Got virus from sites listed by Flippa.com

29 replies
This Sunday afternoon, I was visiting site by site listed by Flippa.com. After browsing about 15 to 20 sites, I found my page frozen and "Personal Shield Pro" a fake antivirus program was installed on my computer. I can not use the computer anymore and it was totally under control by the "Personal Shield Pro". Now, I have to reinstall the whole computer. A head up to every one.
#flippacom #listed #sites #virus
  • Profile picture of the author EconomicalDomains
    I have noticed this before my self. It seems that people are making flippa listings just to get traffic and have people injected with exe files without any interest or intent to sell anything.

    Sad thing is, this will probably only lead to higher listing fees to keep people like this from listing malicious sites. Either that, or Flippa is going to have to have a higher standard when accepting sites for the marketplace.
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  • Profile picture of the author mst007
    Oh thats terrible to hear, I feel your pain as a regular Flippa user.There is so much crap on there you are bound to click thru to some of the dodgy sites sooner or later. I may upgrade my AB software because of your post, thanks for the headsup
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  • Profile picture of the author mmntv
    I've been infected with those fake antivirus programs on more than one occasion. You don't have to reload your whole computer, there is a way to remove it after getting into safe mode. On some of them there is a service you can stop in Administrative Tools->Services, then get MalwareBytes anti-spyware tool and run it in safe mode.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Really odd...

    I guess someone figured it was worth the auction fee for the traffic they'll receive and the computers they can infect from the listing. As regular Flippa users, REALLY hoping this kind of stuff doesn't continue...
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  • Profile picture of the author dcristo
    Out of curiosity, was there any warnings suggesting a hard disk failure and it wouldn't allow you to do anything? I had this happen not too long ago as well after browsing sites on Flippa!
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    • Profile picture of the author azmanar
      Hi,

      Let me describe a harrowing experience after my recent visits to some Flippa sites on auction.

      1 -> A screen pops up saying I'm infected by viruses. I noticed an ugly icon of the purported anti-virus software appeared on my system tray. Before my anti-virus could finish scanning, my PC shuts down.

      2 -> After I restarted, the screen pops up again stating that 30% of my HDD have bad sectors. This time half of my files on the Desktop are gone.

      3 -> Then my PC shuts down by itself again.

      4 -> When I restarted, all of my files on the Desktop were gone. These files are valuable. I was really devastated, thinking that all of my work will be gone by having to reformat my HDD.

      5 -> Then the same messages in (1) & (2) re-appeared INSISTING that I do a scan.

      6 -> I let it scan and it gave some SERIOUS messages with very poor English.

      7 -> The last message INSISTED that I buy their Anti-Virus product. This raised the red flag.

      With that message, it hit me - THIS MUST BE THE ONE TECHIES CALLED AS MISLEADING APPLICATION. ( Google the term if you wish ).

      Using another PC, I downloaded 2 FREE software that saved me :
      1. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
      2. Trojan Remover

      The infected PC could only stay alive for 10 minutes before it shuts down by itself, every time.

      I use my 10-minute window to install and run Trojan Remover first. My PC stopped shutting down. Then I installed MalwareBytes and run it.

      NOTE: What MalwareBytes cannot detect, Trojan Remover could and vice versa.

      After the 2 software did their work, my PC was able to stay alive.

      But all of my files were gone and none of my software works. I was furious.

      Never giving up, I checked the properties of MyDoc folders. It stated that the folder is empty. But the check-boxes for Read Only and Hidden were checked. This is strange because MyDoc should not be Read Only nor HIDDEN.

      So the Misleading Application has been deceiving me by hiding all my system and personal files. Gradually I changed the properties of all hidden files. All is well again.

      Note 1: Malicious software some times WILL HIT YOU and INSTALL ITSELF even before any updated, popular and branded anti-virus could detect.

      Note 2: Have the 2 little software on standby, just in case.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brian Alaway
        Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

        Hi,

        Before my anti-virus could finish scanning, my PC shuts down.

        Then my PC shuts down by itself again.

        The infected PC could only stay alive for 10 minutes before it shuts down by itself, every time.
        Assuming we're dealing with a pc and not a mac, if malware ever shuts down/restarts you computer you should intercept the boot process by pressing F8 and start only in Safe Mode. Then immediately run a scan while still in safe mode. The better anti-virus programs will be able to scan in safe mode.

        Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

        Then the same messages in (1) & (2) re-appeared INSISTING that I do a scan.

        I let it scan and it gave some SERIOUS messages with very poor English.
        Only allow scanning which you manually initiate and only by programs you have installed yourself.

        Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

        Note 1: Malicious software some times WILL HIT YOU and INSTALL ITSELF even before any updated, popular and branded anti-virus could detect.

