Just another reason why Macs are better

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
So, I decided to do a little experiment with my ancient Windows machine at home. First of all, I don't know if anyone's heard of Surf Junky, but its a site that refreshes your browser with a new ad every 30 seconds and they claim they pay you for the ads you view. Probably a scam, but great for this experiment. I've been running it on my Mac to earn some money (assuming they pay, which I doubt) and noticed that the ads seem like the type that would be very intrusive and would take advantage of browser security holes.

Here comes the experiment. I started out with a clean install of XP. I started up Surf Junky in IE with default security settings before I went to bed. I woke up, forgot to check what was going on with IE. Did some errands and came back home and checked my PC. Popups had taken over my screen. Spyware had installed stuff by itself, and there were several icons on my desktop for various web sites that I never put there. When I tried to close IE, the computer crashed, too much spyware for my old Pentium II to handle I guess. I rebooted, and again, it crashed on startup. I rebooted into safe mode and was able to successfully run Ad-Aware.

Folks, this is what IE allowed to happen to my computer without asking me if I wanted to install any of this crap. The screenshot speaks for itself:
 

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jackieonasses

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
929
0
the great OKLAHOMA....
yg17 said:
So, I decided to do a little experiment with my ancient Windows machine at home. First of all, I don't know if anyone's heard of Surf Junky, but its a site that refreshes your browser with a new ad every 30 seconds and they claim they pay you for the ads you view. Probably a scam, but great for this experiment. I've been running it on my Mac to earn some money (assuming they pay, which I doubt) and noticed that the ads seem like the type that would be very intrusive and would take advantage of browser security holes.

Here comes the experiment. I started out with a clean install of XP. I started up Surf Junky in IE with default security settings before I went to bed. I woke up, forgot to check what was going on with IE. Did some errands and came back home and checked my PC. Popups had taken over my screen. Spyware had installed stuff by itself, and there were several icons on my desktop for various web sites that I never put there. When I tried to close IE, the computer crashed, too much spyware for my old Pentium II to handle I guess. I rebooted, and again, it crashed on startup. I rebooted into safe mode and was able to successfully run Ad-Aware.

Folks, this is what IE allowed to happen to my computer without asking me if I wanted to install any of this crap. The screenshot speaks for itself:
Nice- If IE simply required a password or something for authorization then almost all of that would disappear. Frustrating when i am on the PC....


kyle
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
One way not to get adware and spyware on your PC is to disconnect it from the internet, and put it in the garbage bin. :D
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
Can you try something for me? Upgrade the machine to Windows XP SP-2, set the built-in Pop-Up Blocker to HIGH, and then repeat the test.

Put simply, no one should be running plain Windows XP right now. Service packs are released for a reason.
 

iBunny

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2004
1,254
0
I use a PC in addition to my iBook...
I do not have spyware or a virus problem at all... i am a Power user and I am smart... you just have to know where to go and what settings to have your PC at so you dont get anything like this...

Dont surf dumb pages too... be a smart user not a simple user. I never had and ever will have a problem with spyware.... I just dont understand how people can get it... but not everyone is an advanced PC user....

However saying that....
It is agreed that on a Mac you dont have to do anything, because spyware simply dosent exist...

I wouldnt say macs are better for this reason, its just a lack of spyware for the mac.... macs are what 2% of the market? if i wroke a virus or spyware i could care less about macs, becuase I would want it to effect alot of people and everyone uses windows....
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
iBunny said:
I use a PC in addition to my iBook...
I do not have spyware or a virus problem at all... i am a Power user and I am smart... you just have to know where to go and what settings to have your PC at so you dont get anything like this...

Dont surf dumb pages too... be a smart user not a simple user. I never had and ever will have a problem with spyware.... I just dont understand how people can get it... but not everyone is an advanced PC user....
...Yeah, i'd say 90% of PC users can't reliably use their cell phone's phonebook. You're asking a lot from them, they don't want to use computers but have to, and suffer from this crap.

However saying that....
It is agreed that on a Mac you dont have to do anything, because spyware simply dosent exist...

