I use linux. I prefer it over Windows for many reasons. It’s more resistant to viruses, less of a target, but that doesn’t mean that malware or other viruses are impossible. If someone were to trick me into running something and even worse, trick me into using my administrator password to install something system wide, it could be the same end result as a windows malware infection. To be fair Microsoft has improved their security over the years. They are still the most likely platform though to get a drive by virus just by visiting a site (with no user interaction.) That much said, Mac users and Linux users should avoid being smug. Why? They aren’t completely safe. No one is. Social engineering is the most common (and most effective) path to getting malware on a computer.
I’ve done computer service for a number of years. Mostly small groups, home users, small businesses. But sometimes at larger organizations. It has many times amazed me that people let me at their computer by explaining that I’m there to look at the computers and _________ sent me back. I many times remember Face from the A-team…. “Hi I’m billy bob and this is my assistant sparky – we had a trouble ticket filed about the _______ and need to check out your workstation.” I can’t think of any time that I ran into someone new that wanted to call and check with someone else. Not once in ~15 years.
Recently there’s news of Mac Shield a malware for the mac that resembles rogue antivirus software on windows. Apparently a popup appears claiming that your mac has an infection and your administrator password is needed to remove it. Once it receives the administrator password…. game over you NOW have malware and it’s going to serve up illicit content over a public webserver, it’s going to collect passwords, bank account logins, credit card numbers and who knows what else on your nice secure smug mac.
The key learning moment here should be that it’s the user that was vulnerable – not the system!
Smugness should step aside.
Now, if you’re a mid size company that hires outside computer help – do you have a procedure for making sure that the person showing up is who they say they are? if you are large enough for an in house it department – are there name tags and ways to know that this guy that says he’s “the new guy” in IT really IS with your company?
Unfortunately in most organizations you can’t have a quick look from an IT person everytime you have a popup claiming that you have a virus. So, it’s important to become familiar with the legitimate popups of your antivirus software so you can discern better what is authentic and what isn’t. Sorry, but even that is no silver bullet. The malware writers are clever and who knows they may find a way to mimic whatever is preinstalled on the system for antivirus.
Related PostsRelated Posts
- Your own astromech - R2-D2 If you've always wanted your own astromech, it won't be too much longer to wait. A voice activated R2-D2 will be available next year from Hammacher Schlemmer. It runs on 4 AA and 4 D cell batteries and will sell for ~$120. According to the article it responds to voice......
- WPA and WPA2 cracked 100 times faster The days of relying on WPA or WPA2 as your online layer of wireless security may be numbered. A new technique that makes use of NVIDIA's newer GPU's to do some of hte processing means that it's possible to break "forgotten" keys about 100 times faster than was previously possible.......
- McAfee Antivirus gives Windows XP Autoimmune disorder.... Bad day for McAfee antivirus users..... It looks like the corporate users were bit the hardest. An update this morning basically detected svchost.exe as a virus and sent machines (Windows 7 not affected - but XP SP3 was...) into a perpetual reboot cycle. The fix requires manual intervention and some......
- Finding Unclaimed and Abandoned Money and Property With years under our belts, baby boomers have had many opportunities to lose and forget about money and other property that belonged to them. This is officially called "unclaimed property" by federal and state government. It makes sense at our age to find out if we have any unclaimed property......
- How To Save $100-$1,000 By Troubleshooting Your Faulty Computer “Oh, wow. Looks like it’s completely dead! At this point, it’s not even worth saving. You might as well just buy a new computer.” “Really, we can’t just fix it? It’s only 2 years old!” Have you ever had that conversation before? It’s pretty common at retail establishments like Best......
- Jacobson Wins First Title at the Travelers Championship The end of the Travelers Championship might have seemed like a great present for Frederick Jacobson, but it seems that the real winner was his daughter. The one shot victory was promised to his 5 year-old daughter before he started out. He told her that he would be holding up......
- The virus arms race? is locking down systems the key?
- Network Security guide for the home or small business network – Part 3 – Antivirus
- Facebook Fan Check Virus
- Network Security guide for the home or small business network – Part 13 – Your own worst enemy
- Administrative access on linux systems