Gut Rumbles

August 03, 2005

fun, fun, fun

I WAS infected with some kind of spyware, I and spent more than four hours this morning getting rid of it. For a computer maroon such as myself, that's not an easy job, but I think I took care of it. That crap just about took over my C-drive on the computer.

How did I pick that shit up on the bottom of my shoe? I have virus protection and a spy-firewall, and STILL those termites got in here. I'm careful never to open attachments to emails and I NEVER click on a pop-up ad. But I was infested anyway.

Just damn! What causes that?


One word........Windows.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 12:46 PM

three words........Macintosh doesn't suck.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 3, 2005 12:49 PM

semi related comment;
If I was a virus or spyware writer, why would I write it for a OS that is used by less than 5% of world?

Superiority thru Obscurity or just sour apples?

Posted by: bubba on August 3, 2005 12:53 PM

Every time you click on a Newspaper you get it. When I installed the spywar to get rid of the asshole I had hundreds of gotdamn cookies in the system. Like you, I spent damn near all night loading the spyware and getting the shit out. Went out the next day and bought anew firewall that put a stop to most of the nonsense. I have the spykiller set up to run every time I boot up and now only atkes a few seconds to run. Usually have a half a dozen or so that slipped through.

Posted by: GUYK on August 3, 2005 12:54 PM

four words.......macintosh STILL doesn't suck!

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 3, 2005 12:59 PM

The single biggest problem is that the majority of users are using a browser based on a seven year old engine. All of the surrounding technology has improved with that one notable exception and that leaves the browser open to a slew of exploits that were never anticipated when it was released.

There is also the ignorance of users. Patches, software and other tools to prevent problems are readily available if people would only take the time to learn about and install them. It's amazing how many people, people who are otherwise highly skilled and well educated, simply cannot grasp that a computer is like any other complex tool and take a bit of training/education to use effectively.

Now that you have everything sorted out I sincerely hope that heed the advice of others and forget that IE exists on your computer. Remove the shortcut from your desktop and set up your other programs to use Firefox. You may also want to consider moving away from Outlook Express to a mailer that doesn't display HTML/Javascript/images in a preview pane by default. While OE can be made safer it's often easier to just use another program (Eudora, The Bat, and the free Thunderbird are all good ones). If you do the above you will likely find that you don't even need anti-virus software. I play in some pretty dark of the web and have never been infected twice in the last five years. I can live with those odds in exchange for losing a memory and CPU sapping anti-virus program that makes me wrestle around in the mud every time I want to open a port.

On preview: cookies are not malware. Cookies, used ethically, are a convenience. Anyone but the most casual user has dozens of logins and it is impractical to remember them all and insecure to use the same one everywhere. Even the very worst cookie is relatively harmless, they are used for tracking purposes but cannot run code or otherwise interact with your computer.

Posted by: Zappatista on August 3, 2005 01:06 PM

Yes James when is the last time you HAD to re-boot your mac?

Mine has been running ever since I installed OSX in 2002.
Not a crach yet, no spyware,adware,viruses,trojan horses notta.

Macs kick ass.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 01:08 PM

Oh and Bubba, if I where a personal computer consumer why would I by one that every virus is written for?

Superiority thru better software engineering.


Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 01:12 PM

Stay off the animal porn webpages, Rob.

/friendly ribbing

Posted by: GORDON on August 3, 2005 01:15 PM


been using big mac damn near 18 years. Does everything I want it to do with speed to spare. NO viruses, NO shop time, NO errors......and OSX just won't quit. EVERYTIME I talk to my brother, he's got his broken windows tore down like a red edsel.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 3, 2005 01:23 PM

"Superiority thru better software engineering."

gotta respond to this, sorry Rob.

I work supporting an 8000 user network, 400 of those are Mac's. Mac calls to support are 20% higher than Windows, you guys are full of shit about NEVER having problems with Mac's. I know it and you know it, don't waste time blowing smoke up Rob's butt. By the way, before you look into switching to a Mac, be sure to do a cost analysis on the purchase and the "support" after the sale.

If I was gonna support folks by fixing their computers, why would I learn an OS used by less than 5% of the world?

If I was gonna write programs to sell, why would I write them for a OS used by less than 5% of the world?

Both of those questions illustrate a very important point, Mac's cost a LOT more, in every way.

Posted by: bubba on August 3, 2005 01:45 PM

Sorry bubba, but that's just the way it is at the Hookerdome. Don't know about things on your side of the street....never been there....but boy, my shit WORKS!

