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Ever had a Computer Virus
Old 10-31-2007, 09:27 PM   #1
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Ever had a Computer Virus

Several other threads on this board have been bantering about Mac and PC viruses. I have had a computer for almost 30 years and never had a confirmed virus. While we hear a lot about viruses, I suspect it is to sell anti-virus software.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:36 PM   #2
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McAfee claimed to have caught one a few years ago.

Got two different ones at work; both were from official HQ documents.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:54 PM   #3
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I can't remember how I caught it (no, it wasn't from a site with lots of women and not a lot of clothing :P ), but in college I wound up with one of those damned Trojan Horses that lets someone control your computer.

one night when I was in my dorm room sitting at my computer, the stupid CD ROM drive opened up!

Then later on, when I was chatting with someone on some chat instant message program, someone butted in and started typing things.

I wound up going to some mIRC chat room and asked for help. Somehow, a light hearted approach I took gave them pity for me, and they gave me some advice on how to help (they could have done anything to my computer at the time). I read on what files/extensions to look for, found them, and sanitized my computer.

Now, I just rely on the free version of Zone Alarm.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:57 PM   #4
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I've had my virus scanner go off when I was meandering through sites that specialized in software of questionable status.

Some worms weasel in through open holes, but a recent model broadband router keeps most of those away.

A decent router, some decent anti virus/spyware, dont go to evil web sites or open attachments from people you dont know or that look suspicious...no problems.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:04 PM   #5
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I've had several over the years and a couple cost me days of lost work and several more days of disc repair. I spend a lot of time online and get a lot of e-mail.

Each time I got one it was because I did something dumb, opened an attachment I didn't recognize, went to a funky website and most embarrassingly, turned off my firewall at hotels so I could log into their virus infested, keylogger den of a wifi system.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:37 PM   #6
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Yes, had a bunch at work. Fun part is they came from our headquarters office and were messages I had to open. Down for days several times. This is with heavy virus protection and active, on site tech support.

All on my PC at work, never had one on my Mac at home.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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Nope.

Firefox, ZoneAlarm and AVG. Also, stay away from odd places and don't open off e-mails.

Turn it off when not in use, too.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:02 AM   #8
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Had several through the years, on the Windows side, never on Mac. Like others, virus and worms came in through work, and through travels. Funny thing, I've taken PCs & Mac to hacker conventions, BlackHat, CSI, etc., and never knowingly been infected on the Mac computer. Granted, when I get home, I reformat to a clean load, but, even that hasn't helped for some of the PC nasties. Dang rootkits and hidden partitions!
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:35 AM   #9
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Good routers, web based email programs with anti-virus screening on the server, and ubiquitous AV programs on PCs has lowered the risk. But if you have seen the havoc a nasty worm can do in a poorly managed corporate network you will not minimize the risk. Nevertheless, these days most of us are plagued more by adware than virii.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:01 AM   #10
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At home, twice we had viruses that got into the root system and we had to wipe the hard drive and reload everything. The first time was very early in the game and we didn't have all needed protection (didn't know better). The second time was when we changed protection systems while also moving from dial up to DSL, so something got dropped during the transitions.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:13 AM   #11
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Oh yeah! I'm currently fighting the problem right now. I've even got the S/W protection, but it got in anyway. I'm going to do a format *.* of the hard drive and reload the everything. I never had the problem when I used dial up. I finally gave in to family pressure and sprung for DSL. Hello virus.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
But if you have seen the havoc a nasty worm can do in a poorly managed corporate network you will not minimize the risk.
My old company believed in running execs through the IT department to see what the customer perspective is like, so I ran some large portions of the internal IT shop, including the networks, email, web and database portions.

Worst stuff that ever happened to us involved huge email video attachments getting redistributed to everyone in the company and clogging up the mail servers, mail routers and blowing up everyones inbox.

We had a couple of worms and small virus outbreaks also caused by people forwarding 'bad' emails, and a couple that automatically sent their evil attachments to everyone on the infected persons distribution list.

Most of it was kept out by good proxies and firewalls, the rest was rooted out by the handful of smarter-than-hackers people we had staying on top of that stuff.

IIRC the problems with 100MB video attachments and mail files that redistributed themselves "infected" all computers regardless of type...
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
We had a couple of worms and small virus outbreaks also caused by people forwarding 'bad' emails, and a couple that automatically sent their evil attachments to everyone on the infected persons distribution list.
Back in the Win95 days before Windows had a firewall (and back before I was willing to pay real money for anti-virus software or firewalls) we got nailed with a virus that took me a couple hours to chase down and clean out.

It infected the computer while we were downloading free anti-virus software. I've wondered if the company's website was surrounded by hackers waiting for unsuspecting customers.

At my last military command the "I Love You" virus invaded our network with an e-mail flood. It was new enough that, although it was widely reported in the media, none of the antivirus companies had yet put out a fix or even an update. Our IT guys were in the process of tracking down the e-mails on our .mil network and deleting them when one of our torpedomen received the e-mail. They knew that a virus of that name was wreaking havoc and they were properly suspicious, so they fired up a virus scanner to check it. Of course the virus scanner cleared it so these affection-starved bone-headed knuckle-draggers clicked on the attachment.

It took a very long time for the torpedomen jokes to die off. Again.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:54 AM   #14
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Had to rebuild the kids computer for spyware they downloaded from some game site. The booger would dynamically rename and reproduce itself ... very hard to weed-out. Use Panda anti-virus now ... no problems since.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:05 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, the inlaws kids computer needed some work a few years ago. No firewall, no anti virus, and they never met a "download this piece of crap for free!!!" popup they didnt like.

I'm guessing that if presented with the machine, most antivirus companies would leave it in the parking lot and take a flamethrower to it.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:21 PM   #16
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Once a few years ago and another attack on Monday.

Two weeks ago I switched from McAfee to Avast.......Avast alerted me but was unable to stop the attacks. I reinstalled McAfee scanned my hard drive and 9 trojans were removed. The damage was already done it corrupted my registry and I still get IE popups that are annoying as hell.

BTW it even deleted all previous system restore points so I was unable to restore it to a previous date.

I will probably perform a system recovery this weekend as a last resort. I hate to do this because of the hassle of reinstalling all software.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:03 PM   #17
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Good idea: external USB disk drive that comes with disk imaging software. Takes me just 20 minutes every now and then to make a full copy.

I like the Apricorn enclosures and their imaging s/w is easy to use and full featured. I dont think it works with Vista yet, but its supposed to be fully operational by 08/07.
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