PC infected in 12 minutes


Militar

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2005
85
0
I have a PC running Windows 98. If I leave it on, are they saying my PC will get a virus if it's not protected? I don't see how that's possible especially since I don't visit suspicious websites, but stranger things can happen I guess.
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
Militar said:
I have a PC running Windows 98. If I leave it on, are they saying my PC will get a virus if it's not protected? I don't see how that's possible especially since I don't visit suspicious websites, but stranger things can happen I guess.
yup, viruses and hackers will probe your machine for vulnerabilities and try to compromise it. Its very common, and a lot of it is automated. A windows machine, unprotected, just sitting there with an internet connection can get compromised.
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,454
1,236
Houston
I have a Gateway laptop at work that I decided to wipe clean and reinstall windows on 6 months ago. I reformatted and fdisked the master boot record. It was totally clean. After reinstalling Windows XP, the first thing I did was install Norton Antivirus and then run Live Update. Since I only had a dial-up connection, it took me a good 30 minutes to update the virus definitions. When it was done, I ran a scan just to be safe and I was glad I did. In that 30 minutes that I was unprotected (at least from viruses that the definitions didn't include), I had three occurances of the blaster worm on my computer. I learned my lesson and now I will not connect a Windows PC to the internet without a up-to-date virus protection program installed and running. This means that I have to use my Mac to download the definitions file and transfer it to the new Windows installation so I can update it offline. What a pain in the rear!
 

question fear

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2003
2,273
77
The "Garden" state
Militar said:
I have a PC running Windows 98. If I leave it on, are they saying my PC will get a virus if it's not protected? I don't see how that's possible especially since I don't visit suspicious websites, but stranger things can happen I guess.
it's like insect repellent. forget it once and they can sniff out your blood.
 

roadapple

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2004
219
0
This claim seems odd, my mother has a Win 98 system that she uses for email and the web.

My parents have a cable modem that first runs to a netgear router, then to the two computer (XP, win 98) and an airport express (my gift for my pops wireless laptop XP system).

She has been using this computer for about 2 years, the first year without any antivirus software. Even after I installed Norton antivirus a few months ago, there has not been one virus found.

She does not surf and does not get many odd emails. Why does her computer not become infected with the spyware/addware/viruses?
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,454
1,236
Houston
roadapple said:
This claim seems odd, my mother has a Win 98 system that she uses for email and the web.

My parents have a cable modem that first runs to a netgear router, then to the two computer (XP, win 98) and an airport express (my gift for my pops wireless XP system).

She has been using this computer for about 2 years, the first year without any antivirus software. Even after I installed Norton antivirus a few months ago, there has not been one virus found.

She does not surf and does not get many odd emails. Why does her computer not become infected with the spyware/addware/viruses?
The netgear router is a good level of protection. It likely has a built in firewall which helps protect from the shotgun approach that many malware programs use. Also, her computer is not connected directly to the internet rather it is connected to the router which is connected to the internet. Computers that connect directly to a broadband modem or those that dial-up are much more likely to be infected.
 

gco212

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2004
430
17
Philadelphia
I run XP, and the only protection I have is a netgear router. I built it in October or so, and have had 3 adware programs. My sister, on the other hand, has no idea what she's doing and click the banner ads on her computer. Once a year or so she complains her computer's broken, so I reinstall Windows for her. If you know what you're doing, you're not very likely to get any viruses even without Norton or one of those programs (which just makes the problem worse in my opinion) installed on the computer. A router has been all I need to keep my computer healthy.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Of course, if the USA Today test earlier in the year was added to this, the computer would have already been turned into a drone in 4 minutes for use in attacking other unprotected machines.
 

floyde

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2005
808
0
Monterrey, México
roadapple said:
This claim seems odd, my mother has a Win 98 system that she uses for email and the web.

My parents have a cable modem that first runs to a netgear router, then to the two computer (XP, win 98) and an airport express (my gift for my pops wireless laptop XP system).

She has been using this computer for about 2 years, the first year without any antivirus software. Even after I installed Norton antivirus a few months ago, there has not been one virus found.

She does not surf and does not get many odd emails. Why does her computer not become infected with the spyware/addware/viruses?
Most of these "fast" viruses take advantage of XP specific vulnerabilities. That is why a Windows 98 PC is less likely to get infected so quickly/easily.

Anyway, back in the blaster days, I had a pc that got infected within 10 seconds of being connected to the internet. Of course, I didn't have a firewall on, but 10 seconds without even opening a browser window is just ridiculous.
 

AmigoMac

macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2003
2,064
0
l'Allemagne
12 min is too much!! I posted long time ago about a private customer, bought a PC, no idea about computers, plugged and boom! :D.
He's one of these guys who critics me as mac user! :)
 

Bibulous

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2005
716
0
AmigoMac said:
12 min is too much!! I posted long time ago about a private customer, bought a PC, no idea about computers, plugged and boom! :D.
He's one of these guys who critics me as mac user! :)
I'm a mac user since late 2001, and try to convert everyone I meet. But I have used old computers (my sisters) running windows 98 or XP, and have not had the overnight invasion that is often mentioned, she uses outlet express and IE.

