TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)

Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)
13 Jul 2006 21:48:03 GMT

In article <>, Gene S. Berkowitz
<> wrote:

> In article <>,
> says:

>> In article <>, Gene S. Berkowitz
>> <> wrote:

>>> I don't run a virus checker; I do run a software firewall, and my 5
>>> PCs are behind a router. I have zero infections on any of the PCs I
>>> have running at home.

>> If you don't run a virus checker, how do you know?

> Because my systems operate the same as when I initially set them up, I
> periodically monitor my ethernet traffic for unusual activity, and I
> don't have crashes, pop-ups, or other trouble.

In other words, you don't. All you can say is that you haven't seen
any obvious signs of infection.

Monitoring for suspicious (or known malicious) activity is good, but
any security person will tell you that it's only part of the solution.

> Honestly, when was the last time you ACTUALLY had a virus infect or
> try to infect your system? The virus threat is vastly over-reported,
> with the big numbers coming from single strains infecting large
> corporate networks.

Well, I use Linux. :-P But I've found and cleaned viruses from my
kids' systems in the last couple of years (I believe it was after
Norton expired and before I installed Avast!), and just spent an
afternoon cleaning a couple of systems at a friend's house. All of
these systems sit behind NAT gateways (and a firewall, in my case), so
any infection came via IM, web browser or email. Most likely
browser-related, but I don't have any way to know for sure. In the
case of my kids' systems they had no clue they were infected, the
systems showed no unusual symptoms.

>> And you don't use IM?

> No, I don't, except over my company's VPN, then using a secure client
> that does not support remote execution of code.

Most exploits don't depend on any application support for executing
code. They typically use buffer or stack overflows to inject code and
break out of the application into a system shell. You can use the most
"secure" client you want, but if it has any vulnerability of that sort
then you're at the mercy of whatever is on the other end.

I assume you also restrict your login priviledges, and don't have
yourself configured with "Administrator" priviledges?

>> Even only visiting sites you trust isn't good enough -- there have
>> been several reputable sites responsible for spreading infections
>> because the site serving their banner ads got compromised, and they
>> were serving infected content with the ads.

> Which pales in comparison to the amount of damage done by similar
> companies who put their client's or employee's data on unsecured, easily
> stolen laptops.

I wasn't trying to make any sort of comparison about relative risk,
only pointing out that you can't make claims about safety just because
you only surf "trusted" sites.

> Excuse me, but throwing RAM at a problem caused by poorly written crap
> simply leads to more poorly written crap. In 3 years, you'd be writing
> " wouldn't even try to run Vista 2010 Pro with less than 128GB of RAM,
> and generally prefer 1TB."

<sigh> I won't disagree with your sentiment about poorly written code.
All I'm saying is that you're going to spend a lot of time and effort
with minimal return, because there's not a lot you can do about the
bloat in XP. Cleaning up the taskbar is good, but it's not going to
make a significant difference in performance. However, spending $40 to
add another 512M of RAM will result in immediate and noticable

John Meissen

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: mc: "Re: Pre A/C Central Office Ventilation?"
Go to Previous message: mc: "Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
May be in reply to: "Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
Next in thread: DLR: "Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page