Viruses

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Chet, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Chet

    Chet Guest

    I am taking the liberty to post below a message posted by my son on his
    personal blog:

    Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the virus-du-jour to
    get into the system here at home. No trouble really - it just fried them and
    then told me about it afterwards. Just like Pongo (his dog) tries to do with
    visitors at the door.

    I was a bit disappointed with the Washington Post's write-up of the virus
    though, particularly the claim that "The issue isn't necessarily security
    flaws in Microsoft's products so much as it is gullible computer users who
    continue to ignore the advice of cyber-security experts and the office
    techie down the hall."

    I'm sorry, but if I can manage to keep Norton up-to-date, and Norton
    apparently can dispatch this virus without a hitch, then if a virus gets
    into a business network via e-mail the "office techie down the hall" needs
    to be reviewing his career options. My only disappointment is that my ISP
    and host either don't or won't eliminate viruses before they even get to my
    inbox.
     
    Chet, Jan 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. Chet

    Duane Arnold Guest

    "Chet" <> wrote in
    news:AeFRb.166839$I06.1656433@attbi_s01:

    > I am taking the liberty to post below a message posted by my son on
    > his personal blog:
    >
    > Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the
    > virus-du-jour to get into the system here at home. No trouble really -
    > it just fried them and then told me about it afterwards. Just like
    > Pongo (his dog) tries to do with visitors at the door.
    >
    > I was a bit disappointed with the Washington Post's write-up of the
    > virus though, particularly the claim that "The issue isn't
    > necessarily security flaws in Microsoft's products so much as it is
    > gullible computer users who continue to ignore the advice of
    > cyber-security experts and the office techie down the hall."


    As far as I am concerned, it is the user who is responsible for this by
    having happy fingers that click on things that should not have done so on
    a Website, opening email attachments and downloading things etc., etc.
    they should not have done so that leads to the compromise of the machine.

    The user seems to be not educated security wise enough to use common
    sense. When common sense is not used and the user does something anyway
    or is ignorant to the situation, then no software security solution in
    the world can stop the user from themselves.

    >
    > I'm sorry, but if I can manage to keep Norton up-to-date, and Norton
    > apparently can dispatch this virus without a hitch, then if a virus
    > gets into a business network via e-mail the "office techie down the
    > hall" needs to be reviewing his career options. My only disappointment
    > is that my ISP and host either don't or won't eliminate viruses before
    > they even get to my inbox.


    Once again, the office techie cannot account for the ignorance of the
    user who will do something that leads to the compromise of the machine,
    which in turn, leads to the compromise of the network.

    And again, it's not the ISP's job to protect you. The ISP's job is to
    provide you with an Internet connection. That buck stops with you in the
    protection. It's up to you to have the software such as an firewall and
    AV configured properly on the machine with a possible configuration of
    the O/S to protect itself from attack for those who are concerned about
    the protection of the machine from the Internet. That along with
    practicing Safe HEX and one's common sense goes a long way. The ISP
    cannot protect you from you.

    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Jan 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. Chet

    Chet Guest


    > Once again, the office techie cannot account for the ignorance of the
    > user who will do something that leads to the compromise of the machine,
    > which in turn, leads to the compromise of the network.

    The presumption here is that it is the office "techie" who maintains the
    desktop machines and that if they were properly maintained the individual
    user wouldn't even have a choice to open an identified virus.
     
    Chet, Jan 28, 2004
    #3
  4. Chet

    Duane Arnold Guest

    "Chet" <> wrote in message
    news:lGPRb.173488$xy6.815555@attbi_s02...
    >
    > > Once again, the office techie cannot account for the ignorance of the
    > > user who will do something that leads to the compromise of the machine,
    > > which in turn, leads to the compromise of the network.

    > The presumption here is that it is the office "techie" who maintains the
    > desktop machines and that if they were properly maintained the individual
    > user wouldn't even have a choice to open an identified virus.
    >
    >


    <snip>
    Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the virus-du-jour to
    get into the system here at home. No trouble really - it just fried them and
    then told me about it afterwards. Just like Pongo (his dog) tries to do with
    visitors at the door.
    <snip>

    Base on those statements, what software on the machine is going to stop you
    from opening an email? How can a computer be configured so that someone who
    is looking at the email in the INBOX can be *stopped* from clicking on the
    email an opening it?

    The developers of malware programs such as virus and worms are always one
    step ahead of the developers who write the programs such as AV(s) to stop
    them. So a zero day exploit virus or worm hits in the wild/Internet and
    reaches a machine that the AV does not recognize.

    The user clicks on it knowing that the email was from no one that they know
    but it states *Hey I got an Prize for you* in the title and he or she opens
    it? What do you think is going to happen?

