I am on travel and was advised my Win Vista machine had supposedly been infected with the 'interpol' virus approximately one month ago. A family member noticed some odd behavior and took the PC to an 'in-store' tech center for a diagnostic. This center stated the machine was infected and made some general comments about resetting default setting but did not specify any changes they may or may not have applied.

Btw, this same place was all too eager to have this machine sent off to their repair facility for a hefty fee so they could further assess the situation. My relative declined and brought the machine back home but now he cannot access the most important item on that machine, which is an multi-year archive of family photos. I did not perform a backup (I know, I know...) as I was away on travel a great deal and this PC was basically used for image storage.

I am trying to investigate this virus and determine whether it truly is the cause for the loss of access to the images. I'm also curious as to how this virus penetrated Norton Security and was also not detected by my new install of McAfee?

BOTTOM LINE: The most important thing for me is to recover those images, so I'd like to know 1) If anyone reading this is familiar with the interpol virus? 2) Whether this virus would seem a likely suspect for this situation? and 3) Is there forensic tool/ data recovery app that could be used to recover the images/ data?

Don't need any commentary about not backing up - there was just not enough of me to go around. So please respond with a solution ASAP. It would be greatly appreciated


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The question is whether the images themselves have been compromised, or if some malware on the system is blocking access to them. I would suggest that you boot a live linux cd/dvd/usb drive, mount the windows partition, and then see if Linux can access the photos. If so, then it is the malware that is blocking access, and you can backup the data to a thumb drive. If not, then you are fubar'd... although a Linux or Windows A/V program may be able to fix the situation.

So, what have you tried so far?

If Norton was on the PC and you are also, infact a paid up customer, then contact them for an answer and solution.
From what I've been able to determine is that the pesky bug is "MalWare" and a removal process should be fairly easy. Its also doubful that your files are damaged. Seldom, if ever, does that ever actuallly happen.
Even if you paid the alledged "fee" its unlikely that you'll get your files back that way. No one ever does. Keep your money in your pocket at least until you've gotten word back from Norton.

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