Re: Online THREATS

From: Bruce Chambers (bchambers_at_h0tmail.c0m)
Date: 05/28/05


Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 08:37:38 -0600

Dave wrote:
> Windows have asked me to put my beef on the discussion groups.
> i didn't know ot would take half hour of mucking about.
> SELF EXPLAINATORY... WHY DON'T "Fixes" from Microsoft and other Firms Work
> Properly ?

        What specific fix did not work properly?

> Dear Anti Virus Firms.
> 1. On my computer, I have loaded Symantec. Norton AV 2004, which , after
> Scanning , has told me , for about 2 weeks, that I have 25 at Risk Files on
> my Computer -- Adware/Spyware/Malware. BUT will NOT delete any of them.
> The ONLY option is Manual Deletion.
>

        What has this to do with Windows? Anyway, most antivirus applications
do not scan for or protect you from adware/spyware at all, because,
after all, you've installed them yourself, so you must want
them there, right?

     Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
allegedly "free" service or product.

     While there are some unscrupulous malware distributors out there,
who do attempt to install and exploit malware without consent, the
majority of them simply rely upon the intellectual laziness and
gullibility of the average consumer, counting on them to quickly click
past the EULA in his/her haste to get the latest in "free" cutesy
cursors, screensavers, "utilities," and/or wallpapers.

    If you were to read the EULAs that accompany, and to which the
computer user must agree before the download/installation of the
"screensaver" continues, most adware and spyware, you'll find that
they _do_ have the consumer's permission to do exactly what they're
doing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, computer users have no
one to blame but themselves.

> 2, Earlier this Week, my "Guru" installed the Trial version of microsoft
> AntiSpyware.
> It removed 8 , leaving me with 17 Threats.
>

        First of all, Microsoft Anti-Spyware is a beta product, so it can
hardly be expected to be completely affective. Secondly, who in the
world would go to a "guru" (some sort of spiritual guide/adviser?) for
help with a purely technical issue?

> 3. Yesterday, Panda offered me a trial of Truprevent automatic protection.
> This removed 14 Threats -- leaving me with 3.
>

        Again, what has this to do with Windows?

> 4. Running Norton AV , again, these 3 ALL Prove to be the same Adeare
> "Adware.BetterInternet" BUT there is a REMOVAL TOOL.
> I ran this TWICE , on each occassion, it finally told me I did NOT have
> Adware.BetterInternet on my computer.
>
> 5. Ran Norton AGAIN --- still there....
>

        You know, I once saw a bumper sticker that read "Insanity is doing the
same thing over and over again, and expecting different results each
time." Seems to apply. Why repeat an action that you already know
won't work?

> IF ALL YOU FIRMS GOT TOGETHER AND POOLED YOUR INFORMATION, YOU MAY BE ABLE
> TO PRODUCE A HALF REASONABLE PROGRAMME.

        You do realize, don't you, that by posting to a news group you're not
addressing *any* of the firms with which you imagine you have a grievance?

> To Remove 24 threats, I would have to outlay WELL OVER $100 AUD, and still
> NOT have complete protection for my computer.
>

        Then you need to learn how to perform simple Internet searches. (And
replace your apparently clueless "guru.") You could easily have found
free solutions, had you looked. Or, better yet, if you had taken the
time to learn to safely use your own computer, none of this would have
been necessary.
        

> WHEN can Computer Users, find GOOD PROGRAMMES, Which are FOOLPROOF, at a
> Reasonable Cost?
>

        
        Just as soon as those computer users accept responsibility for the
consequences of their own actions. Just as soon as computer users stop
expecting a computer to be no more complicated to use than a toaster
oven. But, as for "foolproof?" Never - fools are so damned ingenious;
they're always finding new ways to screw up.

> IF, I purchase ANY, which is worthwhile ? NONE at the Moment .
> Can you PLEASE INFORM COMPUTER OWNERS, When you have programmes on which
> they can really rely?
> Dave.
>
>

     There are several essential components to computer security: a
knowledgeable and pro-active user, a properly configured firewall,
reliable and up-to-date antivirus software, and the prompt repair (via
patches, hotfixes, or service packs) of any known vulnerabilities.

     The weakest link in this "equation" is, of course, the computer
user. No software manufacturer can -- nor should they be expected
to -- protect the computer user from him/herself. All too many people
have bought into the various PC/software manufacturers marketing
claims of easy computing. They believe that their computer should be
no harder to use than a toaster oven; they have neither the
inclination or desire to learn how to safely use their computer. All
too few people keep their antivirus software current, install patches
in a timely manner, or stop to really think about that cutesy link
they're about to click. These people are a danger to themselves and others.

     Firewalls and anti-virus applications, which should always be used
and should always be running, are important components of "safe hex,"
but they cannot, and should not be expected to, protect the computer
user from him/herself. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon each and
every computer user to learn how to secure his/her own computer.

     To learn more about practicing "safe hex," start with these links:

Protect Your PC
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/default.asp

Home Computer Security
http://www.cert.org/homeusers/HomeComputerSecurity/

  List of Antivirus Software Vendors
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;49500

Home PC Firewall Guide
http://www.firewallguide.com/

Scumware.com
http://www.scumware.com/

-- 
Bruce Chambers
Help us help you:
http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having 
both at once. - RAH


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