View Full Version : Computer viruses

Pi Man
2003-Nov-06, 04:40 AM
I'm doing a speech on maliscious computer programs (I used that word because viruses are a subclass of maliscious programs. Other instances of maliscious programs are trojans and worms), and must use several sources, including recent ones, and I'd like to use an online poll as a source, so if you'd like to help out, and answer, I'd appreciate it! :D

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-06, 04:41 AM
Yeah, I've had a few but nothing ever happened. I've always wiped them with an anti-vir program.

man on the moon
2003-Nov-06, 04:45 AM
norton always is on top of things for me. it will usually stop a major bug on my computer even before the school's Information Systems puts out the notice. sometimes by an hour or two, other times by a day or two.

of course, it catches little ones on a regular basis but those are usually more annoying than damaging.

Pi Man
2003-Nov-06, 04:51 AM
Yeah. Norton is always on top of my computer too. I recently did a full system scan and found that I had a trojan that was made to compromise some minor security settings. And, a while later, I visited a website that somehow dropped a java class on my hard drive! Norton caught it right away.

2003-Nov-06, 04:52 AM
I've never had a virus with an appreciable 'payload' - my computer has been infected many a time, but the virii were essentially 'benign.'

Pi Man
2003-Nov-06, 04:58 AM
Ah! "Virii." I was wondering if anybody would bring that up. Who else prefers "virii" to "viruses?" Or, how about "virae?" "vira?" "viri?" "viren?" "virides?"

If you prefer something other than "viruses," why do you prefer it? In biology, the plurl of "virus" has always been "viruses".

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-06, 04:58 AM
Virii for me. Just sounds cool!

Pi Man
2003-Nov-06, 05:01 AM
I prefer "viruses," but if I didn't, I'd be caught between "virae" and "viren." :lol: :lol: :lol:

"viren" sounds most like the annoyance they are! Like "vermin!" :D

2003-Nov-06, 05:06 AM
Back in the Windows 95 days we got hit by a very nasty virus. It deleted the entire hard drive and just made a big mess of things.

Now i use Norton and it has saved my computer twice so far. Once from a e-mail sent to me that contained Sobig virus.

Pi Man
2003-Nov-06, 05:14 AM
Ugh... *Shudders* "Sobig" yeesh!

2003-Nov-06, 05:19 AM
I suppose I would prefer virii as well. decline it as masculine, most hackers are male so far as I know... and it's all about spreading your seed... besides, the classical latin pronunciation of virii sounds like "weary" and that is an apt term.

I for one was recently infected. I used to have Norton on another PC and I've had PCs and been online for almost a decade without so much as sniffle. So I didn't bother with this PC because I thought I always used safe computing practices. Turns out that my new job has me emailing from home. Guess how I got it!

It was the download.trojan and it gave me klez and w32.kernel or something like that (look it up on symantec or pm me for details) I knew my system was slow and internet was crawling (even for dial-up). turned off the PC and used another one for about 6 months. Ended up going back to this one and my the company IT guy calls to tell me I have a virus. So I go out to get Norton (got Systemworks Pro 2004) and scanned from CD, no detections, so I boot into windows and it immediately catches it. I finally do a scan and I have over 100 infected files, and a bunch of applications have been quarantined. So I had to install several apps over again. I'm still thinking about wiping the disk and reinstalling everything, but it seems ok now. I keep NAV on high alert and DL the updates weekly and scan weekly too. It's been clean now for a month.

Just goes to show, it happens to the best of us. Took 9 years but it happened.

J Pax

2003-Nov-06, 07:43 AM
Weird, just the other day I got two emails that said I love you in the subject line. I was foolish to think that the "I Love You" one was dead. They both had attachments, too.

2003-Nov-06, 08:32 AM
Yah some computer spammers ansd viruses have gotten really, really smart.
They are starting to use normal human soundign language and smart technology to use the names in your friends adressbook as their own. It will have a simple generated message that is vague enougth to peak interest in opening the attachment and sign it with a random name from the person's adressbook. Two e-mails i have gotten recently that contained Viruses have done this. It is nearly impossible to trace it back to the person who sent it because the adress it says it comes from is not guarenteed to be the actual infected computer.

Both of them were the same thing. They had my fiances name in it. It said something about getting free movie tickets. All i had to do is print out the attachment and send it to the adress on it. But i was tipped off by three things:
1. She never said anything when i had talked to her earlier that day
2. She does not like going to movies that much
3. the way it was worded and signed was not her.

