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douglaswmartin
June 19th, 2005, 02:35 PM
"AOL runs 'the most infected network on the internet'".

I just thought that might cheer everyone up.

More at : www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1506912,00.html

- Douglas.

MollyM/CA
June 19th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Why are we not surprised.

And it did cheer me up.

:eek:

PeteHall
June 19th, 2005, 05:55 PM
"AOL runs 'the most infected network on the internet'"

That's not how AOL UK describe their network...

All part of the service
* Feel safe and secure online with anti-virus scanning on emails, spam filters, pop-up blockers and Parental Controls
* For added security we’ll even give you McAfee Firewall protection...

Nick Parkin
June 20th, 2005, 02:47 AM
Hi Douglas, nice to see you again.

My understanding of the article is that AOL's users are more infected than anyone else's users - perhaps someone more knowledgable could correct me?

If my interpretation is correct then surely those of us not using AOL's networks are no safer than those using AOL's networks?



"AOL runs 'the most infected network on the internet'".

I just thought that might cheer everyone up.

More at : www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1506912,00.html

- Douglas.

douglaswmartin
June 20th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Hello Nick.

Yes, it seems that AOL's users are the least inclined (or able) to disinfect their machines.

I suppose any machine or network is perfectly secure if no-one uses it.

Kind regards,

- Douglas.

Nick Parkin
June 20th, 2005, 02:32 PM
That wasn't quite what I meant. I'm no expert by any means, but I know enough to use things like Shields Up to check my security, & this has given me an understanding of the threats. Whilst AOLs users maybe the most infected, they & we are connected to the internet & thus the infected AOL users are as much of a threat to the general internet world as to other AOL users.

It is truly frightening how little security the average internet user has, & how big the threat to the unprotected is. 2 examples from my own experience:

1) After I learned of my own vulnerability from Shields Up I downloaded a "Port Sniffer" & took a random look at the internet. I found that I could access some or all of the HDD of about 10% of the users on the internet (not just deliberately shared folders, but their private data). This without any special hacking knowledge, & using free s/w. Of that 10% - I could see that 100% had a trojan in the root directory. :eek:

2) I run a clean PC, this started because I reformatted the HDD, & installed from scratch, & now use Ghost to ensure that I stay clean. But the 1st time I reformatted, I allowed Windows to access the internet to download drivers as part of the installation ..... without realising that I hadn't set up a Firewall! I was infected with a trojan before windows had finished installing the drivers! :mad: Luckily, having realised my mistake it was just a matter of reformatting & starting again. :)

I guess what I am saying is that it's a jungle out there, & no wonder everyone I know is buying a Mac :D

Hello Nick.
I suppose any machine or network is perfectly secure if no-one uses it.

Kind regards,

- Douglas.

MollyM/CA
June 20th, 2005, 04:17 PM
<But the 1st time I reformatted, I allowed Windows to access the internet to download drivers as part of the installation ...

I was having trouble with Windows update so asked Windows Update for help --by the time their "expert" was finished he'd farkled the access to the update site entirely, installed two Trojans, and insisted that I use a program of his choice to "check" for spyware/adware, which turned out to be the worst piece of adware I've ever seen.

Nick Parkin
June 21st, 2005, 03:23 AM
Molly - reformat & follow my strategy below & you will never need MS support again. :D

I find Windows XP works perfectly, but only by use of Ghost, which is a program which takes a "Drive Image". Basically I run 2 HDD & it works like this:

The Primary HDD is Partitioned as C: & E:

C: has Windows & the Applications
E: is a Backup of D:

The Second HDD is D: & contains My Documents & all Data

In that Data are regular Drive Images taken by Ghost. I started from a clean installation, & take a new image every time I install something. If as a result of something like installing a new Application, a crash, whatever Windows starts misbehaving, I don't waste time trying to fix it, I just restore the last working OS.

It hasn't happened yet, but (touch wood) in the event of a HDD failure I ought not to lose anything because each HDD is backed up on the other.


If anyone reading this wants to pursue this strategy here are some additional helpful details:

For the Data Backup I use Powerquest Datakeeper which came with Partition Magic. This continually monitors my data, & keeps the backup totally current.

Symantec have bundled Ghost with Systemworks & it to the comes with something dreadful & useless instead of a Help file. Fortunately there is http://radified.com/index2.html which I cannot praise enough, not only because of it's great advice for using Ghost, but also the many brilliant tips for dealing with windows.

Symantec bought the Ghost company & until recently had restricted their "improvements" :rolleyes: to the help. Now according to Radified they are messing up the program itself, so try & stick to a version from Systemworks 2004 or earlier.

Some might say that for XP you don't need to bother with Drive Images, you can just roll back the OS using System Restore. In theory they are right, but I have 4 reasons for not doing this:

a) I've been using MS operating systems since DOS 2 & in my experience on mission critical things like backups MS provide very complicated, sophisticated solutions which work perfectly until the moment you use them in anger.

b) With a Drive Image I KNOW it has worked, it is transparent. System Restore is all a bit opaque.

c) If you DO get a Virus which is picked up & destroyed by your 1st class AV s/w (aka AVG) the signature can get recorded in the system files that System Restore creates. This then triggers the AV s/w every time it does a scan, which is a pain, & can only be solved by deleting the System Restore file!

d) System Restore relies on the very OS that you are protecting. You can't pull yourself up by your boot straps! Ghost creates a bootable system disc, either a floppy or CD, & you can install from that if all else fails.

e) System Restore can't protect against HDD in the same way as the Ghost strategy that I described.