        Note 2: Have the 2 little software on standby, just in case.
        I've yet to find any single anti-virus program that can detect and prevent 100% of malware/viruses. So in addition to an anti-virus program (vipre) I have 2 different anti-spyware/malware programs (malwarebytes and superantispyware) installed and up to date at all times. Only keep one anti-virus programs active at any time but by keeping all of them up to date, if one fails to do the job, you can quickly scan with the others. And since different programs may use different signatures, I usually scan with more than one, even if the first appears to have taken care of the problem. Belt and suspenders for sure but worth it.
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        • Profile picture of the author dcristo
          Originally Posted by Brian Alaway View Post

          Assuming we're dealing with a pc and not a mac, if malware ever shuts down/restarts you computer you should intercept the boot process by pressing F8 and start only in Safe Mode. Then immediately run a scan while still in safe mode. The better anti-virus programs will be able to scan in safe mode.
          Any recommendations on which AVP can do this?
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  • Profile picture of the author dcristo
    @azmanar

    Now I am convinced Flippa was the cause of the problem! I thought I had to buy a new HDD because of this piece of **** virus and lost all of my data. Luckily, I managed to reformat the computer and no hardware components were physically damaged (which apparently some viruses can do) but what you described is exactly what I experienced.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goldenboy
    Sorry to hear about what happened to your computer, but I would like to say thanks for giving us a warning of what that virus in Flippa can do to our computer. It usually gives everyone a bad day when viruses are infecting our computers and most especially, when it needs to be reformatted because of that virus. I just would like to know why such viruses are in that site. I mean, how did that virus get in there?
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    • Profile picture of the author azmanar
      Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post

      Sorry to hear about what happened to your computer, but I would like to say thanks for giving us a warning of what that virus in Flippa can do to our computer. It usually gives everyone a bad day when viruses are infecting our computers and most especially, when it needs to be reformatted because of that virus. I just would like to know why such viruses are in that site. I mean, how did that virus get in there?
      Hi,

      The viruses are not on Flippa. The viruses are on some web sites on auction in Flippa.

      I can't figure out which ones.

      If ever anyone faced the same thing, the first thing to do is to disconnect the INTERNET connection to the infected PC immediately.

      Some sort of trojans or viruses have already taken over the PC. They might steal and send private info to the net.

      Also, bear in mind another possibility.

      If in desperation, you bought the said misleading application (anti-virus) through the link on it, you risk having your CC info misused or money drained out.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

        Hi,

        The viruses are not on Flippa. The viruses are on some web sites on auction in Flippa.

        I can't figure out which ones.

        If ever anyone faced the same thing, the first thing to do is to disconnect the INTERNET connection to the infected PC immediately.

        Some of sort of trojans or viruses have already taken over the PC. It might steal and send private info to the net.

        Also, bear in mind another possibility.

        If in desperation, you bought the said misleading application (anti-virus) through the link on it, you risk having your CC info misused or money drained out.
        Flippa needs to get a handle on their listings. If they can't protect browsers from listings that will give people viruses, their buyers are going to disappear.
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      • Profile picture of the author wuleinj
        Originally Posted by azmanar View Post

        Hi,

        The viruses are not on Flippa. The viruses are on some web sites on auction in Flippa.

        I can't figure out which ones.

        If ever anyone faced the same thing, the first thing to do is to disconnect the INTERNET connection to the infected PC immediately.

        Some sort of trojans or viruses have already taken over the PC. They might steal and send private info to the net.

        Also, bear in mind another possibility.

        If in desperation, you bought the said misleading application (anti-virus) through the link on it, you risk having your CC info misused or money drained out.
        Totally Agree with "disconnect the INTERNET connection to the infected PC immediately."

        Format and reinstall system is preferred if the computer was used for online banking etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author MsKeshaOnline
          Did anyone inform the Flippa website administrators? If they were informed they need to do a better job ensuring this is not going on. They are definitely liable if something really bad happens on a large scale..such as accounts getting hacked, etc. Computer viruses and spyware is evolving everyday. Someone is always coming up with new destructive ways to infect your computer and get your information. Your personal information (logins, passwords, banking info) is very valuable. Its alot easier for a crook to steal your information online then to come up to you and hold a gun to your head and ask for it.

          Malwarebytes is a definite good program to have on standby if something like this happens to your computer. You want to have a copy of the program on disk, external hard drive, or external flash drive, etc. Another thing that is good to do is to ensure you are backing up your computer weekly, if you are doing major stuff, then you need to back it up daily to an external source (online backup storage, external hard drive, or flash drive.), so if you end up having to reload your computer, you won't have to worry about loss of files.

          Also, change your passwords on a regular basis and do not having easy passwords someone can guess. Its good for your password to be at least 8 characters long, with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Since I work in IT/Network Security, I like to have my password set with this complexity, some of my passwords are even longer if its allowed on the site. Make sure you are not using the same password for all of your accounts.

          Just some quick tidbits. Be safe online....
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          MsKeshaOnline

          My sites coming soon...
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          • Profile picture of the author MsKeshaOnline
            I just sent some information about this thread to the Flippa Customer Support. I will let you know what their response is back to me. If this happens to anyone else, try to make note of which auction listing it was, so Flippa can be notified ASAP.

            Thanks.
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            MsKeshaOnline

            My sites coming soon...
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewAU
    Hi all.

