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Computer trojans, worms, and the like.


In regard to Bob & Dan's recent posts on computer viruses: 
Bingo--you're both right on (or so my 17 years of computer experience
leads me to believe).  While not about Hostas, this subject IS very
important to email/internet users, and it behooves us all to have some
understanding on this subject.  NONE ARE IMMUNE, particularly if you use
MS-Windows...

The Rest of the Story...
It's been kind of a pain in the neck (translated, probably not quite ready for 
prime time use), but I have been enjoying being on Linux when I hear about 
computer viruses.  There are now over 50,000 MS-windows related viruses while 
there are fewer than 5 Unix/Linux related viruses.  

The primary defense a MS-Windows user has against various viruses is, 1) an 
up-to-date virus checker (updated daily, weekly, or at a minimum, monthly), 
2) only opening mail from trusted sources (lulling one into a false sense
of security?), or 3) attachment vigilence using viewers instead of program 
lauchers, or by saving .doc files as .rtf, .xls files as .cvs, etc. to 
eliminate (for the recipient) macro enabled viruses.  

Unfortunately, one CANNOT trust the file extension!  (See the 
below referenced URL, where they state "Word can save files in Word format 
(i.e. with macros) under any extension"--translation, jpg's do not HAVE to be 
jpg's--they can be word macros saved with a jpg extension. Yikes!).  
 
For a fairly good review of this subject, see 
http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/whitepapers/prevention.html

We "internet savvy users" have a few choices:  
1) If we use MS-Windows, it is extremely important to have a
virus scanner in place IF we value our long-term sanity.  It is the only 
means through which we can be reasonably secure from such attacks.  

2) Becoming a practical solution for some users - use Linux on
that Intel platform, or use an Apple.  (I don't know much about the Mac
O/S,and fortunately, neither do those with criminal intent).  With either,
you will be extremely well insulated from viruses.  However, you can
transmit some viruses even though your system will not be
affected.  Scary. 

So, Dan and Bob, while you are coming at this from different perspectives,
IMO, you are both "right".  I like peace and harmony in the world,
especially at Christmas...

Merry Christmas

Andrew Lietzow
(almost 100% back online--I hate emergency O/S upgrades...)


On Thu, 21 Dec 2 000, Dan Nelson wrote:

> Hi Bob,
> 
> Only one attachment came attached to your message. The name of the
> attachment was YOU_are_FAT.TXT and it contained  information from Ted White
> and Tim Fehr. If I understand the attachment correctly it stated that it was
> dangerous to open the very kind of attachment that it itself was.(English
> lessons from Ben Z.)
> 
> Daniel J. Nelson
> Sussex Tree Inc.
> Bridgeville DE


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