of days before the site is restored totally back to normal. Right now, there are missing images and broken links to documents, and I hope to have all those restored this weekend. Getting the appearance back to normal might take a little longer. I appreciate your patience while I try to get things back up.

If you’ve visited the site in the last week or two, I recommend running some kind of anti-virus scan on your computer. I use a Mac, so I really don’t know anything about how that works for PC people. Perhaps a reader who is familiar with that sort of thing can leave a comment with some suggestions?

26 thoughts on “ABO is having some problems

  1. 94610BizMan

    Three freebies (shareware, contribute if you like) that work work well and are easy to use are MalWare Bytes SpyBot Search and Destry and Super Anti-Spyware. They can be downloaded from their own sites or from cnet or majorgeeks. There are others, I just have had good experience with these particularly for fixing problems on my neighbors machines caused by adolescent indiscretions.

    Even if you run commercial anti-spyware, it is a good idea to have at least one back-up. Spyware is now often written to evade the most popular commercial anti-spyware programs. While definitions do catch up, you can be exposed for at least days. Regular analysis published by computer security pros show that even the best product can be fooled 10 to 20% of the time.

    If you are paranoid, I would recommend running a weekly scan with these products in addition to any real-time commercial products you might already have.

  2. Dax

    I was getting some virus type indications and I am not well updated in all ways.

    Does anyone have any idea of what we may have been exposed to and what it may do, or be doing, or be capable of doing.

    I really need to completely clean and restore my hard drive, but have been limping along, not wanting to go through that process.

    So, in short, is there any indication this virus we may have been exposed is a nasty one, or is it just one of those that gums up the works and makes the computer even slower?

  3. 94610BizMan

    Anything can be very nasty these days. If you don’t want to format try the products I mentioned. You might be able to eliinate the malware using them. However you will still want to re-format Much of current malware will try to block installation of the most common anti-malware programs. That is another advantage of using the products above.

  4. len raphael

    Dax, download the free version of avast. if you have a pc. since it detected the malware may 20th, it would at least be able to identify what you might have picked up. i trust eastern european anti virus apps more than american or european. it’s the locavore idea. -len

  5. Russ

    The only way you got a virus is if when you clicked on ABO your browser suddenly went to a site that looked a lot like a virus scan on your computer AND you clicked on something on that site or if you executed any files downloaded from that site. If you merely visited the site or downloaded the file without executing it you are most likely completely fine at the moment. If you are using windows (vista or 7) and have been keeping up with windows updates you should have the built in windows spyware cleaning tool which is actually not to shabby (Windows Defender.)

    Note I thought the trick site was hilarious since it showed up on by linux box and started playing its animation about c:/windows being full of viruses.

  6. Dax

    Russ, thanks for the info. I saw that virus scan image and knowing it wasn’t normal, just shut down my computer.
    I have not seen it since. However I am on windows xp.

  7. len raphael

    you should be able to get free msft tech support for “safety” issues if you’re not on a networked pc. might be 24×7

    Free virus tech support on non networked pc’s: 800.936.5700

  8. len raphael

    for Open Thread:

    What’s the street saying about likely Bart cop trial response here?

    Do we qualify for Toronto style demonstrators or just get the wannabes?

  9. len raphael

    NYT piece on how onetime union supporting politicians have turned against the unions. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/business/28union.html?hp)

    Not sure whether pols in Oakland are slow to do that (other than to blame those piggy cops for everything) because of their progressive beliefs, particular dependence on unions for re election, or because like Newark, city jobs other than police, are an integral part of the economic underpinning of African American community here. The black re-elected mayor of Newark caught a lot of flak for cutting jobs there for that reason.

    Probably a mix of all of the above.

    -len raphael

  10. Ralph

    The street is preparing for riots either way. Tis a shame. And if the graffiti around the lake is any indication, you may want to be on the first plane out of here if the verdict is not guilty. Going forward, I am not entirely sure the masses will make a distinction between BART and OPD.