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 3, 2005 01:50 PM

We run a mac system consulting and repair service along with our digital design and chartography business. (my dad and I that is)

Why would I learn an OS that less than 5% of the PC market uses?
Because I can charge more money for my knowledge! It's called capitalism. $40 an hour aint bad.

As for your second question you might want to ask Bill Gates, as microsoft writes tons of software for the mac. Maybe he likes money too?

You can pick a mac up now for $794. And let me know next time you get a virus and I will let you know next time I get one.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 02:13 PM

OK, Am I getting this right, Mac's never break, but gravedigr runs a repair service for Mac's?
and he charges more for the service?

Ya'll are too easy, NEXT!

Rob, the folks that mentioned Firefox are dead on, but make sure your blogging stuff works with it before moving to it completely.
I gotta have my Acidman fix everyday!

Posted by: bubba on August 3, 2005 02:34 PM

Hey bubba, I work at computer support at a university. We have about 500 PCs and about 60 Macs on campus. Generally speaking, once I set a Mac up for a user (or for a computer lab), I almost NEVER have to go back and fix anything on it. I do visit them occasionally to do upgrades though.

I DO spend MOST of my time removing spyware from the Windows PCs. The stuff is so insidious, I have to question why anyone would choose to use Windows. I've even developed quite a lucrative side business fixing Windows boxes from folks homes. Sometimes spyware infests users PCs so badly that mere mortals can't fix the problem.

It's not that the spyware folks ignore writing stuff for Macs, it's the fact that Macs are now using UNIX, a way more secure system than Windows. Apps can't install themselves on Mac OS X without an admin password, plain and simple. Whereas on Windows (even XP SP2) stuff still installs itself using ActiveX all the time. When you get 100s of spyware thingies (that's a technical term) trying to run all at once on your Windows PC, they suck the life out of your CPU, not leaving anything for the programs you're trying to run. Not to mention spyware can damage the Registry, can knock out your networking, etc.

Posted by: Garry K on August 3, 2005 02:36 PM

Macs, the Fisher-Price of computers. Mac users are worse than Scientologists for being fanatical, and you can't change their minds. Must be not being able to right click or scroll drives them mad.

Rob, once I turned off automatic cookie handling in my browser, so I have to choose to accept or deny a cookie, my spam and spyware problems stopped.

I run Spybot, Adaware, Pop-Up Stopper, all free, and they keep my PC clean.

Posted by: Bane on August 3, 2005 02:47 PM

Huh, I don't remember saying they NEVER BREAK. Of course they break they are machines. I said they never get viruses,trojan horses,adware,spyware. And are reliable as hell.

Don't put words in my mouth.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 02:53 PM

Just DAMN, gravdigr! What hath we Mac Gods wrought on Robs bandwidth with our cracks and jibes. Before he comes on here and shits in our suitcases, I have 3 words: EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!

..........where did I put my "macs for dummies?"

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on August 3, 2005 02:54 PM


Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 02:59 PM

Gravedigr, you're a target rich enviroment and NEVER is a bad word to use in any conversation concerning computing.

" There are around 40 Mac-specific viruses and related threats."

I spent 2 minutes goggling these links....
You really really get paid to work on......

Bane, too funny, my boss used to call them Macintoys.

Now Garry is talking about a industrial heavy weight champion OS, Unix. But, the new Mac OS is actually based on a little known OS called BeOS, kinda a Unix lite so to speak.

I think I saw that Sam had posted about this on another thread earlier, I vote you talk Sam into accepting a consulting post with Gut Rumbles Inc. and have her set you up on a good linux distro. Boom! killing two birds with one stone, what could be better?

Posted by: bubba on August 3, 2005 03:16 PM

We call them Crapintosh where I live. Anybody that would use a mac would suck a dick. Fuck macs.

Posted by: assrot on August 3, 2005 03:33 PM

I've been doing a lot of research on spyware lately and I have two bits of software you may want to check out to help.

Download the new AOL Explorer. It's a browser like Internet Explorer/Mozilla Firefox that has built in spyware protection. It works. The interface is pretty clean and easily customizable.
AOL Explorer

Also I think I remember seeing you say you used AOL as your ISP. Go to keyword "Spyware" and follow the link that says "more details" and download Lavasoft's 'AdAware'. If you're not on AOL do a google search for that program. It helps greatly.

I once connected a computer to the net with no firewall, made sure it had no spyware. Didn't touch the computer for a week, came back to it, ran AdAware and found over 300 pieces of spyware on the harddisk.

Posted by: chaos on August 3, 2005 03:40 PM

According to Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell’s Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software

“There are about 60,000 viruses known for Windows, 40 or so for the Macintosh, about 5 for commercial Unix versions, and perhaps 40 for Linux. Most of the Windows viruses are not important, but many hundreds have caused widespread damage. Two or three of the Macintosh viruses were widespread enough to be of importance. None of the Unix or Linux viruses became widespread - most were confined to the laboratory.”