    Can anyone let us know the specific website that may be causing this? We don't scrape seller's websites so have no way to check for sites where this virus may exist.

    While we've not been able to find a listing yet with this problem, I'd anticipate that where this is the case, it is more likely to be a result of a seller's site being hacked rather than any malicious intent from the seller themselves (there are cheaper ways to get traffic to your site!).

    As concerning as this is, please be assured this virus is NOT on Flippa (as per @azmanar's post).

    Would love hear more details if possible ...
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    Flippa Marketplace: Buy a website | Sell a website

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  • Profile picture of the author dcristo
    Andrew, he wasn't implying the virus was on Flippa. I think its pretty obvious the malicious site(s) is a site for sale on Flippa. And considering I experienced exactly the same type of malicious activity, it seems more then coincidental that it was simply a seller's site being hacked, but rather something more sinister. I wish I could remember the seller but I can't. All I can remember is it being a new fitness related wordpress blog.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewAU
      Thanks dcristo.
      Have had a look at the auctions still running for new fitness sites. Nothing alarming seemed to be happening on the sites and all sellers have good history with us. The plot thickens ... if anyone can provide a URL we will be sure to check it out and remove it from the marketplace if it is hazardous to our users.
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    • Profile picture of the author azmanar
      Originally Posted by dcristo View Post

      Andrew, he wasn't implying the virus was on Flippa. I think its pretty obvious the malicious site(s) is a site for sale on Flippa. And considering I experienced exactly the same type of malicious activity, it seems more then coincidental that it was simply a seller's site being hacked, but rather something more sinister. I wish I could remember the seller but I can't. All I can remember is it being a new fitness related wordpress blog.
      Hi,

      Thanks DCristo. You reminded me.

      The last site I visited before the problem occurred was about fitness guide and dietary specific for ladies. The site looks more like a portal than a blog. Filled up the whole browser. There were photos linking to more info and probably some video.

      I did clicked some links on the site to dig deeper. All sorts of advertisement pop-ups started to appear, which I closed.

      Then the malicious software took over.. which I resolved the same day. Good experience. Thrilling somewhat.

      Knowing myself, such incident does not deter me from digging for opportunities in Flippa.
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      • Profile picture of the author Itachi
        Question to the peoples that got infected, do you have an antivirus/firewall protection, if yes which 1 , is it both firewall/antivirus ?

        If you don't have anything i strongly suggest you look into a good antivirus/firewall possibly one that does both.

        A good search for best antivirus could help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author wuleinj
    I have send message to Flippa before I posted it here. The problematic website was still listed on Flippa when I checked the next day that is Monday. Here is detail about the ticket:
    Your request (#42546) has been updated.
    To review the status of the request and add additional comments, follow the link below:
    http://flippa.zendesk.com/tickets/42546

    You can also add a comment by replying to this email.

    timatflippa, Jul-18 10:53 am (EST):
    Thanks for contacting Flippa Customer Support.
    Thank you for alerting us to this issue, which we will investigate further.
    Please let us know if you need further information or assistance.
    Kind Regards,
    Flippa Customer Support

    Wubuda, Jul-18 09:46 am (EST):
    Customer Support Email - Report an Auction
    ------------------------------
    ------------------
    From:
    Email:

    Reported Auction: http://flippa.com/auctions/2623851

    Customer's message follows:
    ---------------------------
    This website has virus.

    After visiting this website, a virus was installed on my computer.
    Please check out the website
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  • Profile picture of the author azmanar
    Hi,

    I have now installed PREVX 3 as my latest anti-virus which covers most threats. It is very small, fast and strong - a product of Webroot.

    At the same time, I have Malwarebytes and Trojan Remover on standby.
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    • Profile picture of the author Boris_yo
      People should subscribe to IT news, blogs and newsletters to be aware of threats and attain knowledge on maintaining their computers:

      PC Pitstop PC Matic
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    Wow, thanks for the warning! I'm going to stay away from Flippa until this is resolved.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamimabraham
    I suggest to use AVAST Antivirus free edition! Any kind of malware, adware it detect quickly and kill them immediately.
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  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    The worst thing that can happen is to be in a postion like azmanar.

    I have used Avast with good results.

    In the past a simple system restore would take care of this problem. You could just go back to the latest back-up before you got infected.

    Some of these slick malware and viruses disable system restore so that is not even an option.

    Hitting F8 to get into Safe Mode and then scanning is a great tip also...

    You gotta be careful out there.....
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    • Profile picture of the author MattVit
      Moral of the story: Always have an up-to-date anti virus installed and active on every PC you use.
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      • Wow, that sounds like a lot of trouble to go through just to get your computer working normally again.

        I've got a stack of PC laptops sitting in the corner, all "needing" to have their OS reinstalled. I can't quite get up the energy to do it -- they'll just get infected again and I've seen how AV software takes over your machine, so I'm not going there.

        I don't understand why money-hungry IMers spend valuable potential money-making time maintaining computers?

        fLufF
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