What a load of FUD about computers - Linux

This is a discussion on What a load of FUD about computers - Linux ; Heres a article from ABC news What a load! http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=360211 SAN JOSE, Calif. Dec 26, 2004 Hackers, spammers and spies go into overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap new computers, connect to the Internet, and, too ...

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  1. What a load of FUD about computers

    Heres a article from ABC news What a load!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=360211

    SAN JOSE, Calif. Dec 26, 2004 Hackers, spammers and spies go into
    overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap
    new computers, connect to the Internet, and, too often, get hit with
    viruses, spyware and other nefarious programs.

    "People want to get on the Net right away, just like they want to put
    together and start using any Christmas present," said Tony Redmond,
    chief technology officer of Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant
    Hewlett-Packard Co., whose new PCs ship with 60 days of virus and
    adware protection. "They should be warned that the Net is a very, very
    dangerous place."

    Susan Love's problems began with a smile.

    The New York City fund-raiser clicked on a happy-face attachment in a
    friend's e-mail last year. The virus crashed her computer within an
    hour.

    Love, 57, salvaged her data. But within a few months her computer's
    performance slowed to a crawl. In December 2003, she upgraded to a
    Sony Vaio with an extra-large monitor and Microsoft Windows XP
    operating system.

    Within a few days, "spyware" programs that sneak onto computers
    uninvited began sponging up valuable memory. Then her e-mail stopped
    arriving.

    Instead of crafting holiday e-mails, she spent hours installing the
    latest antivirus, anti-advertising and anti-spyware software. She also
    instituted a rule: Her computer never gets turned off, so security
    programs patch vulnerabilities around the clock.

    "You have to become something of a nerd to make sure your computer is
    safe," said Love, a former English teacher who recently installed
    anti-adware on her daughter's computer. "If you don't sweep the
    computer every night, you could hit."

    Love won't be the last to get a holiday crash-course in computer
    security.

    Although few researchers produce holiday-specific security data,
    experts at IBM Corp., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., software
    companies and Internet service providers agree that the holidays are
    prime time for hackers.

    Holiday viruses are so rampant that consumers could be attacked even
    if their first online destination is to a Web site for updating
    security patches.

    Kris Murphy, help desk coordinator for North Carolina Internet service
    provider Indylink.org, said his minister got attacked last year, only
    a few minutes after unpacking and connecting the machine. At the time
    of infection, the minister was updating security patches to Windows.

    "Hackers know that you are most vulnerable as soon as you go online
    for the first time," said Murphy, whose 10-person company hires temp
    consultants during the holidays to handle higher call volume.
    "Inexperienced people tend to fall into traps more readily because
    they don't recognize that this guy might be trying to get your credit
    card information."

    Technology executives describe the relationship between hackers and
    security programmers as an arms race both sides keep ratcheting up
    fire power. But lack of consumer awareness if not downright naivete
    allows the war to escalate.

    According to a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance,
    of the 185 million Americans with home computers, one in three say
    they'll never get hit by viruses or other cyber attacks. In a Consumer
    Reports study, 36 percent of U.S. home computers showed signs of being
    infected with spyware and only 41 percent of surveyed households said
    they actively try to prevent it.

    American businesses are savvy about firewalls, spam filters, multiple
    passwords and other network protections, said Stuart McIrvine,
    director of corporate security strategy at IBM. But problems at the
    consumer level from spyware to security risks in coffee shop wireless
    networks are so severe that every hardware and software vendor should
    be worried about a backlash.

    Seasonal attacks start around Thanksgiving, when online shopping
    begins an annual spike and marketers pummel consumers with junk e-mail
    from the perfect stocking stuffer for a balding spouse to a
    limited-offer holiday cruise.

    With the rise in e-commerce, identity thieves try even harder to
    obtain credit card and other financial data from wireless and home
    networks. They set up dummy Web sites that seem to be hosted by major
    financial institutions in hopes that gullible consumers will provide
    their account information.

    Virus writers hide viruses and worms in holiday-themed e-mails,
    seasonal greetings cards and screensavers.

    "W32/Zafi-D," a mass mailing and peer-to-peer worm, harvests addresses
    from Windows address books and other files. Infected e-mails' subject
    line begins, "Merry Christmas!" and the text reads, "Happy Hollydays."

