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Old 03-23-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
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My computer

Well, I am back on-line after a few days, because my computer was with our tech guy getting reloaded. It seems that I picked up some fucked up virus that grenaded my machine so it wouldn't do anything but blue screen. I lost about 22 hours of office productivity, but I did improve my handicap at the links while waiting on it to be fixed, so I guess while not being a win-win, it was at least a push. ;-)

I want to share that this particular virus was not something I got from clicking on anything in particular. Tech explained to me that these cocksucking hackers have created a way to simply have it load up when your web page loads, disguising it as something innocuous. I was pretty fucking steamed yesterday, so much so that I missed four consecutive three and a half foot putts and spilled my beer on the seat of the golf cart.

Anyway, please check your virus software out for any up-dates, because the fix is out there, but unless you up-date your virus stuff, you may catch this thing.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Repairing virii and malware infections is a loathesome chore. One day, I hope my wife improves her cyber kung fu enough to avoid them. As it is, I lose several days of productivity every year cleaning up her computer.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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Yes, there are drive-by viruses out there if your browser allows them. Most can be stopped, even without new security patches, simply by setting some security settings in your browser to disallow a bunch of things, such as code execution from the 'net.
(almost anything automatic can be a problem)

For some, this turns of a few features of web sites, and they won't do it - and the default settings of some browsers (mainly explorer) permit some - their email program uses the browser core code, so it has the same problems.

While its not a solution for everyone, replacing your browser with Firefox (don't think I could live without the adblock+ plugin here), and keeping updates up to date will mostly do it without virus scanning software that often both misses the virus, and wastes so much machine time it might as well be one itself.

Here, I run Linux, in particular Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, on almost my entire network. That alone - no problems, rock solid. It's what I want as an opsys, customizeable the way I like. I run windows in a virtual machine created by VirtualBox. It can still get viruses, since it's real windows. But! In Virtualbox, you can save your entire state of a virtual windows machine with a click, and just revert to a known good one with another click...

I do this as I develop code using windows-only tools now and then. I actually have 4-5 completely different windows machines - but I can run any or all of them on any of the machines on my network at any time. So each real machine tends to have a backup copy of each one. (you don't want to run windows disk access across your network, too slow, so you make local copies)

While this doesn't solve the problem of, today I have a virus, and I need to recover yesterday's work completely - it does more often than not. This is because even if a windows machine gets so hosed it can't boot, the linux host running all this can peer into the windows files, suck out what you want, then push it to another windows instance that *isn't* hosed and restore them there - then you just erase the bad one.

There are actually a couple of ways to get this one done, that's just the way I do it here. You can also dual-boot, using linux just as a way to do that when windows gets borked.

In my setup, I set aside some disk space in a directory called pub, that all the windows virtual machines are setup to access and put most files into. That it's actually a directory on a linux partition windows isn't aware of - it's a network share as far as its concerned. That way, either opsys - from any machine real or virtual - has access to all the bulk of my important files all the time. This also makes that stuff very easy to do deep backup on - you just copy that dir to something else.

I prevent my emails and such things as my "little black book of logins" from getting scattered around by using just one machine for email and that. There's almost no learning curve there.

I have to mention - if you surf porn - that's still where a ton of the problems come from. Only do that on a separate dedicated machine that's locked down tight, or you're really taking chances.

I know there are some other computer guys here - any other good schemes out there?
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
...
I have to mention - if you surf porn - that's still where a ton of the problems come from. Only do that on a separate dedicated machine that's locked down tight, or you're really taking chances.

I know there are some other computer guys here - any other good schemes out there?






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Old 03-23-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Preventing scripts from running unless specifically granted, keeps out most of the crap. Not absolutely everything, but 97% of the browser stuff.

Also using a low-compatibility browser - any low-uptake browser that lots of stuff fails to work on properly, also results in many malware/virus packages failing to work (they are software, after all - even when you take into account the darwinnian element).

Not downloading and installing hacker warez eliminates nearly 100% of the offline badness - that's where most the really nasty viruses comes from because it's an easy deployment scenario for them - much easier than via browsers.

However any browser measures you take will result in *some* form of pain - such as stopping some of your online accounts from working. Especially payment validation systems like VISA etc. - if you happen to use those. Getting all your important pages to work with active script prevention can take some futzing also.

The whole thing is a mess - the more new sites rely on active material to work and/or look pretty, the more opportunity there is for unwanted native code to run on your box.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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I use Firefox and an add-on called NoScript.

Norton AV.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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So, I got my rig back along with all the software I had on it. Autodesk is a little slow, but I think it's because I haven't had time to re-tweak it. Other than that, I didn't lose much more than the time waiting for the reload.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Welcome back, bud.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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I use avast!. They have a free version, that is what I use and not had problems for a long time. I also avoid sketchy sounding porn sites, haha.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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Firefox with no-script/adblockers running on Ubuntu with free avast! to scan stuff when prudent. Switched to this config a few months back because windoze bit the dust on my for the last time.

I also have a cheap old laptop (like 12 years old, 640k, 1.3Ghz) that can run Ubuntu just fine, so it makes for a good backup machine when the main one dies.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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For my critical stuff that puts food on my table, I use pre-Intel Macs with no virus protection. There has never been any recorded malware for them, and now there never will be. Downside is that I can never viably upgrade my critical stuff to a newer system should the need ever arise.

BTW, I woke up to 2 inches of snow on the 22nd. Did not all melt until yesterday. More snow then than all of the rest of the winter combined. Latest snow ever recorded here by two weeks. Where is this supposed global warming at?
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