Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Back in the Game

Well, it turns out that my e-mail problem was not what I expected at all. It was much more serious.

I discovered that not only my e-mail, but all of my automatic online updates (Windows, Norton AntiVirus and Firewall) were out as well. I also noticed that the firewall was being awfully quiet (since it usually flashes signals in the margins). I tried to look at the firewall log, and the program froze up and wouldn't exit...just like Netscape Mail. The Windows error management system also crashed.

NAV still insisted there was no virus, but after studying the Symantec virus database I got brave and checked out my Windows registry...and found it full of tweaks. Basically the whole security and update setup was disabled. I gritted my teeth and tried to reset them manually, but at least a couple of key entries were missing altogether. It appears to have been a suicide bombing; it came and left, leaving me defenseless.

I went ahead and reinstalled, but it turned out to be much easier than what I had to deal with with Windows 98. I didn't want to bother with my old version of WinXP and having to update it online, so I bought a new version. It essentially rewrote my existing system (clearing out about 2 gb of dead weight on my exhausted C drive) without touching anything else. That saved a load of time and trouble. I did go ahead and replace Netscape with a full Mozilla setup and get rid of Norton once and for all. Now things are looking a lot better. It's great to be back.

So...should I reinstall Webshots now?


  • Thank you Mr. Gates.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 10:38 PM  

  • Certainly, Microsoft has made the most inviting software for intrusions ever, but on the other hand, Windows IS realy the only operating system in wide spread use. I know there is LINUX out there, but I can think of ten good reasons why I will never use it, and they all have to do with windows programs that won't run on the Linux OS.

    As for the Norton antivirus software being the culprit, well, meybe, meybe not. Do you update daily, and automatically? Do you have a subscription to the update service? A service McKafee offers for free by the way?

    In any case, shit happens, probably if you were downloading pictures into your computer to view them, the virus may have affected some of the photos.

    By Blogger Pa've, at 5:28 AM  

  • hmmmm... This is also something I most feared of.

    It works today, down tomorrow and need a lot of praying on the day after next?

    By Blogger Robin, at 11:43 AM  

  • I have an engineer friend who runs Windows on his laptop only for the few programs that require it (they are ones his clients use), but on the same machine has the linux based Linspire operating system for everything else. Linspire offers a great deal of compatibility with Windows programs for most common applications, yet is far more secure. And, it can be installed side by side with Windows.

    Another option is to fork over several bills for Armorware which will keep a PC secure, in part by controling the ports and preventing problems viruses, trojan horses, etc. from getting in in the first place.

    I feel you pain, Moody.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 12:45 PM  

  • Pa've
    I believe I mentioned in the post that all the automatic updates were disabled by the virus/hacker. Windows and my Norton security setup were all updating online, automatically, every day. The fact that I wasn't seeing the Norton Firewall update signals was one of the signs of trouble.

    I have a feeling the culprit was one of these spam e-mails. Unfortunately, Netscape Mail's "junk filter" always opened and read at least one spam mail every time I hit the "delete junk mail" button (why, I don't know). It's highly probable that, in doing so, it wound up reading and activating a virus disguised as a graphic. Mozilla Thunderbird Mail doesn't open messages marked as junk unless you specifically ask it to...and it doesn't open image files by default, either.

    It's kind of a "it happens to the other guy, not me" sort of thing, innit?

    We were using Linspire (originally called Lindows) in Seishin's English department, mainly because of its compatibility but also because of its virus protection. I was getting the hang of it and really starting to get interested in it when Mr. O (the self-proclaimed IT chief in our English dept.) suddenly changed his mind and changed all the machines but one over to Windows one weekend. (The one exception is our network server, which still uses Red Hat Linux.)

    Sigh...I kind of miss Linspire...though changing would mean changing everything.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 7:18 PM  

  • I'm confused... You are addressing me, but I never posted a comment (before this one)... huh?

    By Blogger DewKid, at 6:44 AM  

  • Thats okay Dewkid. It was Moodies Virus talking. He already knows your computer intimately... Maybe the virus can converse with you before you even talk.

    By Blogger Vulgarius, at 9:08 AM  

  • Hotmail has been pretty reliable, all though I may have to change my user name to get rid of all the spam I have been getting lately.

    By Blogger Pa've, at 11:46 AM  

  • Oh no. You mean, Dewkid, that anything we read from "Moody Minstrel" may not be him at all? Maybe it is actually Admiral Poindexter sitting in the basement of the Pentagon taking on all our identities...

    I did not write this.

    csdwxpc - Moody's password for everything online!

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 7:39 PM  

  • Sorry, Dewkid. I got someone else's nickname confused with yours. Never mind. You can turn back into a cabbage now.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:48 AM  


    By Blogger DewKid, at 6:17 AM  

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