Removing system sabotage on Linux

Rookie Penguin

New Member
I have a Linux Ubuntu desktop that is maybe 3 or 4 years old, was on a website discussion and someone apparently decided to send me a message. It just said "Hi", but after that my PC was all messed up. Some sort of hack mail I'm guessing. I just shut it off and went to the store and bought a cheap laptop. Haven't messed with it. Looking for advice on how I can get it up and running once again. Thanks in advance...:)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day @Rookie Penguin and welcome to :)

Sounds interesting?

I'm reckoning you are best off either using a Linux-specific USB stick (eg Knoppix or other) t check for viruses.

Do you have Linux on your current rig?

I have to leave for my evening in Australia, but tell us the old and new rigs' specs - brand names and model numbers, how much RAM &c and we'll see what we can do.


Chris Turner


Well-Known Member
Personally, if it's a three or four year old Linux distro on there - I'd say load a live distro onto a USB stick. Boot into the USB And install a fresh Linux over the top. The old data will be wiped, including any malware.

Optionally, you could try to recover any personal data off of the drive and onto another USB drive. But make sure all files are thoroughly scanned for viruses/malware.

Additionally, before reinstalling Linux - you could use something like dd to overwrite the entire HD with a few passes of random data and then a final pass to overwrite with zero's, but personally I wouldn’t bother with that. A simple re-install should do the job!

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