I wouldnt say macs are better for this reason, its just a lack of spyware for the mac.... macs are what 2% of the market? if i wroke a virus or spyware i could care less about macs, becuase I would want it to effect alot of people and everyone uses windows....
You don't think the prestige of being the first one to pierce OS X's armor is incentive to create malware? I contend there are probably lots of people trying but none has managed.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,003
101
Phoenix, AZ
.....

iBunny said:
I use a PC in addition to my iBook...
I do not have spyware or a virus problem at all... i am a Power user and I am smart... you just have to know where to go and what settings to have your PC at so you dont get anything like this...

Dont surf dumb pages too... be a smart user not a simple user. I never had and ever will have a problem with spyware.... I just dont understand how people can get it... but not everyone is an advanced PC user....
I would be willing to bet MOST people are not advanced users. They just don't understand what it takes to properly care for their machines, nor should they really have to.
If my mom had to run spyware, adware, virus, de-fragment...blah blah blah programs everyweek, she would never want to touch a computer again.
No one should have to have advanced knowledge of something just to make it work properly. I can't fix a car, but I sure can drive it, lock it, wash it, and so on. That kind of maintenance just ain't that easy on a pc.
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
31
well, technically thats your fault.

You installed Surf Junky or w/e, read the terms.

I bet it states it can install software, just hidden.

A bad comapny but thats not windows fault
 

iBunny

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2004
1,254
0
appleretailguy said:
I would be willing to bet MOST people are not advanced users. They just don't understand what it takes to properly care for their machines, nor should they really have to.
If my mom had to run spyware, adware, virus, de-fragment...blah blah blah programs everyweek, she would never want to touch a computer again.
No one should have to have advanced knowledge of something just to make it work properly. I can't fix a car, but I sure can drive it, lock it, wash it, and so on. That kind of maintenance just ain't that easy on a pc.
I agree with you... but some people like to take their cars apart... get new parts for them, fix them up for a hobby....
That is me with PC's
I do maintence on my PC every day... but i enjoy it.. i love messing around with it... its my passion and hobby...

Sure.. the normal user shouldnt have to... i agree completly
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I'm not sure I would enjoy housekeeping my PCs. Seems like a colossal waste of time and energy, with no real benefits. But then again, lots of PC users love to tinker with their machines, with really nothing to show for it at the end of the day, only to have their machines become obsolete in 6 months.
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,557
36
iBunny said:
I wouldnt say macs are better for this reason, its just a lack of spyware for the mac.... macs are what 2% of the market? if i wroke a virus or spyware i could care less about macs, becuase I would want it to effect alot of people and everyone uses windows....
Little more complicated than that. Even if you did care about Macs, unless you had some way to bypass my admin password nothing spyware related would get installed in the first place. Us being the minority plus our stout secrurity prevents us from a lot of that, not just lack of interest.

jon
 

Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
I would consider the test some whatly only if the following is true

Was the computer up to date to AT least SP2?
If not reformated it again and test with all the lastest updates other wise this test is like comparing XP to OSX.0 at best.
How upto date was the computer?
 

iBunny

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2004
1,254
0
Lacero said:
I'm not sure I would enjoy housekeeping my PCs. Seems like a colossal waste of time and energy, with no real benefits. But then again, lots of PC users love to tinker with their machines, with really nothing to show for it at the end of the day, only to have their machines become obsolete in 6 months.
Its just something I like to mess with. To me its fun... I use my pc and keep it clean and nice and shiny and to me its a good day :)

I do build a new PC every 6 months to a year.... sell the old one to someone who wants it but dosnet need / want to pay for brand new tech.... and I build a new one...

and on my iBook I find myself bored almost... because all I can do is use it... i dont have to mess with it etc etc.... so i find myself lost... to normal users.. this is a wonderful thing and I see where they are comming from.. but from a tinkerer and someone who loves to disect stuff... its rather boring
 

Blackheart

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2004
938
0
Seattle
clayjohanson said:
Can you try something for me? Upgrade the machine to Windows XP SP-2, set the built-in Pop-Up Blocker to HIGH, and then repeat the test.

Put simply, no one should be running plain Windows XP right now. Service packs are released for a reason.
Most people DO NOT download the updates. A very high percentage of XP users in my dorm have not updated, and don't even have autoupdate on. They don't really care, many just expect something to work when they buy it and don't know they need to baby the machine.

