North American Network Operators Group

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Re: New Computer? Six Steps to Safer Surfing

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sun Dec 19 17:49:30 2004

On Sun, 19 Dec 2004, Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:
> But give him a reasonably sane default package like this and he's a
> bit more protected against stuff that tries to take over his PC, and
> the internet has to deal with one trojaned PC less.  Drops in the
> bucket and all that ...

There is a lot of wishful thinking, but security people seem to be
very bad about actually testing their theories to see if they are
effective.  A lot of snake-oil gets sold using the theory it can't hurt.

Many Home/SOHO PC's are self-infected by the owners.  Network firewalls
and anti-virus software are very poor at preventing that.  The really
scary thing is the infection rate of Home/SOHO computers with
AV/firewalls is higher than "naked" computers.

What's more interesting is the highest infection rate of all is for homes
with laptop/mobile computers.  Even when your home broadband modem/gateway
has a firewall, when you take your laptop out of the home you lose
what little protection you had. Then you bring the infection back inside
and infect all your other home computers behind the gateway/firewall.
The crunchy outside, soft-chewy inside rule applies to home computers too.