Somebody discovered a way to sneak remotely into Windows computers under some circumstances (only in the laboratory so far, but some smart person will figure it out in the real world eventually). Microsoft has a patch that eliminates the problem, and it’s trying so hard to be sensitive to security issues that a Microsoft guy took the lead in announcing that this was serious and awful and everybody should upgrade immediately. […] continuedRead more
By default, Norton Antivirus 2002 scans outgoing e-mail for viruses. I’ve become unhappy with the way it handles that outgoing mail scan. It typically takes 10-30 seconds before anything happens to a message in the outbox, and then a big window appears in the middle of the screen while NAV scans – a window that sits on top of everything else onscreen and can take 5-15 seconds to go away. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft released a huge patch for Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6 today. It is highly recommended that everyone install this patch immediately. It is a cumulative patch that includes all previous security updates for IE, and adds protection against three new vulnerabilities that were just discovered. Here’s an article about the patch, and here’s the Microsoft page where you can get it. […] continuedRead more
The responsibility of owning a computer today includes owning an antivirus program and keeping it up to date. If you haven’t affirmatively done something to update your virus definitions in the last two weeks, then you’re at risk, and you’re putting everyone in your address book at risk. It’s not difficult – the antivirus programs make it very easy to remember to stay up to date. […] continuedRead more
Another virus is running around today. It comes in as an attachment to an e-mail message with the subject “Hi.” The message body begins, “How are you? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you. I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!” If you click on the attachment named GONE.SCR, it will immediately begin sending itself out to everyone in your Outlook or Outlook Express address book. […] continuedRead more
Another virus making the rounds these days. BADTRANS is the usual – arrives as an e-mail attachment, sends itself back out to lots of people with your name on the message as the sender, does a couple of dirty deeds on your computer. If you’re infected, here’s an explanation of what the virus does and how to get rid of it. […] continuedRead more
Generally I’m happy with Norton Antivirus 2002. It installs like a dream, the e-mail scanning works, and it’s easy to update.
But here’s an interesting side-effect. I just set up a new Dell Dimension 8200 – a very nice, very fast computer. Almost immediately I noticed that the clock was losing time – a lot of time, several hours every day. […] continuedRead more
The Register has a good article about the various urban legends that have circulated by e-mail since the terrorist attacks. Most of them will be familiar: the doctored photos, messages warning about the dangers of being in various places, the significance of the number “11”, the Wingdings fonts, the astrological warnings, Nostradamus predictions. […] continuedRead more
When I get e-mail messages that don’t smell right, the web site I check first is the Urban Legends site at About.com. You’re likely to find solid information about any e-mail chain letter that comes your way, as well as the hundreds of virus hoaxes that continue to travel from mailbox to mailbox. […] continuedRead more
SirCam is a widely distributed virus. Within the next four days, you’d like to become very confident that you’re not infected with it.
According to one analysis of SirCam’s code, every year on Oct. 16 the worm will delete all the files and folders contained on the hard drives of randomly selected SirCam-infected computers. […] continuedRead more
Last year’s version of Norton Antivirus was a fine piece of work – easy to use, easy to keep updated, and way ahead of the mish-mash of products put out by Mcafee. But it had a couple of problems: its method of scanning e-mail was clumsy and frequently stopped e-mail from functioning; it could significantly interfere with some database-driven programs; and it was not compatible with Windows XP. […] continuedRead more
One of the pieces of legislation being reviewed to deal with terrorism would permit Internet surveillance without a court order. The scope of that surveillance was debated at a Congressional committee meeting on Tuesday. The bill’s advocates argue that prosecutors should be able to intercept e-mail headers (TO: and FROM:), since it’s analogous to what they can discover about incoming and outgoing phone calls. […] continuedRead more
There’s at least one nasty new worm attacking Windows 2000 Servers today, and as near as I can tell it’s causing problems all over the Internet. Details are hazy, but apparently the worm travels as an e-mail virus that is not covered by current antivirus definitions. Some of my clients have DSL lines that are down, at least one has a dialup account that’s gone dead, and browsing seems to be slow all over. […] continuedRead more
The World Trade Center disaster has already generated a tremendous amount of e-mail spam and chain letters. As this article points out, you can count on a lot of hoaxes to be disseminated by e-mail in the next few weeks. Exercise a high degree of caution before you forward an e-mail message to your favorite fifty friends. […] continuedRead more
Internet security is the buzzword of the moment. There’s a lot of paranoia about privacy these days. Some of it is justified.
For what it’s worth, I tend to think that cookies do not currently deserve much paranoia. There are hypothetical ways in which information from cookies could be used in insidious ways by advertisers, but I’m not aware of anything like that happening in the real world – at least not yet. […] continuedRead more