But juts to make sure i called her. Nope she never sent me anything like that.

Poof, off it went into the trash bin. (Oh and before you ask, i had her use norton to scan her computer, nope nuthing.)

2003-Nov-06, 09:31 AM
Having worked in I.T. for the last 10 years in the corporate sector I have lived through all the major scares 9 outta 10 times we have avoid mass descruction, but sometimes it means picking email worms out of client mail at 3 in the morning because everyone is trying to downlaod the same patch or virus definitions update as you and you have to do it manually....

2003-Nov-06, 12:21 PM
Firewalls and anti virus programs verging on paranoia--but never had a problem...

(Except the McAfee that came with one of my systems conflicted with the CD burner[just shut the whole system down when I put in a blank disk] switched to Norton and no further problems)

2003-Nov-06, 01:03 PM
Can't say I have. But I'm a techie and don't use any email programs (or operating systems, when I can be bothered to boot into Linux) that could be affected if I don't open the attachment. Most of those recent virii are using MS Outlook (Outlock?)'s auto-open attachment feature to spread.

I did some moonlighting as tech support for a youth centre in college, though, and me and several of my colleagues who worked there before quit because the pure stupidity of the users brought them several virii per month, despite all our efforts to make them use Mozilla instead of outlook and paranoia-level virus scanners. Since none of us wanted to be held responsible for lost data (technically, even if the users are stupid, the admin gets it!), we gave it up pretty quickly.
A friend of mine had to do a full restore of a completely corrupted disk there. He got about 50% of the data back, and was working around the clock. No fun.

The sad thing is that most users nowadays are sadly computer-illiterate and just use the damn things at work, or for recreation.


2003-Nov-06, 06:09 PM
I'm getting multiple daily emails that are corrupted but blocked by the mail server. Norton on my PC is updated weekly, and I haven't noticed anything odd as a result.

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Nov-06, 06:30 PM
I use OS/2 (Yes! There are still two or three people out there using it!) so the current bunch of trojans and worms have no direct effect on me. However, I do get a lot of spam and as a result I am not very diligent about checking my e-mail every day. The SoBig worm hit several of the morons that spam me and I ended up getting SoBig instead of the usual pre-approved loans, legal Viagra by mail and the usual body-part enlargement offers. In fact, I got so many of them that their approximately 100Kb attachments ended up exceeding my ISP's e-mail space quota. I got a total of 260 of these before my ISP started filtering out SoBig for all of their customers!

I remember a time when there was a rumor circulating about a virus called "Good Times" that would infect your computer if you opened it, and how we had to tell people that they could not get a computer virus infection this way. Obviously Microsoft saw this as an "innovation" just crying out to be made, and lo!, Microsoft made it so. Thanks a lot, Microsoft. Don't forget my sig, see below.

2003-Nov-06, 07:06 PM
You need an option to vote for more than one. I would have picked the last three.

I use MacAfee Anti-virus and Firewall with great success. Nothing gets through that I don't want. I can even track down attacks and pings. My ISP (Roadrunner) provides virus scans for e-mails and has removed many (more below). My e-mail software is Outlook Express, and it won't allow me to open an attachment directly; I have to "Forward" the e-mail, which makes me double-check.

But, I have gotten literally hundreds of e-mails that did have Sobig or Klez or something else. (The "reward" for being in a lot of address books.) My protection worked, but what a hassle!

As for others, I still remember getting on the elevator at work one day during the "I love you" virus. One of the veeps was talking to a colleague. "Hey, who knew it was a virus. It said it loved me." He lost most of his data, and I got a laugh (and started wondering about the intelligence of our management).

Oh, to add...

Our IT dept sent out a small executable that collects information on company computers... name, location, department. In the e-mail was a message:
This is not a virus and can be opened safely.
Now, if I were sending a virus, I'd include that same message.

2003-Nov-06, 10:25 PM
Virii for me. Just sounds cool!

Don't forget Nancy Lieder's virusese.

2003-Nov-06, 10:30 PM
Norton has always kept my system clean. But I am amazed at how many attempts to infiltrate my computer with a trojan it has had to block since I got a broadband connection.

Pi Man
2003-Nov-07, 12:44 AM
I keep getting messages from Norton that I have the Trojan.ByteVerify (http://www.sarc.com/avcenter/cgi-bin/virauto.cgi?vid=36538) trojan. Is it just that many webpages have this "bug" on them?

