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Computers, Viruses, The Internet, etc.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Aug 20, 2004.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Just purchased a brand spankin new, powerful PC. Someone is giving me the gift of some really high end recording software. I plan to finally get back into making music with my computer - something I haven't done since I had to trash my old computer. (long story on why).

    My current computer has been destroyed by viruses, spyware, adware, whatever. I have a cable connection and this thing crawls. Can't get to a lot of apges, and most pages take at least a full minute to load.

    I've been warned to not even hook the new computer up to the internet - if I plan to use it for recording. Any thoughts regarding this????

    I bought the number #1 rated virus protection in PC magazine (forgot the name of it but the Tigerdirect sales person told me it was the best - I believed him :eek: ). In the past I've gone to sites that I KNOW weren't the safest - porn, plus places that offer the nick berg videos and crap like that. I plan to quit doing that stuff. I have Zone alarm and plan to reinstall that.

    I'd like whatever feedback anyone can give. What's safe on the internet. What's not. What's "relatively" safe. How can I best protect myself. Has anyone had "the best" protection yet still gotten messed up.

    Also - how do I know which files are safe to transport from my current computer. All virus tests say I'm totally clean - yet my sytem I KNOW - is totally corrupted. Thanks fer any input.
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Sometimes a system just got messed up over time.
    Do a backup and a clean new install.
     
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    You might get a kick from this article. Basically, a new, out of the box Windows PC running XP SP1 can be connected to the Internet for an average of 20 minutes (this is just being connected, not opening email attachments or surfing to infected sites, just being logged in with a live connection to the Internet) before being infected with a virus, worm, or other type of malware.

    Here's another link about this issue; http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/communications/0,2000061791,39156626,00.htm

    One final article; http://seclists.org/lists/isn/2004/Aug/0062.html

    Pretty sad when you don't even have enough time to download patches before your Windows PC gets infected?
     
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    My work computer got infected about 2 weeks ago. I have Norton Antivirus Corp. Edition on this PC, with up to date files, and I still got infected by the Peper trojan even though this trojan was initially released 12/2003. The website I went to had been hacked (the IIS exploit that was talked about in July), IE (the only browser they'll allow us to run here at work) automagically downloaded and installed said Peper trojan, all while Norton was supposedly on duty (maybe Norton took a coffee break too?). Norton never discovered it, Ad-Aware told me it was there, but the trojan was clever enough to run 2 copies of itself, so Ad-Aware was only able to remove 1 instance. I finally had to reboot in safe-mode and manually delete a bunch of files + remove 3 lines in my registry to get rid of this.

    Pretty sad to be behind a corporate firewall, corporate proxy server, have Norton running, and still get infected. The only reason I had a clue I was infected was pop-ups started appearing out of the blue.
     
  5. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    It's really a terribe situation right now with all the spam, spyware, and viruses out there. A good resource I've found (somebody here recommended actually) is www.majorgeeks.com There is a lot of freeware stuff and stuff you can buy to help deal with specific problems.

    I just try to be careful about sites I go to and run McAfee virus scans and Spybot Seek and Destroy scans regularly.
     
  6. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    You might also consider a personal firewall:

    http://smb.sygate.com/products/spf_standard.htm

    That one is free and works pretty well. Really easy to use, when ANY program, including windows components tries to connect to the internet, it will pop up an Allow/Disallow message box, and you can choose to always say yes/no if you want too. And for free, it certainly couldnt hurt :)

    If you install this firewall first, you can disallow everything but windows update until your fully updated, then you shouldnt have a problem getting infected before you can get updated.
     
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    What about a MAC? Running OSX

    AJ
     
  8. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ

    Yea, I was going to say something about that, but no one wants to hear that Apple computers are inherently more secure, haven't had a virus attack it yet (OS X), has most ports closed by default out of the box, has all that UNIXy goodness under the hood ....

    especially when they just bought their new PC. ;)

    Only 11 more days until the iMac3 is unveiled. :hyper:
     
  9. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Serious, I have learn to never connect a dedicated workstation to the internet. I've told clients this and they don't listen. Within 3 weeks, I'll get a call: " My computer is running slow".
     
