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'[OT:] Stupid Virus on my PC!!!! Help'
2004\08\26@082446 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Luis Moreira" <spam_OUTLuis.MoreiraTakeThisOuTspamJET.EFDA.ORG>
Subject: [OT]: Stupid Virus on my PC!!!! Help


> updates. today I just had a message popping up on the screen from Norton
> saying that I had the spybot worm virus on my computer and it could not
> remove it!!!!

The Internet Storm Center estimates the time that an unprotected computer
can survive uninfected on the Internet.  Yesterday, that time was -up- to 19
minutes.  You not only need to have AV software installed, you need to be
fully up to date on patches and virus definitions, and you need to not do
stupid things.

> How the hell can it not remove it ?

Go to the Symantec website for removal instructions, as someone else has
pointed out.

> Stupid crap of an operating system this Stupid Windows is!!!!

I can sort of agree with you, but another OS isn't a silver bullet.  There
are almost as many Linux exploits as Windows, it's just that Linux doesn't
have the installed base to get the worms distributed, and Linux users are
less likely to do stupid things.  A lot of folks have proposed Mozilla as a
magic bullet but I'm not so sure.  There aren't nearly as many exploits for
Mozilla as for IE, but all the IE exploits I've seen require you to do
something stupid -- the Mozilla exploits don't.  Same with Outhouse Express.
It's a perfectly safe mail client as long as you don't do something stupid.
(I don't have the same regard for Outlook, however).

Staying safe is the same no matter what the OS:
- Keep your AV software up to date
- Keep the system fully patched
- Don't allow active scripting
- Never open an email as html
- Don't log on to an account with admin privs

The last one may be the most important, and it is a lot more annoying to do
on Windoze than on Linux.  XP comes out of the box pretty badly configured
and for quite a while you discover something that needs admin privs to fix
every few minutes.  You can't just su to fix it like Linux, so it's a royal
pain.  But eventually things settle down and running with an unprivileged
account isn't so bad.

--McD

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2004\08\26@083107 by Luis Moreira

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what you are saying is not to run XP as an administrator, which I am doing,
and that should reduce the risks ?
regards
       Luis

{Original Message removed}

2004\08\26@083520 by Alan B. Pearce

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>but all the IE exploits I've seen require you to do
>something stupid -- the Mozilla exploits don't.

No, there are exploits for IE that do not require you to do anything, but
worse than that is that there is a hole in windows networking that can be
exploited while you are connected to the 'net, without IE (or other any
browser) or OE (or any other mail client) active. Recent patches to XP close
this hole.

>  Same with Outhouse Express. It's a perfectly safe
>mail client as long as you don't do something stupid.
>(I don't have the same regard for Outlook, however).

Umm, again no. many of the viruses were distributed using vbs which ran as
soon as an email was opened, and looking at it in the preview pane is
included in this. True most of these holes have been closed (an easy one for
vbs is to associate it with a text editor instead of the windows script
interpreter), but many of the viruses are loaded without the user realising,
especially if they normally use html mails.

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2004\08\26@085559 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Luis Moreira" <.....Luis.MoreiraKILLspamspam@spam@JET.EFDA.ORG>
Subject: Re: [OT:] Stupid Virus on my PC!!!! Help


> what you are saying is not to run XP as an administrator, which I am
doing,
> and that should reduce the risks ?

It absolutely reduces the risks.  It is also a major pain in the butt for a
few weeks until you get everything the way you want it.

--McD

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2004\08\26@090126 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan B. Pearce" <A.B.PearcespamKILLspamRL.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: [OT:] Stupid Virus on my PC!!!! Help


> Umm, again no. many of the viruses were distributed using vbs which ran as
> soon as an email was opened, and looking at it in the preview pane is

Only as long as you a) have your security zones stupidly configured and b)
open the email as html.  Both are mind-bogglingly stupid.

> especially if they normally use html mails.

As I said, NEVER open an email as html.  That isn't only dangerous for right
now, but it's painting a target on your back for every spammer out there.
The main strength of the so-called "secure" mail clients is that they don't
give you the opportunity to be so stupid.