Think of a computer user with average computing intelligence... now think that 1/2 of the computer users in the world are stupider than that person. MANY people use a computer, just for the tools. Unlike people who visit boards like this, they don't know anything about what happens in techdom and they don't really care.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
dotdotdot said:
well, technically thats your fault.

You installed Surf Junky or w/e, read the terms.

I bet it states it can install software, just hidden.

A bad comapny but thats not windows fault
I didnt install Surf Junky. Its just a regular website. When run in Firefox for Windows, Safari, none of this crap is able to be installed. Its just shows how with IE, websites can do pretty much whatever they want with your machine, which, IMO is an enormous security problem.


For the record, this was SP1 and the results may be different with SP2, but can't say for sure. My parent's computer with SP2 has this crap installed on it (they use IE) all the time. Not 800 files of spyware, but 1 file is 1 too many. Plus, something already mentioned, not everyone is a power user. Your average PC user who doesn't have a friend or family who knows something about computers to keep everything updated may not be running SP2 yet, they probably don't even know what a service pack is. I guess the point is, that none of this should be possible on a computer in the first place.

For the average user, a computer is like a car. They don't inspect everything to make sure everything works. They just use it, and don't know there's a problem somewhere until something goes terribly wrong
 

Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
Blackheart said:
Most people DO NOT download the updates. A very high percentage of XP users in my dorm have not updated, and don't even have autoupdate on. They don't really care, many just expect something to work when they buy it and don't know they need to baby the machine.

Think of a computer user with average computing intelligence... now think that 1/2 of the computer users in the world are stupider than that person. MANY people use a computer, just for the tools. Unlike people who visit boards like this, they don't know anything about what happens in techdom and they don't really care.

Unless they change the setting manual Windows from day one is set to download all critcal updates Automaticly (not install but download them) After they are download it would pretty much bug you until they are installed. After SP2 all updates by defaut are set to install automaticlely. So most windows users have all crictal updates.
 

ldburroughs

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2005
258
0
Virginia Beach, VA
yg17 said:
Folks, this is what IE allowed to happen to my computer without asking me if I wanted to install any of this crap. The screenshot speaks for itself:
I read this thread and may have missed the answers from the original poster but I am only curious. So, just a few quick questions. Did you have the latest version of Windows installed with SP2? Also, did you have the security settings in Windows set with the firewall and the free spyware software that comes with Windows? Many of these problems have been addressed by Microsoft since the original XP was released (no more pop ups or viruses unless you are dumb enough to open an attachment in your e-mail.) By the way, I am not a "power user". I am a law student, not a techno geek ... I'd like to be though.

Some are suggesting PC users don't update. Mine does this automatically. I don't know of many people who have not at least upgraded to SP2. I have both Mac and PC and do not experience pop-ups, viruses, or spyware on either machine. Just some thoughts. Very interesting results though. :D
 

ldburroughs

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2005
258
0
Virginia Beach, VA
iBunny said:
Its just something I like to mess with. To me its fun... I use my pc and keep it clean and nice and shiny and to me its a good day :)

I do build a new PC every 6 months to a year.... sell the old one to someone who wants it but dosnet need / want to pay for brand new tech.... and I build a new one...

and on my iBook I find myself bored almost... because all I can do is use it... i dont have to mess with it etc etc.... so i find myself lost... to normal users.. this is a wonderful thing and I see where they are comming from.. but from a tinkerer and someone who loves to disect stuff... its rather boring
Have you tinkered with your iBook? It sure is more fun to tinker with than your average PC laptop. You have to void your warranty but you will do that on a regular laptop as well if it is covered when you tinker with it. The iBook can be upgraded with one major exception ... the video component (that's the case with any laptop these days.) Tinker away. You might enjoy the challenge. You can add a superdrive, hard drive, more ram, etc. You'll see how well it is built inside and may appreciate it more. My pc laptops provide no real challenge. There's a bay on the bottom and you only get to unscrew one screw to access the hard drive. Not the iBook! It is deep inside and buried under at least 40 screws. Now that's about as challenging as they could make it.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Timelessblur said:
Unless they change the setting manual Windows from day one is set to download all critcal updates Automaticly (not install but download them) After they are download it would pretty much bug you until they are installed. After SP2 all updates by defaut are set to install automaticlely. So most windows users have all crictal updates.
Actually it doesn't always work that way. I made an application for a small organization that needed to record statistics on the phone calls they received. They have a computer running Win XP. Every time it starts up it pops up a warning that there are updates waiting, but they are just clicked away by whoever is using the computer. This computer is used by at least 20 different people including one guy that is supposed to be the "computer guy" and none of them seem to install the updates.

