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Re: WashingtonPost computer security stories

  • From: Hank Nussbacher
  • Date: Sun Aug 15 12:08:11 2004

Oh how I agree!  I have 3 computers at home and have lived through
rebuilding 2 of them multiple times due to everything stated.  My personal
computer has never had to be rebuilt because I run with ZApro and CA AV,
but I came near to it when I took down ZApro for 15 minutes to run a
Retina scan on something and some virus/worm got in and it took some
registry editting and safe mode work to get it removed - and I know what I
am doing.

But my son's computer is now DOA and I refuse to take the 8-12 hours to
rebuild it from scratch - again for the 3rd time.  He knows to run with
ZApro and CA AV but he loads up everything and runs all these P2P programs
and online games and downloads and it would appear that W2K with all MS
patches installed - even tweaked and hardened with a personal firewall and
an uptodate AV are no match for a 15 year to ruin it.

I put the blame not on the AV vendors but strictly on MS for building a


On Sun, 15 Aug 2004, Sean Donelan wrote:

> The Washington Post is running a group of stories this weekend about
> computer security and the problems a reporter went through with her
> Windows 98 computer.
> Interestingly, instead of ISPs the articles identify other sources
> of frustration for even technically savvy home computer user with
> software vendors and overzealous advertisers.
> A Digital Doctor Treats Computer Contamination
> By Glenn Paterson
> Special to The Washington Post
> Sunday, August 15, 2004; Page F01
> [...]
> Her PC was in such bad shape, it required 10 1/2 hours of surgery to
> restore it to working condition.
> [...]
> Finally, I abandoned ship, reinstalling the entire Windows 98 operating
> system to repair the damage to Internet Explorer and allow Kathleen's
> computer to access the Internet and update the Norton AntiVirus
> definitions.
> [...]
> So to sum up, I spent one day cleaning up problems created by
> ne'er-do-well hackers and overzealous advertisers and four more trying to
> resolve a known problem with a product that is supposed to help prevent
> problems, not create new ones. Yes, some of the trouble could have been
> avoided if Kathleen had kept her anti-virus and operating system software
> up to date. However, much of the responsibility lies with Symantec and the
> rest of the computer industry.
> [...]
> What a Tangled Web I Wove
> Computer Naivete Cost Me a Bundle And a Bit of Sanity
> By Kathleen Day
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Sunday, August 15, 2004; Page F01
> My problem began the last Sunday in July, when my nearly teenage daughter,
> newly returned from a month away at camp, announced, "Something's wrong
> with the computer."
>  [...]
> In fact, her comment marked the start of a much larger headache, one that
> launched an odyssey that has taken $800 and roughly 48 man-hours over
> nearly three weeks to end.
> [...]
> I wondered if maybe some of the programs I was trying to kill weren't
> really spyware but something essential to Windows that I shouldn't try to
> delete. I called Microsoft and was passed from operator to operator as I
> asked where I could find a list of legitimate Microsoft applications so I
> would know what to kill and what to leave alone. But the only response I
> got from one person after another -- most of them in foreign tech-support
> centers like those in India I had been reading so much about lately -- was
> that I needed to go to Microsoft's online sales. After 45 minutes of this,
> I hung up. Then I gave up. I actually stood up and walked away from my
> computer.
> [...]

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