When The Operating System IS The Malware

, , , | Right | September 11, 2020

I work at a computer store that offers fixed-price computer-virus and trojan removal.

Customer: “I think my computer has a computer-virus; it says something odd when it starts.”

Me: “Okay, let’s have a look.”

I boot the machine and it gives a message about a pirated copy of Windows.

Customer: “That’s the computer-virus!”

Me: “No, it says that because it has an illegal copy of the operating system. They release updates that include checks every now and then, and they’ve discovered yours is a fake.”

Customer: “The kids must have gotten that when the antivirus expired.”

Me: “Um, no. It’s been like that since it was installed.”

Customer: “You advertise computer-virus removal; remove it!”

Me: “It’s not a computer-virus; it’s an illegal piece of software.”

Customer: “You have to do it; you advertise it!”

Me: “I’d be happy to remove any malware from your computer, but it wouldn’t still remove the error message you are seeing. I can’t remove your operating system unless you want me to install a legit copy.”

Customer: “Thanks for nothing, nerd!”

The customer grabbed his laptop and then walked out, kicking the doors.

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