Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Run screaming into the night

Another reason I switched
http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=21401332

900+ new viruses in 1 month                

Walter
Friday, June 04, 2004

Switched from/to what?

You know there are millions / billions of invisible real-life viruses / fungi spores, etc floating in every cubic foot of air.

Does that make you scared? No - because your body has the defenses to stop all that. So just get a firewall and keep your anti-virus software up-to-date and you will be able to sleep, little baby.

Baby
Friday, June 04, 2004

This being reason I swich to Mac. Virus painters not being as likely to do viruses for Mac as it being such less popular then Windows.

Junichiro kawaguchi
Friday, June 04, 2004

It's funny. Back in college (late 80's/early 90's) the macs on campus were always the ones getting hit with viruses. I guess the virus writers thought it was cool to infect macs or something.

Now macs are sold on the "and nobody writes viruses for them" argument.

Chris Tavares
Friday, June 04, 2004

I think I am right in saying that if you keep you Windows upto date using Windows Update and have a virus checker there are no viruses that can get.

Matthew Lock
Friday, June 04, 2004

No need for an AV. Windows Update, XP firewall, Mozilla.

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

"This being reason I swich to Mac. Virus painters not being as likely to do viruses for Mac as it being such less popular then Windows."

I think this is argument is getting old. Don't get me wrong - until recently, I used to say this was one of the reasons why I switched to Linux.

However, I agree with the above posts that if you keep WinUpdate on auto, have a firewall, and an AV, you're pretty much covered. so, my reason didn't really make sense - considering I'm a home user, i.e., don't have a multitude of servers/desktops in a biz environment.

After thinking a bit more on the subject, I came to this conclusion - I don't trust MS, and that invalidates WinUpdate on auto. So, right now I'm checking Mandrake, to decide whether I can trust them.

So, if you manage your win box the way you're supposed to, you're pretty much safe - not 100% safe, because that's impossible, whether you're connected to the net with Windows or with ZX Spectrum :)

If you do move away from Windows, that's because you don't want to properly manage your win box - it's your decision, and I'm not questioning it; after all, I took the same decision.

The real question is - why?

Paulo Caetano
Friday, June 04, 2004

So do you trust Mandrake?

Green Pajamas
Friday, June 04, 2004

"It's funny. Back in college (late 80's/early 90's) the macs on campus were always the ones getting hit with viruses. I guess the virus writers thought it was cool to infect macs or something."

Yep, I remember those days. You wouldn't dream of having a Mac without any AV back then. Mention it to PC people back then and they barely knew what you were talking about.

It is a fashion thing. Mac virusses will start to get more press coverage again, and it is selfreinforcing from that point onwards.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, June 04, 2004

Anyone on these boards know someone who writes those goddamned virues? What do they gain anyway? I am yet to see something as basic a motivator as, say, financial gain.

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

"So do you trust Mandrake?"

No reason not to, so far.

I've read they screwed up a few days ago with how much they charged some customers, but they admitted it right away, and started corercting it. Not a bad sign.

Also, haven't seen any signs of product activation/drm, yet, and that is a good thing in my book. Let's see how long it stays that way.

So far, they're exactly like MS was in the days of Win 3.1, with regards to my level of trust.

I do have some reason to worry with regards to the software patent laws being voted for the EU (we're gonna joing the USA in the Patent Mess), but I'll worry about that when it happens.

Paulo Caetano
Friday, June 04, 2004

"Anyone on these boards know someone who writes those goddamned virues? What do they gain anyway? I am yet to see something as basic a motivator as, say, financial gain."

According to what I've read, these last ones were aimed at getting zombies for spam. I'll bet someone made some money out of it.

Paulo Caetano
Friday, June 04, 2004

----"No need for an AV. Windows Update, XP firewall, Mozilla. "------

So I just need to port CIH to XP to prove you wrong?

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 04, 2004

Stephen,

My colo server running Win2K does not run any AV. It has a firewall and is pretty well tuned. Been so for 2 years now. No virus. Ever. At all. Good administration and decent firewalls are sufficient to handle viruses. I do keep checking it thrice a day, either in person or through Terminal Services, but that is my job.

My home box runs XP and all Internet accessing apps are non MS. Browser, Email, Media Players. Again 2 1/2 years. No AV. ADSL connection connected 18 hrs a day. No virus.

Please do port CIH and let me learn the hard way.

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

---"No virus."----

If you don't have an AV how do you know?

At work I get fifteen emails a day with viruses attached.

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 04, 2004

Good point. Actually I did not tell the whole truth.

I schedule, once or twice a month, on all my machines, a complete scan with Ad-aware, Trendmicros's online virus scan, along with disk cleanupm  defrag and regclean. Being a SOHO, it is usually Saturday nights. Monday morning, more often than not, I get an all clear message from all of them. So far only the porn crap has been detected by them, and that was solely the fault of some members at work, not the protection (or absence of) system.

My point is if one is carefull one need not be tied down by large memory hungry, application interfering AV running in the background. Not to mention the costs involved.

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

I know it sounds horribly stupid to not be running AV software, but I actually have to agree.  Viruses really only have two ways to propagate: either through unprotected internet-facing ports, or by a user downloading and executing something on the computer.  Any $39.99 hardware firewall will stop the first group. 

And the second is a matter of social engineering -- don't open attachments unless you know what they are, double check the file extensions, don't download misc. shareware crap, etc etc etc. 

Now that may be a bit too much for Auntie Sue and Uncle Jack, so for them I say it's better to pay the $29.99 a year for Norton/McAffee.  And business environments clearly need more protection as it's next to impossible to stop users from doing something stupid.  But for me at home, I'd rather spend that money on something else :)

Joe
Friday, June 04, 2004

If you're really that cheapskate AVG is free.

And the situation is a little like that with vaccination with real viruses. The fact that you don't get viruses is more because other people slow them down with anti-virus software, than the fact that you're safe.

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 04, 2004

"I do keep checking it thrice a day, either in person or through Terminal Services, but that is my job."

MCSB - Microsoft Certified Server Babysitter.

Mike
Friday, June 04, 2004

If we're going to compare to bio viruses, then I'd also like to point out that humans don't vaccinate against every individual virus out there, which is what AV software attempts to do. 

We also rely heavily on natural defenses to keep us safe -- skin, etc.  That's what the firewall is all about, and keeping up to date on security patches.

I'm not saying don't protect yourself...just that there's more than one way to do it.

Joe
Friday, June 04, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home