FW: WashingtonPost computer security stories

Retina scan on something and some virus/worm got in and it took some
registry editting and safe mode work to get it removed - and I know

what >I

am doing.

As far as I know, there is no remotely exploitable hole in windows that
doesn't have a patch for it, nothing majorly in the wild anyway. I run


fully patched XP laptop without firewall directly connected to the
internet all the time and the above you mention doesn't happen to me.

A lot of the problems with windows that people complain about, isn't
Microsoft caused apart from them designing a bad


model for how things are installed and ran. I usually run windows boxes

for two-three years without reinstalling them, other people have to
re-install every 3-6 months. Looking at their usage pattern and mine,


install games and other programs and de-install them all the time,


I usually stick to a fixed set of programs and rarely install new ones,

and I always apply new patches when they're available via Windows


I can also run my machine for months without it crashing, which seems


unobtainable feat for a lot of other people. I see a pattern.

Bad hardware and application software cause a lot more problems than
the operating system itself.

Mikael Abrahamsson email: swmike@swm.pp.se

I agree totally. The only times I ever have to reinstall a machine is
when a user has installed a virus or malware on it. We use a NAT
firewall on each remote office and at each teleworker's house (usually a
basic Linksys or Netgear residential or SoHo class router) and Symantec
Corporate AV that updates from the main NOC's LiveUpdate server. All
patch the Windows Updates automatically and I've never had trouble with
devices catching the Nachi/Welchia or Blaster Worm, because we stayed on
top of patches. There should never be a reason to reinstall Windows
except some software that a person installed or hardware failure.

Joe Johnson

P.S.: Teenagers really are the exception, though. I can't even begin to
count the number of times I've had to help my sister over the phone
because her kids installed something or another that caused the system
to grind to a halt.