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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000669.txt from 1999/04

From: charette@-----.org
Subj: [kl] Re:New Virus (skip if you know about security)
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 14:09:36 -0400

Email viruses/worms are almost impossible to send via this mailing
list. I have the list software strip out mail attachments before
relaying. If you ever see an attachement on this list other than a
Text one (I allow straight text attachments only) - DO NOT OPEN IT!
Whatever type it is will be added to the "strip" filter.

Happy99 is an old one. Anyone opening an executable mail attachment
without knowing what it is gets what they deserve (IMHO).

In MS Word, turn off automatic macro execution before opening any
document. Don't open documents or Excel spreadsheets from people you
don't know or even if it is from a person that you _do_ know didn't
but they didn't tell you there was an attachment.

Turn off the "Javascript clipboard copy" on all except trusted sites
in MSIE Explorer 5. In fact, on any browser, go through the security
options since those options will tell you what things _are_ allowed
to run on your computer. Try & understand what they mean; if you're
not sure, contact me privately and I'll be more than willing to lend
a hand if I can.

Stay off the "alt.binaries.erotica.*" and "alt.sex.*" newsgroups.
Seems those areas are rife with computer STDs. The "warez" sites
are just as bad; instead of getting a cracked copy of the latest
game you probably have just gotten the computer analogue of AIDS.
If the game's (or whatever software) is that good - buy a legal
copy. If you think it's overpriced - don't buy it, but especially
don't succumb to the temptation to download that cracked copy ...
it'll cost you a _lot_ more in the long run.

Being on the Internet with an unsecured browser is tantamount to
leaving the door open on your home, with the cash and charge cards
laid out in nicely arranged and sequenced on the table, and your
address book with your friends names & addresses and where they hide
their keys xeroxed for the taking. Once you turn on security you'll
probably be surprised at what you've been sending; some "innocuous"
forms (surveys, etc.) attempt to rip (via Javascript or ActiveX)
your email address address out of your machine, even if the form
didn't ask. And you wondered how your real address got out there,
even though you never put it in a form ...

Doing those things I've outlined above will not guarantee that your
machine won't be attacked, but it _will_ help. My home PCs have been
connected to the Internet often, used by the entire family, and we
have yet to be infected with a worm or virus. I do run a virus/worm
checker weekly (right after updating it off the Internet via a site
with PGP key) "just in case".

No, I'm not paranoid. I know how to do these bad things, and I don't
make a business out of doing them. Those that are _in_ the business
or who enjoy making people suffer devote a lot of time & energy
finding the holes ... I find out a couple of days too late :^(, and
others who don't keep up with the changes find out a month or two
too late.

Mark Charette@-----.org

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