    Like I said, nothing can stop you from you. The machine cannot be
    configured, there is no software on the machine that can do it, and the
    "techie" is not going to sit on your shoulder to help you protect you from
    you.

    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Jan 28, 2004
    #4
  5. Chet

    Trent© Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 18:04:46 GMT, "Duane Arnold" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Chet" <> wrote in message
    >news:lGPRb.173488$xy6.815555@attbi_s02...
    >>
    >> > Once again, the office techie cannot account for the ignorance of the
    >> > user who will do something that leads to the compromise of the machine,
    >> > which in turn, leads to the compromise of the network.

    >> The presumption here is that it is the office "techie" who maintains the
    >> desktop machines and that if they were properly maintained the individual
    >> user wouldn't even have a choice to open an identified virus.
    >>
    >>

    >
    ><snip>
    >Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the virus-du-jour to
    >get into the system here at home. No trouble really - it just fried them and
    >then told me about it afterwards. Just like Pongo (his dog) tries to do with
    >visitors at the door.
    ><snip>
    >
    >Base on those statements, what software on the machine is going to stop you
    >from opening an email? How can a computer be configured so that someone who
    >is looking at the email in the INBOX can be *stopped* from clicking on the
    >email an opening it?


    Mail proxy server...they're used all the time.

    >The developers of malware programs such as virus and worms are always one
    >step ahead of the developers who write the programs such as AV(s) to stop
    >them. So a zero day exploit virus or worm hits in the wild/Internet and
    >reaches a machine that the AV does not recognize.


    There's heuristic scanning.

    >The user clicks on it knowing that the email was from no one that they know
    >but it states *Hey I got an Prize for you* in the title and he or she opens
    >it? What do you think is going to happen?


    If done properly...nothing. Its already been scanned by the proxy
    server.

    >Like I said, nothing can stop you from you. The machine cannot be
    >configured, there is no software on the machine that can do it, and the
    >"techie" is not going to sit on your shoulder to help you protect you from
    >you.


    I disagree, of course...per the above.


    Have a nice week...

    Trent

    If the cheese isn't yours...its Nacho cheese, man!
     
    Trent©, Jan 28, 2004
    #5
  6. Chet

    Duane Arnold Guest

    Trent© <> wrote in
    news::

    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 18:04:46 GMT, "Duane Arnold" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"Chet" <> wrote in message
    >>news:lGPRb.173488$xy6.815555@attbi_s02...
    >>>
    >>> > Once again, the office techie cannot account for the ignorance of
    >>> > the user who will do something that leads to the compromise of the
    >>> > machine, which in turn, leads to the compromise of the network.
    >>> The presumption here is that it is the office "techie" who maintains
    >>> the desktop machines and that if they were properly maintained the
    >>> individual user wouldn't even have a choice to open an identified
    >>> virus.
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >><snip>
    >>Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the
    >>virus-du-jour to get into the system here at home. No trouble really -
    >>it just fried them and then told me about it afterwards. Just like
    >>Pongo (his dog) tries to do with visitors at the door.
    >><snip>
    >>
    >>Base on those statements, what software on the machine is going to
    >>stop you from opening an email? How can a computer be configured so
    >>that someone who is looking at the email in the INBOX can be *stopped*
    >> from clicking on the email an opening it?

    >
    > Mail proxy server...they're used all the time.


    I get so much junk email at work it is staggering. And most places of
    business at least the ones I have worked at as a programmer in a
    corporate environment are not going to invest time, money or resources to
    deal with it.

    No mail proxy server has ever been used that I have ever worked at and
    besides it's more than about some email situation compromising a machine.
    There are other ways that will compromise a machine and 99.9% is directly
    due to some Human Being making that decision that allows the compromise.
    Something must be clicked on and something must be ok'ed or done for it
    to happen. It does just not happen by itself.


    >
    >>The developers of malware programs such as virus and worms are always
    >>one step ahead of the developers who write the programs such as AV(s)
    >>to stop them. So a zero day exploit virus or worm hits in the
    >>wild/Internet and reaches a machine that the AV does not recognize.

    >
    > There's heuristic scanning.


    A bunch of BS in most cases. Just the other day, I had an alert by
    BlackIce that saw the *Double_Email_Virus_Extention* coming in the TCP/IP
    traffic from my ISP's POP3 server. While NOD32 on the other hand which
    uses heuristic technology and is also scanning the TCP/IP traffic, never
    even blinked on the situation.

    >
    >>The user clicks on it knowing that the email was from no one that
    >>they know but it states *Hey I got an Prize for you* in the title and
    >>he or she opens it? What do you think is going to happen?

    >
    > If done properly...nothing. Its already been scanned by the proxy
    > server.


