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Author Topic: What is the worst computer virus?
SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2005 19:35      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Most viruses are harmless, or mostly just an inconvenience. But which is the most destructive virus that we all have to be really careful about??

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Posts: 303 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
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Icon 8 posted April 02, 2005 20:31      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
aol

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Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
GMx

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Icon 12 posted April 02, 2005 20:58      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What's a virus? [Razz] Never had one.
Posts: 5848 | From: S-4, Area 51 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2005 23:10      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:
Most viruses are harmless, or mostly just an inconvenience. But which is the most destructive virus that we all have to be really careful about??

Sorry, I must call bullshit on that. Viruses may seem 'harmless' to the person who gets them, but you may have no idea what your computer is actually doing. As virus writing has transcended the 'ooh, look what I can do to those idiots - see how cool I am?' phase, and moved onto the 'how much money can we get out of infected computers' phase, virus infected computers don't appear to suffer much damage, but do a lot of damage to others. Modern viruses aren't deleting files that people care about, unless you count antivirus software as such - they just sit in the background, and do their master's bidding. Many such viruses are used to send out all that tasty spam you're getting in your inboxes (check the headers, and see if it originates from a cable modem or DSL connected machine), or to attack machines via port vulnerabilites, and spread the infection. Alternatively, the mess of infected computers ('botnets') may be used in a DDoS attack, intended to take down the desired target of the highest bidder's wishes.

The moral of the story: Keep your systems patched and up to date (that means operating system updates, folks [and applications, too]). I won't lie to you folks here - antivirus software is not the cure-all, and is not completely essential to the survival of your system...but it will help you if you don't want to stay vigilant all the time - so long as you keep getting the latest antivirus definition files.

If you run Windows (C) (R) (TM), the most important thing you can do is to turn on Automatic Updates, and check the Windows Update website from time to time to be sure you're up to date.

If you have broadband, you really should be using a hardware firewall/router, even if you've only got one computer - and if that's a wireless router , turn encryption on (a firewall's useless if you let people get inside your network freely).

Firefox is great, and I stand behind it - but it won't protect you against RPC attacks - so OS updates, and good network security are still key parts in keeping your machine running smoothly.

P.S. I forgot to mention: This is the bad virus of the moment, that I've been seeing a lot of, and does some unpleasant things (mass mailer, null routes access to AV updates via the hosts file, etc.).

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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n4dmx
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 01:22      Profile for n4dmx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nicely put, dman. [Big Grin] [thumbsup]
Posts: 218 | From: Georgia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brother Dysk
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 01:51      Profile for Brother Dysk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd just like to add that it's for a long while been possible to lock you out of your ATA disks by password protecting them (and you can do this by slipping a small script into Windows' horribly insecure boot process) and not giving you the password, but I think we may actually start to see virii doing this in the future, as someone or other recently posted an essay online, warning us all about this danger - and likely inspiring many malevolent coders. This would be particularly bad, as an OS reinstall wouldn't even help in this case. Depending on your BIOS, a CMOS clearout, or BIOS flash may do the trick - though you may need to go as far as flashing HDD firmware as well. Nasty stuff.
Posts: 25 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
bageria
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 08:22      Profile for bageria     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
though not the most deadly virus out there, the most annoying virus is the e-mail forward (epsecially the one telling your there is a virus out there and to pass this along.)

You may say but this isn't a virus it doens't delete files or take away info from your pc. However, the dictionary deffinition of a computer virus is
A.computer virus
n.

A computer program that is designed to replicate itself by copying itself into the other programs stored in a computer. It may be benign or have a negative effect, such as causing a program to operate incorrectly or corrupting a computer's memory.

B.computer virus

n : a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer; "a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance"

These fowards do just that, they replicate themselves from one computer to another, store and take up space in another program, such as your in box. Lucky these virus are normally only win with and are able to continue to reproduce through non-computer litterate people. Nonetheless they are still a virus and most annoying. (And no I never pretended I could spell.) [Wink]
Bageria

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n4dmx
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 08:47      Profile for n4dmx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Filter rules rule. [Wink]
Posts: 218 | From: Georgia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 09:16      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think I can honestly say that I've never gotten a virus on any machine I've ever had [and most of them ran Windows]. Even when our network at work once got infected with whatever the virus of the day happened to be, my [W2k] machine wasn't affected. Hell, when I was in college, I didn't even have anti-virus software on my Win95 machine. That one only crashed when I tried to un-install IE.... [crazy] [Big Grin]

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Meh.

Posts: 633 | From: princeton, nj | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
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Icon 10 posted April 03, 2005 12:21      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This one's really bad. [Wink]
(from an Internet archive)

quote:
The Fighting Canaries Virus

    If you receive an e-mail entitled "Fighting Canaries," delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you attempt to play.

    It will re-calibrate your refrigerator's coolness settings so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles. It will program your phone autodial to call only your mother-in-law's number. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your sodas.

    It will leave dirty socks on the coffee table when you are expecting company. Its radioactive emissions will cause your toe jam and belly button fuzz (be honest, you have some) to migrate behind your ears. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current boy/girlfriend behind your back and billing the rendezvous to your Visa card.

    It will cause you to run with scissors and throw things in a way that is only fun until someone loses an eye. It will give you Dutch Elm Disease and Tinea.

    It will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings which grossly change the interpretations of key sentences. If the message is opened in a Windows95 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub.

    It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, but it will also refill your skim milk with whole milk.

    It will replace all your luncheon meat with Spam.

    It will molecularly rearrange your cologne or perfume, causing it to smell like dill pickles. It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold.

    It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve, and these are just a few signs of infection. So beware!

Here are some links to reputable sites
dealing with both real and imaginary viruses.

Symantec AntiVirus Research Center index of Hoaxes
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html

CIAC Hoax page
http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACHoaxes.html

Original Person "Reporting" Virus:
Bronwen
http://www.starpixie.com/bronwen/funnies/virus.html



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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brother Dysk
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2005 18:51      Profile for Brother Dysk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bageria:
though not the most deadly virus out there, the most annoying virus is the e-mail forward (epsecially the one telling your there is a virus out there and to pass this along.)

Not a computer virus, actually. A computer virus according to all definitions is a programme. That is to say, binary executable data. If you're sending and receiving emails with an executable flag, and as binary data, it's probably time to change e-mail clients...
Posts: 25 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
maximile

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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2005 06:39      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some viruses seem pretty cool to me. There was one (I think that it was called something like Cascade, but maybe not) that when activated would cause all of the letters on your screen to fall and bounce at the bottom, in a jumbled heap.

Wel, maybe it wasn't a virus. But I read about something like that somewhere.

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2005 07:14      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, is there a virus that actually messes with individual files such as image and music files? I'd imagine that would be pretty devastating!

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