So there are far fewer viruses for Mac OS X and Linux. It’s true that those two operating systems do not have monopoly numbers, though in some industries they have substantial numbers of users. But even if Linux becomes the dominant desktop computing platform, and Mac OS X continues its growth in businesses and homes, these Unix-based OS’s will never experience all of the problems we’re seeing now with email-borne viruses and worms in the Microsoft world.

More here.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 03:54 PM

I am a worse kind of person that a Mac user. I am a Linux user. I would love to give Rob advice to switch to Linux but that likely wouldn't be done and so therefore would be useless. The folks who said to switch to firefox were dead on but also drop Outlook and Outlook Express both of which are common entry points even without opening mail at times. Thunderbird by Mozilla is a pretty sweet email proggies and will cut down on the some viruses as well. The biggest thing, even with these great programs is keeping them updated. There are vulnerabilities in Windows, IE, et al that won't be patched right away so you sit open for days, weeks, sometimes months. Firefox was patched within 24 hours the last time a critical exploit was discovered. Firewalls and virus scanners can only do so much because they are by nature reactive. Get as far away from MS in everything you use aside from your operating system and you will see a distinct drop in your spyware and viruses.

Posted by: flesh99 on August 3, 2005 04:00 PM

Hmm, makes me wonder if you read every comment.
but, here goes.
Bane is correct about cookies, but I have found you only really need to disable 3rd party cookies.
Most every problem disappeared when I stopped using outlook express. I depend on MSN, yahoo and Excite to handle and screen my email. Thinking of having a friend set up outlook for outgoing mail only,
you will miss outlook sometimes.
Firefox is excellent advice. I did not listen until an IT guy that I really respect explained the advantages. It blocks all pop-ups, and once you disable a few auto start options on your computer, Firefox will make your computer as trouble free as your wildest dreams.
with IE I had to run Ad-aware and spybot every
4-5 days. With firefox I run it after 9-10 wks just to make sure it still works.

I understand you can get a Mac in 'Hot Pink' if you
need to satisfy those 'latent' tendencies.

Posted by: GrampaPinhead on August 3, 2005 05:00 PM

What Gordon said. Do a filename search on your drive(s) for barnyard and see what comes back.

Posted by: Arcs on August 3, 2005 05:20 PM

I use Maxthon as my browser, a cleaned up, tightened up version of IE6 that is compatible with everything, secure, and has all of Firefox's bells and whistles but does it better with less clutter, and it don't fuck with my ADD.

All KINDS of built in security, that works.

Posted by: Bane on August 4, 2005 12:50 AM

AdAware, Spyware Doctor and Zone Alarm set to stealth along with a corporate version of Nortons set to auto update.

Most people get frustrated and haul it off somewhere to have it cleaned, I take great delight in cleaning each and every thing that manages to infect the network I run. I am always learning something new, it's an adventure, not an obstacle.

I saved everything on a drive once that the "experts" told me would have to be wiped and reformatted. Bah. I managed to clean it properly and prevent it from future infections.

I don't have the money to switch, all my computers run one version of Windows or another, I just learned to be smarter than they are.

Posted by: magdala on August 4, 2005 02:05 AM


Posted by: Bane on August 4, 2005 02:44 AM

Hey bubba--Mac OS X's guts are based on FreeBSD UNIX. The GUI is based on BeOS. Get your facts straight (but that's hard for a troll like you to do).

I have to laugh at everyone who has to fight with their PC, trying to remove spyware. Yes, we've had several PCs that were infested with some spyware where we actually had to backup all their data and reformat the drive and then reinstall Windows & all of the application software. We've NEVER had to do that with a Mac. And NEVER will have to, either.

So, folks, some of you can knock us Mac users, but just remember while you're swearing AT your computer, we're swearing BY our computers! Not to mention we're doing what we want to instead of having to fight spyware.

In other words, if you complain about having to do something over and over (like fighting spyware on a PC) but don't do anything useful about it like switching to Macintosh, they SHUT THE HELL UP! You must be happy in your misery!

Posted by: Garry K on August 4, 2005 11:41 AM

Look at me! I'm right clicking!

Jealous, huh.

Posted by: Bane on August 4, 2005 01:19 PM

Look at me I'm running fifteen applications at the same time, Burning a CD, listening to the tony snow show streaming,and drawing a map. Oh yeah and typing this comment.

Posted by: gravdigr on August 4, 2005 01:51 PM
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