    ************************************************** *********************************
    The most vulnerable computers are the ones that have sat under
    Christmas trees for days or weeks. If a consumer buys equipment that
    arrives on Dec. 15, and it sits in the living room until Dec. 25, it
    could be hit by hundreds of viruses written in the 10-day interim.
    ************************************************** *********************************

    Tony Ross, analyst at British security firm Sophos Plc., advised
    consumers to get a CD-ROM with the newest updates from their
    electronics vendor, next-door neighbor or the computer at their office
    before connecting to the Internet. They should prohibit children who
    tend to be liberal in distributing their personal data from using the
    machine until it's patched.

    Consumers should vigilantly buy and update security software, which
    can add hundreds of dollars over the course of a computer's lifetime.
    Popular anti-spyware and anti-adware programs include Webroot Software
    Inc.'s Spy Sweeper ($29.95 for a one-year subscription), LavaSoft's
    Ad-Aware SE Professional ($39.95), Tenebril Inc.'s SpyCatcher
    ($29.95), the free Spybot Search & Destroy and Computer Associate
    Inc.'s eTrust PestPatrol ($39.95).

    Some experts wonder whether the computer has become the digital age
    equivalent of a puppy an enthralling treasure on Christmas morning,
    but a sinkhole for time and energy for years after. At very least,
    computers are far more demanding than the typical holiday toy, which
    merely requires batteries.

    "At some point, people who receive them for Christmas often ask, 'Is
    this computer a gift or a curse?'" Ross said.

  2. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 11:07:45 -0500, Dave wrote:

    > Heres a article from ABC news What a load!
    >
    > http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=360211
    >


    But unfortunately, it appears to be a fairly accurate summary of the
    dangers associated with home computing today. "Plug and play" into the
    internet is not something that the uneducated Windows user should expect
    to be able to do without problems these days.


  3. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 11:07:45 -0500, Dave scrawled this in the dust:

    > Heres a article from ABC news What a load!
    >
    > Holiday viruses are so rampant that consumers could be attacked even
    > if their first online destination is to a Web site for updating
    > security patches.

    That is a commonly held opinion, perhaps even a fact, but my parents ran
    their computer for several years without getting attacked. I recently
    installed a firewall and AdAware, but AdAware found only a few problems,
    mostly cookies. This could have something to do with their connection
    being dialup instead of an always-on connection, but being attacked that
    soon seems a bit far-fetched to me.


    > According to a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance, of
    > the 185 million Americans with home computers, one in three say they'll
    > never get hit by viruses or other cyber attacks. In a Consumer Reports
    > study, 36 percent of U.S. home computers showed signs of being infected
    > with spyware and only 41 percent of surveyed households said they
    > actively try to prevent it.

    There's the worrying thing. That only 41% of home users CARE about
    keeping their computer safe and working properly.

    > "At some point, people who receive them for Christmas often ask, 'Is
    > this computer a gift or a curse?'" Ross said.

    Always a gift. Spread the joy of teh intarweb :-)

    John
    --
    http://nuwen.net/~digi/cluster
    /*
    * Please skip to the bottom of this file if you ate lunch recently
    * -- Alan
    */
    -- from Linux kernel pre-2.1.91-1


  4. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 17:15:33 -0800, John F. wrote:

    > That is a commonly held opinion, perhaps even a fact, but my parents ran
    > their computer for several years without getting attacked. I recently
    > installed a firewall and AdAware, but AdAware found only a few problems,
    > mostly cookies. This could have something to do with their connection
    > being dialup instead of an always-on connection, but being attacked that
    > soon seems a bit far-fetched to me.


    A coach with whom I study was hooked up to DSL on for 2 days and
    called me in a panic as he'd managed to get viruses on the second day.
    His problem was the usual - eager novice user, always-on, Outlook Express,
    auto-everything, no anti-virus. The last two items were fatal.