<But the 1st time I reformatted, I allowed Windows to access the internet to download drivers as part of the installation ...

I was having trouble with Windows update so asked Windows Update for help --by the time their "expert" was finished he'd farkled the access to the update site entirely, installed two Trojans, and insisted that I use a program of his choice to "check" for spyware/adware, which turned out to be the worst piece of adware I've ever seen.

MollyM/CA
June 22nd, 2005, 08:42 PM
That sounds rather daunting, but I've clipped it and saved it while I think about it!

Between Adobe and Symantec you wonder where the good programs are going next...

Though Adobe doesn't totally destroy the stuff they buy --just quadruples the price and adds silly chrome to make you think you're getting something. (I'm still bitter about CoolEdit...)

Does anyone know anything about the Sandra suite? My nephew uses it in his business and insists it's easy but I can't even get through the descriptions on their website!

Kind regards indeed. Thank you so much for the tutorial. It sounds like a very good idea if I ever get my exterior HDs cleaned up and reorganized. How much space does an image take?

PS: I meant, I feel very kindly regarded indeed! Clarification needed after all the bitching about sig lines & smilies.

Judy G. Russell
June 23rd, 2005, 09:37 PM
the 1st time I reformatted, I allowed Windows to access the internet to download drivers as part of the installation ..... without realising that I hadn't set up a Firewall! I was infected with a trojan before windows had finished installing the drivers!
I know that feeling. I stayed at a B&B last summer and had arranged to use the wireless network there. Shazamm! I was hit with a virus instantly -- the B&B owner had no firewall, no AV software, nothing running.

Jeff
June 24th, 2005, 01:16 PM
I was hit with a virus instantly -- the B&B owner had no firewall, no AV software, nothing running.

Your machine was running bare-assed neked too? Shame on you.

- Yeff

Judy G. Russell
June 24th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Oh no: my own machine intercepted the attack and isolated its effects. But I shuddered to think of everyone else (including the B&B owner) who was using that network!

Nick Parkin
June 27th, 2005, 12:27 PM
I think the problem is that this stuff creeps up on you. It's only 4 years since spam was just a nuisance, & you didn't need a firewall. Someone used to dial-up might not have heard of firewalls.

Oh no: my own machine intercepted the attack and isolated its effects. But I shuddered to think of everyone else (including the B&B owner) who was using that network!

Judy G. Russell
June 27th, 2005, 03:36 PM
That's certainly an issue for most people, for sure. But someone running a business in which she makes internet access available for a fee is simply an idiot if she doesn't either build in the protection or hire someone to build it in for her.

Nick Parkin
June 27th, 2005, 03:50 PM
My OS & Applications take 10G of a 20G partition, the image is 5G.You can put the Image on CDs if you want, & in fact I 1st came across Ghost because the Co. I bought my PC off provided a Ghost Image for recovery. Even Dell have started doing it. The other thing some manufacturers do is put an image in a hidden partition at the end of the HDD, so when a customer who has totallly farkled their HDD phones in, tech support can rewind the OS back to when the machine was sold ... not necessarily what you want if you were attached to what was on the m/c, but an easy solution for tech. support!

It's for backing up your OS & applications rather than data backup.

How much space does an image take?

MollyM/CA
June 27th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Apps and OS are what I need to preserve, especially if I ever get this system untwisted. Symantec seems to have somehow cross-linked itself even though I uninstalled the Norton programs, and I can't use my OED or reinstall it --keep getting messages about .dlls with symantec name in them. Going back to factory configuration is a dreadful thought...

Nick Parkin
June 29th, 2005, 03:13 AM
Well I do commend to you that wot I did a year ago. I had been climbing the curve slowly, getting infected with whatever was new, then cleaning it out with whatever was available, etc etc etc I had a reasonably well working system because of the cleaning, but it's never as good as never having tried that Shareware, or opened that virus in the 1st place.

Finally I set aside a couple of days, spring cleaned & deleted duplicates & un-necessaries in my data. Organised the remains so I might be able to find it. Backed it up twice on different media. Then Reformated, Factory installed, & rebuilt, taking Ghost Images as I went. I now have an utterly clean system with the ability to wind back the clock to where I want.

It's not so bad to do, pays dividends, & by using Ghost you only ever need to do it once.

Pride comes before a fall, even to Smart Alecs .....

my Data HDD just crashed. Of course as I decribed a couple of days ago, it's all automatically backed up in real time, I do this as everything in my life is in Outlook's PST file so it's backed up by Datakeeper on every change, Outlook's Backup Utility when ever I close the program & manually every now & again ....... except I recently installed Copernic Desktop for finding "stuff" & this locks the PST file so it hasn't been backed up for a couple of weeks. & genius had Outlook's own backup going to the same HDD as the data file. I've just gone a little further up the learning curve!

Apps and OS are what I need to preserve, especially if I ever get this system untwisted. Symantec seems to have somehow cross-linked itself even though I uninstalled the Norton programs, and I can't use my OED or reinstall it --keep getting messages about .dlls with symantec name in them. Going back to factory configuration is a dreadful thought...

MollyM/CA
June 29th, 2005, 06:01 PM
Pride goeth?

That's really funny when it's someone else's HD.

I'll probably come to a reinstall sometime.