Burned by Windows!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chrispy, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #1
    Here is a fun story to accompany the thread on Windows being less secure than OSX. I have to admit I was trying to stick up for windows a bit in that thread, but after my experience last night I change my position completely. Granted, my incident was experienced with Windows 2000 SP2, but I am still tainted from windows again now for it.

    I obtained a free older Dell Latitude from my office to give to my mother (the screen actually fell off her old laptop). The computer works fine (however it is 2 inches thick haha!) and all I had to do was load an OS. I decided to put Win 2k on it since it is a little older and only has a 6GB Hard Drive. So... I get Windows all loaded up and I installed my network drivers. I plugged in my network cable and immediately headed to the windows update site to obtain SP4 so I could install Norton Anti-virus....

    Then it happened! Within 10 seconds of having the cable plugged in I got a spyware popup window GRRRR! I didn't even have time to get the computer updated so I could load my security software and the system already had problems. I then updated the computer and tried running Sypbot and Adaware but neither could get rid of the problem. The computer just got worse as time progressed and I ended up having to whipe it clean and get ready to start over again. The sad part is I was even behind a hardware firewall :mad:

    The lesson learned here... Windows security is horrible when you don't have the updates installed. However, it is kind of hard to install updates when you have to be connected to the internet to do so. I now stand on the OSX side of the fence 100%. Grr to Windows!
     
  2. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #2
    Wow that says alot who doesnt love windows... also just incase anyone was wondering that article that the Anti-Viral/Spyware Company puts out shows that a PC unproteced by Anti-Viral software is o so high after only a mere hour of use.
     
  3. stefan15 macrumors regular

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    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Just to let you know, it is literally impossible to get "spyware" by plugging in a network cable to a computer that has a fresh Windows install. I contribute 100% of your problems to user error. I don't have spyware on my Windows machine, I've never had spyware, and I don't use anti-spyware. True enough, Internet Explorer doesn't do a good job of blocking "bad" websites... but in case you can't surf discriminantly, you can always use Firefox.

    Oh, and there's nothing "sad" about spyware not being blocked by a hardware firewall. Most aren't supposed to block spyware. Some block common viruses, most block internet-based attacks.

    I understand that OSX is better than Windows. But you've learned how to use OSX.. have you ever considered that you might have to LEARN how to use Windows?
     
  4. Copland macrumors regular

    Copland

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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #4
    Ugh...
    I'm so glad I don't personally have to deal with that! Macs just work. There's so much to worry about on Windows. Macs just work.
     
  5. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #5
    FWIW, if you have the patience to muck around on Microsoft's website, you can download SP4, burn it to a CD, and install it offline.
    However, as it is a Service Pack, they might just have an "Express Installer" that "only downloads what you need"... :rolleyes:
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #6

    I think your missing the point, how would get get FF if he can't even upgrade his SP? It it sad that an OS can't stand alone for a few mintutes with out 3rd party help. And as for your "I never had any problems, it must be you" statment, well i could use that same logic on all people who have a MacBook/MBP saying my family has not had any problems, so it must be the owners fault, but would that make it true? No

    Also he did not have time to "learn how to use Windows" as it crapped on him so fast.(Also he knew what to do, but he did not have enough time to do it, so for all we know he might be on of the best Windows user ever.)
     
  7. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

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    Jan 28, 2006
    #7
    I KNOW windows I KNOW that there are tons of people that have spyware and dont know that they have it, for all you know you could have some unless your PF is less then 120 on Boot you have some crap running that shouldnt be its that simple. XP protects you from nothing and allows anything to come up on boot.
     
  8. Copland macrumors regular

    Copland

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    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #8
    What if my server has a virus/spyware that is lurking around on the network, and I plug my machine in? Then it would have a virus.

    Also, there was some study done (I forget what/when, but it was recently) that showed the average computer connected to the internet will become infected in some small amount of time like 10 minutes.

    EDIT: Here's one. There's a truck load of these:
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2004-11-29-honeypot_x.htm
     
  9. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

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    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #9
    I had this in my last job. We built a laptop for a customer which wasn't going on the corporate lan and they would only use dialup internet access out in the wild. We didn't have the AV ready burn't to a CD so I decided to dial up and download it. This was a clean install on XP Pro prior to service packs.

    Within no less than 30secs of it connecting to the web we had a popup via the messenger service. We left the laptop on then for a joke for 2 hrs on dialup then took it of the web and checked it over. Without doing ANYTHING but leaving it there we ended up with 50+ popups and 5 viruses (can't remember names as it was 3 years ago).

    So glad I use macs now.
     
  10. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    How do you know you don't have spyware if you don't use anti-spyware?

    Anyway, I mostly agree with you but I'm not going to accuse the OP of being stupid ... I don't know the circumstances he was working under. But perhaps Windows 2000 SP2 is less secure?

    I've done several pre-SP1 XP installs, protected only by a NAT router, and have never had a machine infected - which I confirmed by later installing anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. I did have FF and some other favourite programs burned to a CD so I only connected to the internet for Windows updates.

    It got to the stage on my last Windows PC where I felt safe enough to disable automatic checking and just scanned the machine a couple of times a month, or less, when I remembered about it.

    I don't have to worry about that now though, since I switched.
     
  11. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Dec 27, 2004
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    Avon, IN
    #11
    Sorry but you are dead wrong on that one. If the network has any type of spyware floating around in it all it does take is being plugged in. I worked as a technical support agent at my college for years hooking people's computers to the campus network. Some students would literally plug in their computers and within less than a min have a virus or spyware.. and NOT have ever even opened IE or any browser. The campus now uses clean access to try to control this issue. It is not user error but simply windows being swiss cheese with security.
     