  11. livegreen

    The challenge for OPD is they can’t crack down until something bad happens (of course), but when they do something bad will already have happened. So either way their going to be blamed & the Press is going to have a field day, interview-ing members of the “community” who feel the police are bad. By definition.

    Here’s where we’ll see if Batts is able to plan strategically, so they can control the crowd & rioting strategically, so when the anarchists & hate-mongers start burning cars & stores they can arrest them with a minimum amount of chaos.

    Another challenge will be how to arrest only the most violent (who try to blend in with those who are not), and with a minimal amount of force, both to not hurt people & not make the headlines.

    You know the Press will cover anything negative about the Police before they show pictures of demonstrators burning cars & vandalizing minority-owned businesses. Then justifying it in TV interviews based on the crack-down, after the fact.

  12. livegreen

    In a sign that it’s it’s local reporting in it’s namesake city is becoming more in depth, the Oakland Tribune today started using it’s competitor’s website to source news:

    “Oakland sends pink slips to 80 police officers

    Associated Press
    Posted: 06/29/2010 07:23:25 AM PDT
    Updated: 06/29/2010 07:23:26 AM PDT

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Lay off notices have been sent to 80 Oakland police officers.
    The City Council approved the lay offs last week in an effort to close a $31 million budget deficit. They become effective July 12.
    The council said up to 122 more officers in the 776-member Police Department could lose their jobs in January if voters in November don’t approve a new tax or an amendment to an existing tax ordinance.
    Oakland and the police union have been in talks. Council members want the union to agree to have officers contribute 9 percent of their pay to the pension program as other city employees do.
    Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle


    I wonder if the Tribune actually uses the AP, or just pays it a small fee to them to avoid being accused of taking the information from the Chronicle’s website? Either way, I guess paying a fee to the AP is cheaper than having it’s own reporters right here in Oakland?

  13. livegreen

    Oh, nice, they have 2 reporters covering all of Oakland. Based on the sources of the story I linked, maybe their jobs are in jeopardy?

  14. Dave C.

    Harry Harris and Sean Maher and Angela Woodall also cover Oakland for the Tribune. I’m often critical of the Trib’s coverage, and it’s a shame that the Trib newsroom has been so decimated by layoffs, but it’s simply not true that they only have 2 reporters covering all of Oakland.

  15. Naomi Schiff

    And of late, I’d say they are doing at least as good if not a better job than the Chronicle. We have considered cancelling the Chron and keeping the Trib subscription, since the Chronicle has just been running the same canned stuff from AP and their Oakland coverage is generally thin.

  16. len raphael

    Naomi, i still keep my trib sub because of its gardening and cooking section. and reading reviews of restaurants we can’t afford to try.

    but the chron’s reporting of oakland politics, awful as it may be, is still better than the trib’s coverage of oakland pols. tribs coverage of local biz stuff is much better.

  17. Ralph

    There was a woman in Oakland who did a fairly good job covering Oakland politics. I’ve read some of her stuff; she “awright.” More ardent follower have referred to her the Tommy of blogging. Others called her a female Johnny Cash not because she could pick a mean guitar but because she was fond of the color black. Not sure what became of her but we are heading into a lull in city politics so she could just be resting up for the fall elections. If anyone knows who this person is or knows how to find her tell her hope she comes back soon. Her stuff was like, I don’t know, kinda good.

  18. V Smoothe Post author

    It’s good to know I’m missed. I do apologize for the long hiatus. It was unplanned. You guys seem to be getting along pretty well without me, though.

    I’m out of state for the rest of the week, but next week, I promise, ABO will be back to normal (actually, it will be improved) and posting will resume.

  19. Stephanie

    I am trying to get in touch with you because I am writing a series of stories for Oakland Local about community gardens in Oakland. (I was doing research and saw that you commented knowledgeably on a post about this on the website OaklandSeen, a while back. I would like to speak with you a bit on this topic if you were willing and interested. My goal is for the articles to provide a resource to the people of Oakland on how to get engaged in community gardens, whether they are on city land or not. The first piece was about creating gardens on city land and subsequent pieces will fill in other pieces of the urban garden puzzle. E-mail me if you would like to discuss!