2003-Nov-07, 04:12 AM
I agree, most computer users are illiterate. They just hire warm bodies to fill the chair for tax purposes. As for me, my company makes me use my recreational home PC for Work!

I've been thinking about getting Linux, but now that there are all these battles over ownership (some of which, I am sorry to say, appear to be legit) I may just stay with Microsoft, for now.

I used to wonder why Bill Gates called it Microsoft... now that I get all these emails for viagra and enlargements, I think I understand. Plus the name Windows has a sordid peeping-tom feel about it. And even DOS sounds like doss which has this definition: "to sleep or bed down in a convenient place -- usually used with down." [from www.m-w.com] Bill Gates has a dirty mind. At least IBM had "Warp" which just goes to show how much more mature they are. It's not the size of your boat, it's the motion..."

In case you're wondering why I beat up on MS, it's not a bandwagon, it's personal.

2003-Nov-07, 04:28 AM
If you want a pretty good version of Linux try here
Took me an hour and a half to download (don't you just love broadband?) but only 15 minutes to install. Comes with an office suite, internet browser, games, pretty much everything.

2003-Nov-07, 05:22 AM
No viruses ever effect me.

Right now is when my computer explodes... :o

Mr. X
2003-Nov-07, 06:26 AM
V1r11 15 1337! 1337n355 15 v1r11! 1/\/\ 4 31337 h4XX0r d00D! :lol:


Can't say I've ever been adversely (sp?) affected by whachamacallit veyeroosez before.

Charlie in Dayton
2003-Nov-07, 06:28 AM
...And even DOS sounds like doss which has this definition: "to sleep or bed down in a convenient place -- usually used with down." [from www.m-w.com] Bill Gates has a dirty mind. ...

But Gates didn't name DOS...its writer, Tim Paterson did. He originally called it QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System). When Gates bought it, it was recombobulated as Disk Operating System.


2003-Nov-07, 09:40 AM
Yeah, well then he called it MS Dos, so it's a woman that "sleeps or beds down in a convenient place " He's still got a dirty mind.

Not to mention "Abort, Retry, Fail?" or ARF. Who's the dog in this scenario?

2003-Nov-07, 04:19 PM
I recently switched to my cable co.'s high speed access, which also required I set up an email account in Outlook. I immediately started receiving "undeliverable mail" notices for 40 or 50 different bogus addresses per day. Each had a small .exe file attached. I always just deleted them, of course. Figure I must have had a virus on my computer that only worked if Outlook was your email software. Anyways, bought a new computer that came with the full suite of Norton anti-virus/firewall protection, and it immediately started flagging the the attachments as the SWEG virus (and subsequently auto-deleted them). Annoying as hell, getting the emails every day (my address is now part of a "chain" out there somewhere). Just went into norton's "spam" section today and told to to look for the word "undeliverable" and if found treat as spam. Hopefully that'll take care of things. Hate to have to get a whole new email account just to clear this up. Wally

Pi Man
2003-Nov-07, 11:40 PM

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Don't you just love computer humor??
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

2003-Nov-10, 10:37 PM
Norton sorts out most of the nasties for me.. but I did manage to lose two P.C.s in 30 minuits (total scrap both of them!) A nasty virus destroyed the bios chip in the first machine.. so, like an idiot I put the hard drive in the second machine to read my e-mails.. oops!
You live and learn, or you don't live long! :x

2005-Nov-29, 05:36 PM
With the online updates available these days I think one should be able to keep ahead of potential viruses, it certainly makes the whole vetting process a whole lot easier if you know your virus checker software is being constantly updated. I think if you're doing all this, you'd have to be exceedingly unlucky to be badly hit.

Dark Jaguar
2005-Nov-29, 07:59 PM
I use a very powerful and often updated virus scanner that isn't one of the Big Two (which I won't name). I recommend doing similar because that way you have a virus scanner that works just as well (better in my case because it has a very small "footprint" and is unintrusive) plus you get the benefit of not having your actual software itself directly targetted by a virus.

About virus scanner updates: You should know we are always BEHIND new viruses. The constant updates are to make you immune to whatever has just been discovered, but not immune to whatever may come out. There are methods for finding "generic" virus behavior, but most of the updates are for "specific signatures" to recognize exact virii. Since you can't list properties for an undefined, this means logically that the signature based part of virus protection will ALWAYS be behind. The key is better logic for detecting viral behavior, though this will always be a battle between computer freedom and security.

2005-Nov-29, 08:49 PM
Actually, all of the above.

Without the meltdown, obviously. Nice pic, Pi Man!