So the other day, I downloaded a game mod and was mildly surprised to see that it was an .exe file. I double-clicked it even as I was thinking it odd that it wasn’t a .rar or .7z archive full of meshes and textures, and… Surprise!
I’m looking at this apparition thinking about all the times I’ve smugly told people that their best defense against malware is using their heads. Claire pointed at it and laughed – she had got the full lecture about stupidly downloading and running any old thing the last time I had to reinstall Windows on her box so she was really snarky when I got hijacked. She’s right though; I need to pay attention to my own advice. I mean, I knew something was a bit off and I ran the .exe anyway. Dumb.
I’ve gotten a lot less vigilant since I installed Ubuntu Linux a couple of years ago and have been using it for everything except games and one or two other apps that need .net Framework. Linux is inherently more secure and most of the malware in the wild right now targets Windows.
Fortunately the thing was just a garden-variety hijacker and easily removed. It could have been a lot worse.