I'd guess that what happened was probably similar to something that happened to me a few weeks ago. I received an email purporting to be from a cousin, and opened it. There was nothing inside but a link, and against all security principles I clicked on it. When nothing happened immediately, I shut down the mail program and opened a browser -- and sure enough got a pop-up message that an automatic virus scan was running and had detected more than a hundred baddies on my system!
Fortunately the mail program and browser were running in a virtual machine that was pretty well locked down, and some quick work with a couple of cleaning programs got rid of the offending single scareware package that had been installed by the fake message when I clicked on its link.
Still, your immediate re-install was probably the best thing you could do at the time anyway. I hope you didn't lose any important date from it...
Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
Linux Counter #259718
Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads
No, I did not lose important data. I keep that backed up off line.
You are right. The funniest thing the other user noticed was that it said we had windows viruses...lol. Uh, we're not on windows, lol. Ya, I have been studying a little bit about cross site scripting and things of that nature. That is why I reinstalled. I will look into this other user thing too. You may be onto something.
Switching from Windows to Ubuntu one small step at a time
Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.