When I came there last week to do some maintenance on the application I noticed that they had finally upgraded to service pack 2, but the anti virus program was popping up messages that the subscription had expired and new updates would not be downloaded.

While I was there I used the Netbeans IDE to make some changes to the application and the IDE always calls home when it is started which triggers a pop-under in Win XP.

When I was finished, one of the phone clerks had to use the computer. I closed the IDE and the warning from XP was revealed. Even if the clerk had no idea what the warning was and what the "runide" process that had triggered the warning was, he proceeded to click "allow" before I was even able to react.

I think Microsoft has a very difficult job to tackle the security issues, and I think they are doing an almost decent job considering the totally insecure state of their OS a couple of years ago. I also think it was a necessary step to take to make the upgrade to service pack 2 mandatory. I think I heard they are doing that these days.
 

Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
either way it is a safe to assume that MOST not all of the MS computers are up 2 date. If they have SP2 they are be defaut set to automaticly install the updates. My windows computer is set to download not install them but I set it that way because I dont want it to install the updates if I am not around incase there is a need restarted. I want to do the restarts or delay the install incase I am up to something but that just me. I had to change that setting my self after SP2.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
"It Should Just Work"

I keep seeing this phrase used here by people who don't believe that the user/owner of a computer should have to perform any maintenance, e.g., installing updates and service packs.

You can't just buy a car and drive it around. You have to put gas in it. You have to change the oil every so often, rotate (or replace) the tires, get the alignment checked, replace the brake pads, switch out the windshield wiper blades, change the transmission fluid, etc.

Guess what, folks. Computers are like cars. You have to install necessary upgrades and perform maintenance. It is your responsibility as a car/computer owner to keep on top of this. If you don't, bad things may happen... your car's engine may seize up from lack of oil, or your computer (or, more likely, its software) may fail due to a problem in the code that's resolved by an upgrade or patch. Sure, some OSes are easier to maintain than others. But it's ludicrous to use an outdated version of an OS (in this case, Windows XP SP-1) for a test when Microsoft has been urging EVERYONE to install SP-2.

So please, stop saying "well, it should just work". Yes, I agree that it should, in an ideal world where there aren't miscreants writing viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware. But for now, everyone, and this includes Windows, Mac, and Linux users, needs to be an active computer user (not a passive one) and keep their machine up-to-date.
 

iBunny

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2004
1,254
0
ldburroughs said:
Have you tinkered with your iBook? It sure is more fun to tinker with than your average PC laptop. You have to void your warranty but you will do that on a regular laptop as well if it is covered when you tinker with it. The iBook can be upgraded with one major exception ... the video component (that's the case with any laptop these days.) Tinker away. You might enjoy the challenge. You can add a superdrive, hard drive, more ram, etc. You'll see how well it is built inside and may appreciate it more. My pc laptops provide no real challenge. There's a bay on the bottom and you only get to unscrew one screw to access the hard drive. Not the iBook! It is deep inside and buried under at least 40 screws. Now that's about as challenging as they could make it.

Well i also mean the software side of the house too.... i like to tinker with windows... try diffent bios's, drivers from different sources, edit my regestry all stuff to try new things and get more performance or stability or just to change some stuff - other than the cosmetics....
 

mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
616
0
iBunny said:
Well i also mean the software side of the house too.... i like to tinker with windows... try diffent bios's, drivers from different sources, edit my regestry all stuff to try new things and get more performance or stability or just to change some stuff - other than the cosmetics....
You are familiar with the Terminal.app, no? tinker away. You can screw things up royally if you so choose, just enable root and start raising hell.

Relative to hardware, Mac software is even more tinker-happy.