Linux Malware Freeze- Screen

Just had a look at a friends laptop whose screen had frozen when running Lubuntu 12.04.

Typical malware stuff…You have to pay to get the screen unblocked.

I run recovery mode and removed and re-installed the chromium browser.

All seems fine.

Have seen this on Windows but never on Linux.

This was a dual boot with windows xp…Xp was not affected.

Any thoughts…?.


Hi jocklad

I had a similar thing although it wasn’t freezing the screen, just an annoying pop up about winning an iPad, turned out to be a dodgy plugin, so if it happens again it might be worthwhile disabling plugins to see if that stops it

good luck


I’ve had this once or twice but it can only effect chrome not Linux (unlike with windoze).
I used task manager to kill all chrome processes then just started chrome again and everything was Rosy.

SGS 2 and Tapatalk are awesome.

Yup, that’s all it will be … something they’ve done installed a dodgy plugin in Chromium.

Here’s a tip for Chromium users …

It’s possible to start Firefox is “safe mode” with all plugins disabled:

firefox --safe-mode

then remove/disable any offending plugin … then restart Firefox normally

Chromium doesn’t have a “safe mode” but starting chromium-browser in “incognito” mode effectively does the same thing … ie. Chromium starts with all extesions (plugins) disabled.
So start Chromium from the command line with:

chromium-browser --incognito

then remove/disable any offending plugin … then restart Chromium normally


Or as galaxytdm says … first just try killing all chromium-browser instances:

sudo killall chromium-browser

then restarting Chromium as it could be nothing more than a pop-up

in either case it’s not “Linux Malware” and cannot get outside Chromium :wink:

The one I had was the Interpol one.
Apparently on a windoze box it can take over the machine and destroy the os leading to the BSOD.

Really wish they’d patch browsers to require admin rights to install plugins. You can’t install other programs without root, so why web browser plugins? Annoying security risk >:(

It happens on Ubuntu but not very often. The only solution found is to disconnect the main if its on and take out the battery,. This shuts the computer off , then reboot and its OK. Though it doesn’t find the cause, it only gets you out of the freeze.

That’s never a good idea, and should only be considered a last resort.

Much better to hit and hold Alt+SysRq and whilst holding them type REISUB leaving a few seconds between keystrokes … that should reboot your machine cleanly.

If it’s a laptop, you’ll normally have to hold FN+Alt+SysRq, making it a bit more of a challenge!

Out of interest, which mnenomic do you use to remember it? Or is it engrained on your brain? :stuck_out_tongue:

Re-Energise If System Utterly Bollo??d

Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken

Very interesting…

So while running Linux can this only affect Chromium or any Browser…?.


It can only affect the browser you’re running, and cannot affect anything outside the browser … it will NOT jump to another browser if that’s what you mean ?

But if you mean “is it possible to install a malicious plugin in Firefox ?” … sure it is, but again it’s easily removed and cannot get “outside” the users firefox profile.

That certainly makes it clearer.

Many Thanks Mark… :slight_smile:


Haha, wicked

I hate it, but the one that sticks in my head is Raising Elephants Is So Utterly Boring (blame wiki for that one ::))

I always used -

Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken/Bollo??d

REISUO you have to remember yourself.

I always remember it as the word busier backwards lol

is there a browser you guys can recommend that isn’t as subject to this kinda problem?

I use Firefox as it can be started from the command line with all plugins disabled … then I could uninstall the offending one, and restart Firefox.

Though it’s pretty easy to reset Chrome/Chromium to default, you may loose the plugins you already had

Non of this is really anything to worry about … so take your pick :wink:

he first time I saw that was about 2 months ago with a friends Windows 7 machine