    What? Is the whole world using a proxy server? If it was, then no one
    would be getting infected now would they -- no worm, no backdoors no
    nothing. And the operative words there are *done correctly* -- yeah
    right.

    >
    >>Like I said, nothing can stop you from you. The machine cannot be
    >>configured, there is no software on the machine that can do it, and
    >>the "techie" is not going to sit on your shoulder to help you protect
    >>you from you.


    The moment you think that (technology/some program) is the stop all end
    all solution is the moment you'll be compromised. They are just programs
    running written by ugly sacks of mostly water and we are not infallible.
    So how can anything we create not be infallible?

    Nothinsg is infallible and nothiging is 100% hack proof -- nothing.

    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Jan 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Chet

    Jerry G. Guest

    The problem to have optimum scanner protection, is that the engineers who
    are writing the data files for their virus scanner products are having
    problems to keep up with the latest viruses. They can only implement the
    new codes when they have the samples to work with, and must take the time to
    do the work. The heuristic scanning is limited to what may or may not be a
    virus. This type of scanning is not decisive all the time.

    As for the ISP's protecting the users, their responsibility is to give
    access to the internet. They cannot be held responsible for all that is out
    there!

    As for the Spam mail, some ISP operators are trying to block this, or offer
    blocking services. The problem is that they may accidentally block
    legitimate software's, because of some users having a subscription or a
    service where the subject line may have a combination of words that looks
    like a Spammer subject line. It is impossible to block Spammers by email,
    because their return addresses and tracings are mostly masked, random, or a
    spoof of a legitimate user.

    As for IT support engineers in a business environment, the protection for
    his users are only as good as the most up to date virus scanners. Many users
    even find ways to bypass the company system's security. The more you close
    up the holes, the more the users will somehow find a way around them. Many
    of the large companies are now blocking free mail services, because users
    can download attachments, and open Spam mail through their browsers with
    little control. Infact, it is impossible to block every combination of sites
    and services. Sometimes a user can access an undesired service though
    another site, or by some other means.

    It is very hard to control users from downloading software's, and visiting
    undesirable sites. It is possible to put restrictions for installing
    software's on machines. But, the users may have to use some types of
    software's where they need to make updates to the registry. There may be a
    limit to how much restriction can be put on a machine, and the users be able
    to do their jobs.

    No matter what is done, it is impossible to have a fully protected system. I
    have seen situations in large corporations where users somehow found ways to
    defeat the security, and compromise the system. The engineering group can
    only keep up to a certain degree. The IT support engineer cannot be behind
    every user, and watching all their activities. I have even seen a user
    figure out how to defeat the virus scanner in his machine! He was doing
    this, because he found that his machine was a bit faster when he was working
    on very large spread sheets. He would then check his emails, and forget to
    turn the scanner back on again!

    The bottom line is that the users must be educated. When you want to drive a
    car, you know that you must stop at the red lights and stop signs. You know
    that you cannot exceed the speed limit, and also know not to run over people
    that are crossing the street. Maybe there should be a better system of
    education about how to use the net.

    Many companies are starting to have safe computing education for their
    users. They are then giving exams, and the users must have a certain degree
    of safe knowledge before being allowed to use company computers. If the
    users cannot pass the required knowledge of a safe level of computing, they
    should not be using computers. This is a viable answer that many companies
    are now starting to look at.

    It is like the responsibility of safety is with the driver of a car, then it
    should also be with the user (driver) of a computer.

    --

    Greetings,

    Jerry Greenberg GLG Technologies GLG
    =========================================
    WebPage http://www.zoom-one.com
    Electronics http://www.zoom-one.com/electron.htm
    =========================================


    "Chet" <> wrote in message
    news:AeFRb.166839$I06.1656433@attbi_s01...
    I am taking the liberty to post below a message posted by my son on his
    personal blog:

    Little Norton here has already zapped two attempts by the virus-du-jour to
    get into the system here at home. No trouble really - it just fried them and
    then told me about it afterwards. Just like Pongo (his dog) tries to do with
    visitors at the door.

    I was a bit disappointed with the Washington Post's write-up of the virus
    though, particularly the claim that "The issue isn't necessarily security
    flaws in Microsoft's products so much as it is gullible computer users who
    continue to ignore the advice of cyber-security experts and the office
    techie down the hall."

    I'm sorry, but if I can manage to keep Norton up-to-date, and Norton
    apparently can dispatch this virus without a hitch, then if a virus gets
    into a business network via e-mail the "office techie down the hall" needs
    to be reviewing his career options. My only disappointment is that my ISP
    and host either don't or won't eliminate viruses before they even get to my
    inbox.
     
    Jerry G., Jan 29, 2004
    #7
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