The Plight of the Undead: How Comcast turned me in to a Zombie

It is partially my fault.  I did let the installer “Drive” rather than watching everything he did.  Which was dumb.  The first rule of securing your PC is don’t let people you don’t trust use it.  And people you do trust watch what they do.  This is security 101, but he was working on a machine that was recently rebuilt with that had nothing personal on it other than my Zune Songs, so I didn’t worry about it.

The first step in the Comcast install is to download an installer.  Seeing as I worked at TCI, ATT @ Home, and ConvergSys, at various points in my life I thought this was an unnecessary step, but the installer told me this was the only way to do the install.  This machine is earmarked for a Vista Clean install anyway so I thought why not let the man do his thing, what is the worst that can happen?

I looked away because my phone rang.  I come back to the installer packing up ready for me to sign, I made him wait a moment so I could run a quick SpeakEasy Speed test.  I was instantly annoyed to see my Homepage and Search bars were now set to Comcast.  I grumble and the install assures me that if I do an uninstall of the Comcast software it will be all ok.  So I uninstall “Desktop Doctor” among other things.  And as I suspected I am still defaulting to Comcast as my home page and search.  The Installer makes a comment about how my 5,732K down / 352 up is blazing.  I tell him it is slow for compared to the 9,972k down / 1003k up that my last Speakeasy result for RCN gave me, or the 21,231k down/1,405k up on the Google Wifi that is Free in Mountain View. He gives up making me happy and leaves.

3 days later….  My Internet is slow.  Really Slow.  576k down/113k up.  I reset the cable modem, my router, and reboot my laptop.  Nothing.  I reboot the PC in my bedroom that the install was done on.  A little popup in the corner alerts me my firewall is disabled.

My firewall is disable, my One Care is uninstalled, my Defender is disabled, and my Inoculate Antivirus is uninstalled.  My Machine is a Zombie.  There is a flurry of network activity, and when I disable the Nic my Laptop has a 5.5 Meg connection.   This would likely have taken longer, but the computer is set to be the DMZ so there was nothing between it and the dangerous waters of the Internet.

JUST FOR FUN… I call Comcast.  They assure me it is not their fault and that these pieces of software “Impair the ease of the Comcast Installation, and the software installed by the technician serve to replace these expensive 3rd party tools, securing your PC and saving you money”

Ummm… Not so much.  Especially since I already spent the money… But the short answer is that I moved ahead my Windows Vista Upgrade and my PC is now fine.  But the experience was less than happy.