Does everyone else have this "BOOM" virus infection with XP?
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
0
Melbourne, Australia
~loserman~ said:
Now it only takes 12 minutes to infect an unprotected PC running Windows
Recently I installed Windows 2000 Pro on Virtual PC so I could use the ATOs Windows Online Tax application, the only time I connected to the internet was to grab the official Windows updates, then I downloaded a bunch of apps that were listed in a post here to my Mac (avg, adaware, etc) and transfered them over to Virtual PC. When I ran the adaware app there were already 3 types of Spyware installed. So I believe this article 100%. Windows is flawed and unless something amazing happens with Longhorn I can't see this changing.
 

runninmac

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2005
1,495
0
Rockford MI
gco212 said:
I run XP, and the only protection I have is a netgear router. I built it in October or so, and have had 3 adware programs. My sister, on the other hand, has no idea what she's doing and click the banner ads on her computer. Once a year or so she complains her computer's broken, so I reinstall Windows for her. If you know what you're doing, you're not very likely to get any viruses even without Norton or one of those programs (which just makes the problem worse in my opinion) installed on the computer. A router has been all I need to keep my computer healthy.
The big problem is that 95% of people have no clue how to protect themselfs against viruses other than Norton or AVG.

WOOT WOOT!!! 500th Post :D
 

mvc

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2003
760
0
Outer-Roa
SP 2 solves a lot of this stupidity, but you have to connect to windows update to get it, and while you're online.....BZZZAT, you catch a digital cold!

Talk about Catch 22.

They really need to start selling Windows shrinkwrapped as an up-to-date version with SP1 & SP2 already on board or at least an update CD added in the pack. But as far as I am aware the Windows shrinkwrap version on sale everywhere still needs to have all these updates added.
 

chv400

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2003
268
0
Houston, TX
Militar said:
I have a PC running Windows 98. If I leave it on, are they saying my PC will get a virus if it's not protected? I don't see how that's possible especially since I don't visit suspicious websites, but stranger things can happen I guess.
When you think about it Win98 is a bit old so maybe hackers will think that any computer that's running it is proably not worth hacking since the comp running can't possibly be of much value.
 

Daveway

macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2004
3,375
0
New Orleans / Lafayette, La
Many times when a client of mine has a spyware problem; the result will be a reinstall. The problem is just so advanced and massive, it's not worth trying to fight it. A 40min. reinstall is needed all the time. It's a shame, but it's what brought me to the lighter side.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
risc said:
Recently I installed Windows 2000 Pro on Virtual PC so I could use the ATOs Windows Online Tax application, the only time I connected to the internet was to grab the official Windows updates, then I downloaded a bunch of apps that were listed in a post here to my Mac (avg, adaware, etc) and transfered them over to Virtual PC. When I ran the adaware app there were already 3 types of Spyware installed. So I believe this article 100%. Windows is flawed and unless something amazing happens with Longhorn I can't see this changing.
Did you have your OS X firewall up at the time? For that matter, doesn't VPC have a "firewall" of sorts, in that you have to enable its IP address in a special way for it to be hit from the outside?

And you really, truly, literally only visited websites whose top level DNs were owned by MS? I completely believe you, but this is stilll so hard for me to believe. What is the vector? Are you really getting infected directly through the chain that gets you to microsoft.com? That seems hard to believe. OTOH, if this is an intrusive attack, how did it get past the OS X firewall and into VPC?
 

Militar

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2005
85
0
chv400 said:
When you think about it Win98 is a bit old so maybe hackers will think that any computer that's running it is proably not worth hacking since the comp running can't possibly be of much value.
True. It's only a 150Mhz Pentium Pro overclocked to 167Mhz. With only 24MB RAM, I would not be able to run Windows XP. I thought of upgrading to 64MB but the type of RAM my computer requires is very difficult to find. Its not on a firewall, because I have no clue how to get my computer working on some of the gaming sites that I visit.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
topgunn said:
I learned my lesson and now I will not connect a Windows PC to the internet without a up-to-date virus protection program installed and running.

i learned that i will not USE a windows PC unless i HAVE to
 

gco212

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2004
430
17
Philadelphia
runninmac said:
The big problem is that 95% of people have no clue how to protect themselfs against viruses other than Norton or AVG.

WOOT WOOT!!! 500th Post :D
Yup, if you know what you're doing, it's not hard to avoid adware and viruses, but most people don't know what they're doing. :p

And congrats on 500.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
キャンプスワ&#
topgunn said:
I reformatted and fdisked the master boot record. It was totally clean.
Suggest that you use something like Killdisk (free download) to wipe your disk.

Simple partiioning and formatting a HD will not clear the MBR in most cases.

Sushi