  12. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #12
    Oh, and I have been using Windows for over 10 years. I have used every windows from 95/NT4 up to XP x64 edition. I also worked in the tech industry for 5 years thank you very much.
     
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #13
    Are you sure it wasn't just Messenger Service spam or something? The Messenger Service can be easily shut off. I used to have a dedicated server that constantly received them about getting Diplomas, lol. Very annoying, but easy to fix.
     
  14. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #14
    It started with the Messenger Service which I did finally disable. However, by the time SP4 was downloaded more spyware had found its way onto the computer :( I really didn't feel safe having my mother using the machine at this point for making puchases online and whatnot.
     
  15. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #15
    Oh dear :( I must say, I've never had a Windows machine infected with anything, ever, since Windows 95 when I had the CIH virus - but that was only because I should've known better. Oh well, such is life (and Windows)! :D
     
  16. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #16
    I have had great luck with XP SP2 and XP x64. Every time I run a computer with that I don't have any trouble. But when I have installed XP pre SP1 or Win 2K it seems the problems surface. Lesson here I guess is run SP2 or x64 haha. I have the Vista Beta 2 on a DVD right next to me here. I will play with that later this week :)
     
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #17
    Exactly.

    Just the act of plugging in the Ethernet cable causes the computer to attempt communication with the network. This simple act can result in a virus, trojan or worm infection.

    The poster mentioned that he was using Windows 2000. While not perfect, Windows XP SP2 is much more secure/protected if you will than Windows 2000.

    Notice I state Windows XP SP2. Windows XP has major problems. I had a friend who experience exactly what the fellow with Windows 2000 experienced. He loaded XP and then went to get the update. He has FTTH so you are talking 5-10 seconds to DL the update. In the time it took him to log onto Microsoft's web site and then DL the SP2 update he would be infected. And he was behind a NAT router!

    So I saved his butt with a CD with Windows XP including SP2.

    In my case I brought an infected Windows computer home to work on it and installed it on my Network. At the time I had about 15 Macs and 1 PC networked. I forgot about the PC. In less than a minute my PC was infected. Needless to say this was a self induced error but nonetheless it shows just how quickly and easily Windows virus, trojan and worms can move from computer to computer within a network without using IE, or any program for that matter. Just the presence of an infected Windows computer on the network is enough to cause problems for other Windows computers.
     
  18. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #18
    With all the updates installed Windows is pretty safe to run and most of the major problems attack unpatch systems. A lot of the complaints about windows is people complaining about an unpatch computer.

    You have to remember XP SP1 and SP2 windows 2000 are about 3+ years old right now so all the fixes since then are open holes and easy to attack. mix that in with people dont maintain there system with simple updates there are a ton of computers out there just sending that crap all over the net.

    What sucks is install that stuff you have to install it starting at a time before M$ started getting there act together about secuerity and the dealing with the internet.

    But like other said the best idea is to just find the updates and download and install them yourself. M$ will mail you for free an update cd. I did that for an XP sp2 because when I reformated or just installing it on other computer it was a lot easier not to have to connect to the net and deal with an unpatch system out there and hoping not to get hit. Bring it up to about a year old and after the point where M$ started really getting there act together.

    That and always being had another hardware firewall where if there are any other computers on that network I control them and I know they are safe.
     
  19. stefan15 macrumors regular

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    Canada
    #19
    I don't use realtime scanning but do scan every once in a while. Either way that's not what I meant. You can see everthing loading on startup in msconfig, services.msc, and you can always check system tasks for any odd processes. When you get spyware it's pretty obvious.

    As for things that "lurk in networks", that would more than likely be a virus instead of spyware. In which case, you need to use an antivirus on Windows XP. But now you are talking viruses, and he's talking spyware. It's not mystery that viruses are a threat to Windows.

    How do you get spyware? Not from visiting Windows Update...
     
  20. stefan15 macrumors regular

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    Canada
    #20
    Oh and to be fair, I use x64 as well... much more secure, and it's written from a 64-bit of Windows Server 2003. So I might be a bit biased.

    I agree with whoever comment on burning the service packs before hand as well. They are necessary.
     
  21. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Avon, IN
    #21
    Spyware can travel through networks just as viruses can. My guess is another computer in the house (probably my dads) had spyware on it and that is how it ended up on the Win 2K computer so quickly. I never even got a chance to run a virus scan on the computer so who knows what else is on that thing.

    I love Win XP x64 edition. I NEVER had one single problem running that OS. It was fast, stable and virus/spyware free.

    EDIT: Oh I just downloaded SP4 at work and burned it to a disc. That should help :)
     
  22. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    Jan 4, 2005
    #22
    Umm you cant see everything that starts in from msconfig, or services.msc. Not everythign is going to be shown there. There are lots of things that had hide in the regesity that not going to be there. I wish I knew what program I used a while ago to get a full list of thing that where on on the start up list and I could remove them there as well. It was all in the registry keys.

    Just figure I tell you
     
  23. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #23
    Or it simply might have been a Windows Messaging vulnerability and not spyware.
     
  24. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #24
    That would be nice but I still feel better starting over and loading SP4 first. You can never be too safe :)
     
  25. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a

    thegreatluke

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    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Earth
    #25
    Um, not to be rude but... how do you know you've never gotten spyware?

    It's not like a screen pops up saying "Hi, I'm SpyCenter 2000 and I'm here to track your web habits!"

    They're all hidden somewhere.

    Edit: Never mind. Ignore me. :)
     

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