  10. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    A couple of months ago, my wife got a new PC with XP that I was setting up for new internet service - we had just gotten it online and were in the process of regestering Norton Anti Virus (not surfing any web sites) ...we had a virus problem in less than 2 minutes! (it started shutting down on it's own) It took me a week to get the thing healthy again and before I was done I had to figure out how to remove three different viruses. Simply amazing.

    Joe - is your old machine so ancient that it's a complete lost cause, or could you maybe clean the drive, reload windows (or OS of choice) maybe add a little memory or whatever upgrades are needed and use it for web surfing. I tend to agree that if you have a good computer that is for serious recording projects, maybe it shouldn't be connected to the internet at all. It seems imposible to me to be connected to the web and be completely safe all the time.
     
  11. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah it's pretty amazing at how much evil stuff is continuously floating around the internet now. It seemed like a few years ago you could almost get away with not running a firewall unless you were concerned about the kid you just dissed in a Quake game hacking you in retribution. But nowadays a firewall needs to be standard equipment. Not to mention all the virus and spyware removal tools.
     
  12. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ

    I actually think your $$ would be better spent buying a hardware router. They cost less than $100, allows you to share your internet connection among multiple computers (think home LAN), and will keep all outside connections from ever getting to your internal network unless you made the outgoing connection first.

    I know my router is always busy even when all the computers are turned off. It's amazing how many probing computers are out there on the 'net.
     
  13. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    Use Mozilla or Mozilla Firefox (www.mozilla.org) for an internet browser instead of Microsoft Int. Explorer.
     
  14. I'm on the 'net even while recording/editing/mixing, I DON't run AV software (it bogs the box badly), I DON't run firewall software (same reason). I DO use a HARDWARE filrewall, I'm very juducious about where I surf to. I have pop-up blocking software (Google toolbar), and MOST IMPORTANTLY - I have disabled ACPI at the BIOS and OS level. When I first set up this box using The Vole's defaults, NOTHING WORKED. ACPI is great for a laptop, and TERRIBLE for a DAW!
    Also I agree with JMX - they just get clogged up over time (PC or MAC - it's the same). After I got the box tuned to my liking, and made a binary image of the drives (not my data, just the boot, system, and application disks) Norton (now Symantec) Ghost is my imaging utility. My system works, and I'm always getting asked to fix everyone else's
     
  15. slick519

    slick519

    Aug 11, 2001
    Salem, Or
    oh god, i actually understood that... :eek:

    haha, i need to go shower... i havent in like a week. CS is a horrible, horrible drug. I am considering taking up heroin to get off of CS. :D

    slick
     
  16. tappel

    tappel

    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    That'll prevent most of your problems right there. Also, don't use Outlook Express for email. Then get a solid AV program and firewall and you'll be alot safer.

    Not that PC users want to hear this, but I converted to a Mac back in March. Not one bad incident of any kind. No crashes, browser hijacks, nothing... remarkable.

    Tom
     
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Why is Mozilla better? We use this browser at work & I don't like it.

    Also, why shouldn't I use OutLook Express?
     
  18. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    WHAT!?!?!?!!? :confused:
     
  19. tappel

    tappel

    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    I should qualify this: Mozilla's Firefox is definitely safer for the average user. The things you like about Internet Explorer are exactly the same things that virus authors and unscrupulous websites take advantage of (ActiveX controls, VBScript i.e). It's easily exploited. Ditto for Outlook Express. If you practice "safe surf" that is, don't visit questionable sites or open any curious attachments, you can use IE and OE without any problems.

    I recommend that people install Firefox for recreational browsing and use IE for trusted sites.

    Tom
     
  20. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Not to mention, every browser other than IE comes with popup blocking as a checkbox option. You don't have to download some toolbar that's probably recording every site you go to and reporting that back to the mothership (whoever made the toolbar app).

    Outlook Express (aka Virus Express) can be dangerous just by clicking on the email header. If you have preview turned on, then just the act of downloading image files from a SPAM server validates your email address. Can you say SPAM for life? I knew you could.

    Also, if you use something like Mozilla's Thunderbird for email, it will do a decent job of auto-filtering SPAM so you don't even see it. I use Apple's mail program, and I'd say 5 - 10 SPAM emails get through its filters each month. I just mark 'em as junk and Mail updates its filters. Same thing with Thunderbird.

    If you don't like Mozilla, then try out Firefox. It's about a 5MB download, one of the smallest browser programs out there, and will connect you to every site except windows update (IE only).