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Help: Non-music computer virus question

GUEST,BigDaddy 08 Oct 01 - 11:21 PM
Mike Byers 08 Oct 01 - 11:50 PM
Amergin 09 Oct 01 - 01:43 AM
Escamillo 09 Oct 01 - 02:14 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 09 Oct 01 - 11:49 PM
wysiwyg 10 Oct 01 - 12:36 AM
SeanM 10 Oct 01 - 01:26 AM
Amos 10 Oct 01 - 09:47 AM
MMario 10 Oct 01 - 09:58 AM
Mike Byers 10 Oct 01 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 10 Oct 01 - 03:28 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Oct 01 - 04:23 PM
Snuffy 10 Oct 01 - 06:33 PM
Amergin 10 Oct 01 - 06:50 PM
Don Firth 10 Oct 01 - 06:56 PM
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Subject: Non-music computer virus question
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 11:21 PM

I want to pick your collective brains...at least those of you who are computer savvy (I suspect there are many of you out there). I've been using a PC for years now and have never really been a target of "SPAM," or much of anything else unwanted. Now, in the past week, I've been sent three separate emails, each of which carried a "worm" virus attachment. I scanned each of these with "Norton Antivirus" and so headed off potential problems. I simply deleted the infected emails without downloading. My questions are these; is this a common occurence? Do such emails generally target one person at a time (these aren't group or bulk mailings)? What action should one take? Who does this sort of thing and why? Many thanks in advance for any enlightenment.


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Mike Byers
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 11:50 PM

Quite a few of these worms will send themselves to everyone on your e-mail list, and thus attempt to spread themselves. It's a fairly common problem, as the virus/worm often exploits flaws in Microsoft software which, as you know, is also quite common. Some will also infect computers using other e-mail programs and operating systems as well. You're already doing the right thing by using an anti-virus program (be sure to keep this updated)and by being careful about what e-mails you open. If you're using Windows, it's also a good idea to check the Windows Update website for any fixes they might have to offer. It doesn't have much to do with viruses/worms, but www.grc.com has some useful information on making computers that use Windows less vulnerable to intrusions, such as a means of closing ports that Windows leaves open by default. If you're connected through a cable modem or use a system that is otherwise always connected to the net, I'd suggest a firewall such as Zone Alarm. If you happen to be running a Linux box, I can direct you to some very good Linux security information; just let me know.


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Amergin
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 01:43 AM

don't use oe...


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Escamillo
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 02:14 AM

On top of Mike's excellent advice, I can only say that the intentions of the authors of these pests are various:

1) Simple terrorism against a hi-tech communication system

2) Money-making: each name and e-mail address that they can steal from your PC, be your contact list or the lists carried up by e-mails you receive, has a great value for building huge lists for marketing (and SPAM) purposes. Those lists are sold at good prices, even higher when they include personal tastes, sites visited, purchases you make, economic position, and the like. For this reason each SPAM mail tells you "if you want to be withdrawn from our lists, please send an e-mail to ...". Send that e-mail and you are confirming that your address is real and active, and then will be caught forever.

These days many bogus campaigns are circulating: "Sign for peace in the United Nations Campaign", "Be part of the Presidential Praying Team", etc. I would say that ANY campaign that asks for your personal information or e-mail address, and recommends to distribute it to your contact list, IS bogus and should be erased immediately.

Best regards from Argentina - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 09 Oct 01 - 11:49 PM

Thank you all. Is there any way to "nail" the character(s) who send these things? And Amergin, what is "oe?"


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 12:36 AM

oe = Outlook Express-- many of the current virus and worm activity preys on this program and works through it, inviting infection of everything else on the system.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: SeanM
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 01:26 AM

About the only way to 'nail' the perpetrators of a virus is to either be 'in the know' enough in the hacker community to catch someone bragging about the release (in which case, it's unlikely you'd be there to 'nail' them), or to deconstruct the virus, examine the programming code, and look for the various 'footprints' left behind. An astounding number of virii are either deranged pranks or odd vanity programs - the programmers happily leave their names behind to prove that they were the ones doing it. Others fit certain profiles known to be associated with certain groups.

Unfortunately, it all translates out that there's little chance of recourse for an 'ordinary' user who's been attacked. Prevention is pretty much all you can hope for.

M


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Amos
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 09:47 AM

'Course you could migrate to a better operating system; I am partial to MacOS9.2, myself, because it just shrugs off these things. Another small side-benefit of thinking differently.

Regards,

A.


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: MMario
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 09:58 AM

Amos - some of the newer worms don't radically effect the MACS - but can cause your computer to act as a "typhoid mary" type carrier. (That is IF the mac uses MS OFFICE, tho' why any sane Mac user would is beyond me.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Mike Byers
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:08 AM

I probably should mention that some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) do a better job than others when it comes to providing server-level protection against viruses and spam (unwanted e-mail). Since I changed to an ISP that is serious about this, I haven't had any spam at all. No Viagra ads, no get-rich-quick schemes; nothing at all like this. It will probably catch up with me in time, but right now it's a refreshing change from the tremedous amount of garbage I got every day via my former ISP. Lyris makes a nice server-level program called Mail Guard and while it isn't perfect, it helps. And while it's probably futile to wish for this, I do wish people wouldn't apply the term "hacker" to people who create viruses and worms and are generally out to cause trouble for others. The "hackers" I associate with are just people who like to fool around with computers and create interesting and useful programs. To me (and many other people) being a "hacker" means being a computer enthusiast who is interested in learning more about computers and programs and has nothing to do with the crooks and jerks who cause problems. I just had to say this; now I feel all better :)


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 03:28 PM

Thanks again, all of you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 04:23 PM

I though Macs were virus enough...

,-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 06:33 PM

Is it that Microsoft is inherently crappy, or is that virus writers prefer to hit a target with 2,000,000,000 users rather than waste their time writing a virus that will hit 14 users?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Amergin
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 06:50 PM

a bit of both....


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Subject: RE: Help: Non-music computer virus question
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 06:56 PM

I use Outlook Express, and in two years I've only been targeted four times. That was within a few days and all four attempts came from the same source -- my wife's cousin's home computer. My wife Barbara's cousin Janice works at the local university, and the university's computers were infected. Janice managed to infect her home computer by e-mailing her husband. Once they knew about it, they got the university's resident exorcist to come out and get rid of it.

It attacked our computer when Janice e-mailed Barbara (before she even knew she had a virus), but Norton Antiviris identified it (Kakworm) coming down the wire, put it into a "quarantine" file, and splashed a big, red warning across the screen. All we had to do was pull up Norton Antivirus and delete the quarantined file. No sweat.

Be sure you have a good antivirus program and update it frequently. I do mine every week.

Don Firth


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