I am about to be really fed up of the virus shit!!! (offtopic)

Rune Kristian Viken arcade at kvinesdal.com
Tue Oct 29 08:53:49 CET 2002

Okay, I'll write a little explanatory message about computer viruses, 
how they work, and why it doesn't help to complain to mailing lists 
about them.

Laurdag 26. oktober 2002 17:45 skreiv sigvald at duckburg.dk:

> Almost everytime I open my mailbox there is 2-3 viruses with
> D.U.C.K.hunter-names conected to them. So I am now about to be
> really fed up of this virus shit!!! If this is not stopped soon I'll
> consider leaving this group!!!

First of all, it doesn't matter if viruses are sent to people, except 
for wasted bandwidth - that is, it should matter if:
 - You're running a virus scanner
 - You're reading email with a thypically non-vulnerable reader
 - You're reading email on a thypically non-vulnerable platform.

Without too much bias, a thypically _vulnerable_ email-program is 
Microsoft Outlook.  If you're running on that platform, please make 
sure to update your software at least weekly - and to always have an 
up-to-date virus scanner.

If you're reading web-based email, you should be aware that the browser 
known as "Internet Explorer" thypically have several non-fixed 
vulnerabilities - and that more errors are discovered monthly.  If 
you're using this browser, then always run the latest and greatest 
version - in addition to updating your antivirus-software daily.

Of course, I've never seen a virus target a webbrowser as of yet - but 
that is only a matter of time.  

Furthermore.  It won't help at all to leave the list.  Your email 
address will still be available on the virus-infected computer, and 
you'll still receive viruses.  Not only that, but you don't need to be 
on a mailinglist at all to receive viruses.  Sigvald, are your email 
address available on any d.u.c.k-hunter webpage?  Or any public 
dcml-archives, if suchones exist?  If people with computers infected 
by "relatively smart" viruses visit those webpages - your email will 
be available for the virus - so that it may send you virus-infected 

Thus - leaving mailinglists won't affect the outcome - as long as your 
address is available via the web - if it is.

> I say this because I believe that some of YOU can stop this ness if
> you really wants to. I think that an expert like Soeren Krarup
> Olesen should send a mail to whoever is the host of the infected
> Greek in Korinth and ask them to end their services for that bas....

That would be a good solution.  To end the service of the poor sod 
infected by the virus.  Unfortunately it won't help on the general 
virus problem.  As long as people continue to choose running unsafe 
software, without adequate protection - we'll have a virus problem in 
this world.

Far too many people choose to use the 'default' software that 
accompanies their computers.  This would be bad even if the 
software-makers in question made relatively secure software.  The 
reason?  Because if just a single serious vulnerability in that 
software were uncovered -- far too many would be potential victims.  
That is the problem with "software monoculture".  

Ideally people would _make sure_ to run something not too many others 
is running.  If you're using Windows - excellent email-program 
alternatives include 'The Bat!' , 'Pegasus', 'Eudora', 'Netscape 
mail', 'Free Agent' (it tackles email as well as news), and surely 
lots of others.  If you however run what 70% of the rest runs, i.e, 
Microsoft outlook/exchange, then you're part of a far to big 
monoculture, and taking unnecessary risk.

Hope this email was both explanatory when it comes to basic computer 
security concepts such as monocultures, explanatory when it comes to 
why leaving mailinglists doesn't solve anything, and explanatory in 
what to do to make yourself a little more virus-resistant.

Rune Kristian Viken

More information about the DCML mailing list