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The Computer Buzz November 22, 2006


Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact
ory
 

 

Computer Turkeys

Remember the good old days when bespectacled, acne faced techno-geeks terrorized the WWW with deliciously destructive mega-viruses and hoaxes. We had Melissa, I love You, Code Red, Blaster, Sobig, Bagle, Mydoom Sasser, CIH, SQL Slammer and who could forget Michealangelo. These viruses did billions of dollars worth of damage worldwide. Many of the old style E-Mail hoaxes warned users that they had been infected with a terrifying virus that was set to destroy their
computer within a matter of hours. The only way to save your computer was to follow the detailed instructions included in the hoax E-Mail. Gullible users who followed those instructions would find that they had deleted a critical utility in the boot sequence of Windows thereby turning their PC into a Helen Keller headstone.
The creators of these ingenious bits of malware plied their passion in dingy off campus apartments strewn with half gnawed pizza crusts, Fritos bags and empty jug
wine bottles. These "new age Luddites" got no monetary reward, only the satisfaction that they were wreaking havoc with those who were foolish enough to trust technology to improve their lives. Somehow there seemed to be a certain purity in their motivation. Today's malware creators are cut from a different cloth. Their motivation is money. They work in quiet, comfortable office suites on the upper floors of glass and steel high rises Their clients are advertising firms, Fortune 500
corporations and just about any product or service that is consumer driven. They no longer attempt to destroy or disable your computer. They seek to expose
you to products or collect information from you for the clients that pay them. The techniques they use are pop-ups, adware and spyware.

Unfortunately, with thousands of them targeting your PC every instant on the WWW, your PC eventually becomes jammed with these resource vampires and slows
to a crawl. Out of frustration, users often buy or download programs that are as much a problem as the malware itself. Norton Internet Security is one of the programs
that will give you more problems than it fixes. McAfee and other"Internet security suites" are just as bad. The jury is still out on how good a job the ISPs are doing with
their free protection plans. We hear mixed results from DSL and cable broadband users.

What we recommend is simple. Grisoft's AVG antivirus and anti spyware programs are the most effective and trouble free we have encountered to date. The best part
is that they are free. We strongly recommend that you delete your Norton, McAfee or whatever, even if you just paid $50 for it. Throw it away and go to www.freegrisoft.com. So whatever happened to the old style virus and hoax writers? We think they mellowed with age and became the authors of those sappy "feel good" chain letters and the "forward this to ten friends for good luck" E-Mails that flood the WWW today.

 

 

 

 

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