bobquasit: (Default)
On Saturday we had to make an emergency trip over to Teri's mother's place so I could look at her computer. She thought she had a bad virus. Since I'd installed all of her security software, I was concerned.

It turned out, though, that she wasn't infected. She was getting an attempt to infect her system, one of those browser-exploit bogus antivirus attacks. Fortunately she didn't click on anything, and her security software was up-to-date enough that her system wasn't infected.

But I made an interesting discovery. I'd installed Firefox on her system, and told her to use that instead of Internet Explorer. Nonetheless she was using IE when she nearly got infected. She was looking for directions to an event in Rhode Island; IE was defaulting to searching with Bing, and Bing was bringing up a malware/exploit site within the top three results. That's what my mother-in-law clicked on.

But when I used the exact same search terms in Google, that exploit site DIDN'T appear; the correct site did, instead. So Bing seems to be more hacker-friendly than Google. And she certainly didn't select Bing; Microsoft must have done it for her. So just to be safe, I replaced the guts of her IE program with Google's Chrome Frame. That's a neat feature that speeds up IE and makes it more secure and modern. It's also a brilliant way for Google to undermine IE and replace it.
bobquasit: (Default)
Dear Microsoft,

Just a note to say "hi!" and thanks. I was working on my website, trying to get things done before finally getting some much-needed sleep. But you knew that my work wasn't really important. And that's why you decided to install some important updates and force my computer to restart.

Oh, you gave me a few minutes warning. You even provided a little window with a countdown, saying "X minutes before restart". There was a box that said "Restart Now", and another box that said "Restart Later" - but wacky jokesters that you are, you greyed that "Later" box out! You know I didn't really want the option to wait a few extra minutes and finish my work. No, it's so much more satisfying to have the computer shut down on me against my will, at the command, Microsoft.

I can't help but imagine what the world would be life if you guys ran everything. Say I'm in the middle of a phone conversation with my doctor. I had some tests recently (no, not really, but bear with me - this is dramatic license) and she's going to tell me how I'm doing. Is it cancer, doc?

"BEEP! This is Microsoft. We've installed some important security updates on your phone. Press umlaut to delay hangup. Ha ha! Umlaut isn't an option! Say goodbye! Click...beeeeeeeeeeeeep..."

And just to cap things off, after the computer restarted you thoughtfully didn't bother to restore my programs. FireFox can do it, and it's open source. But you, Microsoft, you're much too busy to bother wasting time considering the convenience of your users. Why, if you did that once, they might expect consideration ALL the time!

So thanks, Microsoft. And fuck you, fuck you very much.

bobquasit: (Default)
I installed the new Google Chrome browser a couple of days ago (the day it was released). As always, one of the first sites I checked was my own RuneQuest site; I wanted to see how it looked. And what do you think was the result?

Well, I kind of gave it away with the subject. Google blocked my site, and said it was infected with malware! I checked it out, and sure enough my index.html was infected with a script exploit. I cleaned it and replaced it. Then I found that index.php was infected too. I couldn't clean it, so I just deleted it. It doesn't seem to have affected the functioning of the site.

Unfortunately my site seems to have been added to a list of bad sites in the meantime. So not only is it blocked by Google Chrome (you have to check a box affirming that you know the site is infected if you want to see it in Chrome) but it's now blocked by my work, too!

I've requested a review by Google. I'm hoping I got all of the infection. I downloaded a fresh copy of everything on the site tonight (after making the fix and deleting the bad file) and ran a scan with AntiVir; everything came up clean.

And that's it. Good night!
bobquasit: (Default)
First, a quick happy birthday to [ profile] dancing_kiralee!

And system was just attacked by something called Winfixer2005. To be honest, I'm not sure what happened. But what made it most disturbing is that I had actually updated and ran my full suite of protection software in the last five hours - that is, before my system got infected. My browser was open - FireFox - and I was trying to vote for my site on the "Top 25" poll when suddenly things slowed down and got weird. All of a sudden popups appeared like crazy, including some full-screen ones, telling me that my registry had been compromised and I needed to buy Winfixer 2005 right away.

