Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by Ron Goldstein, Feb 27, 2009.
my anti virus bitdefender picked up the same type of email and blocked them
Naturally it is the most popular desktop & phone operating systems which attract the most interest from those criminally minded people that 'want a piece of you'.
Although we keep being told not to open emails from unknown sources, we sometimes make mental connections and think it may be genuine. On Windows systems, I saw a lot of emails with MS office attachments containing malicious code. When still working in a part time IT support role, I brought one of these examples home, opened it on my Linux system, and worked out what it was doing. From the malicious code inside the attached Word or Excel document, it basically ran a simple script and created a second program on the computers hard drive, which then set up a pipe to send the users email contacts to a remote server. The new owner of your address book would then send dodgy emails to all your contacts. This was quite common 5 years ago, so may be more sophisticated by now.
If you simply MUST open unrecognised emails, please select Plain Text Mode first, and don't open any attachments.
One of the other common traps is when you open a website, while allowing scripts to run. A script may then simply cause your browser to launch a fake page each time it starts; this happened on my wife's phone a year or so ago, and the fake screen wanted to 'fix a virus' ...all she had to do was click on the OK button, which would have been a very, very bad idea.
For most people, using Firefox with the NoScript plugin running is a pain in the neck. But if you really want to stay safe, its still one of the best ways to do it.
Me? ...well all my laptops run Linux, so my risk of contracting an operating system boggy-man is extremely small. I also run NoScript on Firefox and don't even allow any Facebook scripts to run (I have Facebook contained inside a Single Site Browser, so it can't see what I view on my regular browser). But really, life shouldn't be this complicated.
Still the biggest IT security risk is the human at the keyboard. Not long ago a girl in the office decided that it would be OK to open the attachment that her boyfriend sent her, because he was suspicious of it! This was barely 24 hours after I handed out written instructions about how to deal with such emails and attachments. Had she not been the owner's daughter she would have been out of the door 'toutes suite'.
This is what we use to [rather unkindly] refer to by saying 'the problem is the loose nut attached to the keyboard'.
You could even say this to the person concerned, as long as you pretended to tighten something on the back of the keyboard.
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