  5. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    "GreyBeard" wrote in message
    newsan.2004.12.27.01.38.39.576124@gmail.com...
    > On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 17:15:33 -0800, John F. wrote:
    >
    >> That is a commonly held opinion, perhaps even a fact, but my parents ran
    >> their computer for several years without getting attacked. I recently
    >> installed a firewall and AdAware, but AdAware found only a few problems,
    >> mostly cookies. This could have something to do with their connection
    >> being dialup instead of an always-on connection, but being attacked that
    >> soon seems a bit far-fetched to me.

    >
    > A coach with whom I study was hooked up to DSL on for 2 days and
    > called me in a panic as he'd managed to get viruses on the second day.
    > His problem was the usual - eager novice user, always-on, Outlook Express,
    > auto-everything, no anti-virus. The last two items were fatal.


    I am on a dialup account and most of the time no problem but other times I
    get a huge number of attacks. I usually use windoze and I run norton
    internet security. Most of the attacks come from the pacific rim, I wish we
    had a way of turning off access to areas that are in effect outlaw. The
    Chinese and other Asian governments do nothing to stop these hackers and
    SPAMmers and that is the biggest problem.


    Randy



  6. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 20:48:38 -0600, Randy McLaughlin wrote:
    >
    > I am on a dialup account and most of the time no problem but other times
    > I get a huge number of attacks. I usually use windoze and I run norton
    > internet security. Most of the attacks come from the pacific rim, I
    > wish we had a way of turning off access to areas that are in effect
    > outlaw. The Chinese and other Asian governments do nothing to stop these
    > hackers and SPAMmers and that is the biggest problem.
    >


    Ah, so the USA should be turning off access to... itself! Speaking of
    outlaws and ineffective governance (can anyone say "corporate
    interests"?), allow me to quote an article titled "US leads the dirty
    dozen spammers":

    "The United States is in a league of its own when it comes to sending junk
    mail to email users.
    Researchers at security company Sophos found after scanning its global
    network of honeypots ... that 42 percent of all spam sent this year came
    from the United States."

    "this is evidence that America's anti-spam legislation simply isn't
    working."

    "The results came in as follows:

    United States: 42.11 percent
    South Korea: 13.43 percent
    China (including Hong Kong): 8.44 percent Canada: 5.71 percent
    Brazil: 3.34 percent
    Japan: 2.57 percent
    France: 1.37 percent
    Spain: 1.18 percent
    United Kingdom: 1.13 percent
    Germany: 1.03 percent
    Taiwan: 1.0 percent
    Mexico: 0.89 percent"

    These are all the latest 2004 figures. Read the full text for yourself at:
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communicatio...9182240,00.htm

    Sure, there are plenty of non-spam related attacks (portscan/hacking
    attempts, viruses etc.) coming from China, where the state is reluctant to
    crack down on naughty ISPs, but the large majority of malware (especially
    spyware and SPAM) still comes from, and is spread by insecure computers
    in, the USA. Not to mention that Microsoft Windows, a major component in
    the spread of malware and zombie relays, is an American product - one
    whose monopoly the US government works hard to protect.

    As for filtering network traffic by geographical region, you can do that
    for yourself using your personal firewall if you feel the need to do so.

    Regards,
    Minderbinder.

  7. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    [SNAP]

    > As for filtering network traffic by geographical region, you can do that
    > for yourself using your personal firewall if you feel the need to do so.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Minderbinder.


    Cool, any good pointers on where I can find reliable and quickly
    accessible geographics info per IP address (range) ??? Is that a static
    db or a fast online service ? Free ? Paid ??
    I am now still doing it manually, grouping addresses based on FQDN
    associated with them. I have a fair percentage of networks covered now I
    guess, each day less new uncategorized addy's hit my site.

    I have found a website where I can interactively find more info, but
    that is not really suitable for direct programmed approach.

    Thanx!
    Schraalhans

  8. Re: What a load of FUD about computers

    Up spake Schraalhans Keukenmeester:
    > I have found a website where I can interactively find more info, but
    > that is not really suitable for direct programmed approach.


    You can probably automate download of stuff from the website with
    judicious use of wget, grep and shell scripts.

    For example, I have a script that searches machall.com for the current
    authorization ID, then grabs any new comics and saves them to disk.

    --
    -trent
    The history of the world is the history of the warfare between secret
    societies. -- Ishmael Reed, Mumbo-Jumbo

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