I tried to close the popups but, but that just opened new ones. So I went into Task Manager and tried to close the single Winfixer page that was displayed. The response was that the program was waiting for a response from me. Nonetheless I closed it, and immediately ran a full system scan - Ad-Aware and Antivir. Neither reported any problem.

I just did a little research, and it looks as if I may have dodged the bullet - I don't think Winfixer 2005 installed, it was just trying to install. I've shut down and restarted, and haven't got the popups that are the sign of Winfixer. I've tried using both IE and FireFox, still nothing. But this is apparently a very virulent exploit or virus. It makes popups appear even when your browser isn't open. So, word to the wise, watch out.


Dec. 4th, 2004 11:02 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
My monitor no longer displays the color red. Red comes out black, and everything is dark and dull, tending to bluish.

At a guess, the "red gun" in my monitor is no longer firing.

I am screwed.

On a separate note, yesterday and today I did a heroic task: cleaning out my father's computer. Ad-Aware found 251 contaminations, including over 60 registry entries and a process. It crashed when it tried to clean them.

I installed Spybot Search & Destroy, and it did a GREAT job - I recommend it highly. Also Spyware Blaster. Those two, plus the newest Ad-Aware afterwards, cleaned the system and seem to have secured it. You wouldn't believe how bad his system had been - constant pop-ups, to the point that it was unusable. Now it's just fine.

If only my monitor was...I'll have to dig out an old one tomorrow, and hope it works.

Gonna be hard to go back to 15 inches...
bobquasit: (Default)
Things were quiet yesterday (Sebastian was visiting Teri's mother) when I finally got the chance to install the XP service pack 2. I must admit that I was worried; I'd heard that SP2 had killed some systems, and my system is more vulnerable than most.

But it needed to be done.

I'd heard that it was a 75 MB download, but it was actually 92 MB. At several points I feared that the system had frozen and crashed, but each time it turned out to be just...thinking. After all was said and done I restarted, and a security screen came up. Long story short, the whole thing worked well and seems to be a genuine enhancement to XP - I'm shocked!


Jul. 25th, 2004 10:38 am
bobquasit: (Default)
I just had a hell of a scare. This morning I got an email from Yahoo notifying me that my password had been successfully changed.

The only problem was that I hadn't changed it.

Obviously someone had cracked into my account and stolen it. This was doubtless made easier for them because I'd used a very simple password. But I never thought anyone would bother to try to steal my account - why would they?

Unfortunately I was wrong. And I have to hope that the thief didn't read my Yahoo mail because - and I know this was really stupid - I'd emailed my online banking ID and password to myself at Yahoo, in the clear, with each message clearly labelled and the bank's URL included in the message. No thief could possibly ask for more!

I quickly had Yahoo send me the new password (they use one of those personal question recovery things) and used it to change the password to something far less easy to guess. I did likewise for the bank password, and deleted those messages from my Yahoo account. As far as I can tell the bank account hasn't been touched. So I'm hoping that no harm was done.

But it was certainly a terrifying experience.
bobquasit: (Default)
(This is a sketchy re-creation of my original post.)

Once again I have ventured unto the murky and dangerous waters of online lyrics sites, returning to bring warnings and a rare word of praise.

Roster of Shame
lyricsxp .com
songlyrics4u .com
lyricsdepot .com

All three of these sites weren't satisfied with trying to pop up multiple windows - no, they had to try to install some scumware for my browser, too. Avoid!

On the other hand, the next two sites didn't try to pull ANY fast moves; no sneakware, no popups, and I didn't even notice any excessive advertising. Plus the lyrics were nicely presented. Kudos!
DrL Lyrics


bobquasit: (Default)

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