The PhoneBoy Blog


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More office reorg, and the latest Microsoft malware

This evening, my son noticed a different monitor on his desk and more or less immediately wanted his “old computer” back. His computer (the CPU, disk drive, etc) was still right there on his desk, but the “computer” was different. I guess the monitor being seen as the “computer” makes sense in a three-year old mind since that’s primarily what he “sees” when he uses the computer. Oh well, time for musical computers again. I guess I really need to acquire another monitor after all.

Sunday night/Monday morning or so, I started getting random emails from people I didn’t meet sending me attachments with little text in the email explaining it. Having seen this type of thing before, I knew basically what it was: the latest and greatest “virus” affecting Microsoft Windows activated by people using either Outlook or Outlook Express to read their email activated by people that aren’t educated in safe computing practices. sigh The virus in question is called MyDoom and, in addition to the usual Microsoft Outlook (Express) suspects, it also spreads over the Kazaa p2p filesharing network. sigh

When are people going to figure out that opening attachments from people you don’t know or using software from questionable sources is a really bad idea? How many viruses like this are going to cause untold quantities of lowered productivity before people figure this simple fact out? Even on the couple of Windows machines I have, the anti-virus is kept up to date (daily updates, if not more frequent), they get the latest security patches, and I don’t open attachments from people I don’t know. There are two work machines on which I run Outlook from — one is under Linux via Crossover Office, which actually prevents certain types of attachments from running (outside of any blocking Outlook itself has), the other is native Win2k. I have never once had a virus on either of these platforms. On all of my other machines, and most of the time in general, I’ll use Mozilla Thunderbird or Mutt over an SSH connection.

One thing interesting about this particular virus/malware is that the “payload” of this virus is to cause a Denial of Service attack against http://www.sco.com. While there is a part of me that is amused at this, given SCO’s lawsuits regarding possible intellectual property leaked into Linux and their absolute refusal to show us the code, the fact is that a Denial of Service is wrong. I don’t particularly care for the company formerly known as Caldera or the idiots in charge of said company, but a Denial of Service is a Denial of Service, regardless of who it’s directed at. Whomever is responsible for it should be punished like any other criminal.

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