I don't believe that there is anything you can do on the net that is more
dangerous than opening an email as html.  And yes, that IS the default for
Outlook Express.  You need to have been living under a rock for a few years
to believe that it is safe to leave Microsoft's default settings alone.

--McD

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2004\08\26@090538 by Randy Glenn

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On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 08:25:01 -0400, John J. McDonough <.....wb8rcrKILLspamspam.....arrl.net> wrote:
> I can sort of agree with you, but another OS isn't a silver bullet.  There
> are almost as many Linux exploits as Windows, it's just that Linux doesn't
> have the installed base to get the worms distributed, and Linux users are
> less likely to do stupid things.

At the risk of starting a flame war... I think you're drastically
oversimplifing things, and making assumptions without basis in fact.
There's no proof that malware fiends are motivated solely by market
share, just as there's no evidence that Linux has the same issues with
insecurity as Windows.

(I could also use the Apache example - the Apache web server is the
most popular on the planet, running on somewhere north of 60% of web
servers last I checked - but Code Red and others were for Microsoft
IIS.)

What we do know is that most open source projects release bug fixes as
the bugs are fixed (rather than waiting until certain days to release
them) and generally fix bugs quickly (rather than waiting, say, 6
months to release a fix for a known Help Center issue that allowed a
web page link to delete any file on your hard drive). We also know
that almost all non-Windows Operating Systems discourage running as
root (OS X goes as far as disabling the root account) and try to run
services with as few permissions as necessary - which limits damage in
the event that something bad does happen.

--
-Randy Glenn
Computer Eng. and Mgt. Year IV, McMaster University
Chair, McMaster IEEE Student Branch

randy.glenn-at-gmail.com - glennrb-at-mcmaster.ca
randy.glenn-at-computer.org - randy_glenn-at-ieee.org
http://www.randyglenn.ca

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2004\08\26@140459 by Morgan Olsson

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Alan B. Pearce 14:37 2004-08-26:
>there are exploits for IE that do not require you to do anything, but
>worse than that is that there is a hole in windows networking that can be
>exploited while you are connected to the 'net, without IE (or other any
>browser) or OE (or any other mail client) active. Recent patches to XP close
>this hole.

MS keep plugging "this hole" several times a year...

Also, IE access deep OS functions in a direct way, that no other browser *can* do, thus IE is naturally much harder to keep bug-free, and each bug has seveere potential to mess things up, that other browsers *can* not do how severe bugs they ever have.  On Linux the system updating routines are no part of an application users run for other purposes.  Naturally.

>>  Same with Outhouse Express.

Same-integration...

Naturally, all that integration is hard to mamage, also thoose products have and will always have more and severe bugs than stand-alone browsers.

So, use Mozilla or Opera for browsing and mail, or the standalone browser/mail parts of Mozilla, there is also other programs like TheBat! and Eudora email, and on Linux Evolution, and...

Only reason to use IE nowadays is to update MSWindows OS.
(Unless you are using some MS specific connectivity using IE.  Same for Outlook, but IIRC Evolution can do all Outlook can)
/Morgan
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Morgan Olsson, Kivik, Sweden

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2004\08\26@151451 by Jason S

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One thing I haven't seen suggested here is a hardware firewall.  There are
commercially available routers primarily designed to let you share your
broadband internet connection across several computers.  They also have
firewall features that seem quite secure.

The even more secure route would be to build your own linux firewall.  Have
a PC with 2 network cards running linux.  One network card goes to the
internet, the other to your main computer.  Have almost all services turned
off on the linux machine and set up the routing table and NAT.  Unless
you're familiar with linux though I think the extra difficulty going this
route isn't worth it.

You can also pick up the routers for almost nothing on eBay because there's
a mass switch to wireless going on now creating a huge glut of used routers
without wireless on the market.

Jason

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2004\08\26@151829 by D. Jay Newman

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> One thing I haven't seen suggested here is a hardware firewall.  There are
> commercially available routers primarily designed to let you share your
> broadband internet connection across several computers.  They also have
> firewall features that seem quite secure.

Yes. In my unit our tech-guys won't install an OS on a machine without
keeping that machine safely behind a firewall until the process is finished.
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EraseMEjayspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
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