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Malware now infesting my primary computer:

Displaying poll results.
None of which I am aware
  14147 votes / 72%
A few annoyances, but not worth the chase
  547 votes / 2%
I've got a moderate dose, need to clean it up
137 votes / 0%
Klaxons are going off; water is rising
  359 votes / 1%
Just the OS ...
  4332 votes / 22%
19522 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Malware now infesting my primary computer:

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  • Malware ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrackerJackz (152930) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:46PM (#40783459) Homepage
    Malware is like a cockroach: if you see one, chances are there are dozens you don't see hiding behind the walls.
    • I voted "...not worth the chase" but the things that are wrong are not technically malware.

      They are stupid things like somehow the search that occurs if I type something into firefox's main bar (rather than the search bar) goes through Yahoo search. I know basically what causes this, but since it only happens if I mistype something (since when I actually want to search, I use the search box), I don't bother. Its not some nasty junk running in my system but rather some default that got set when I forgot

    • Yeah, that's not really true. There are only a dozen or so vectors for autostarting software in windows. You can check them all(or if you're paranoid, boot to another platform and check the data manually). I can be pretty confident that the most recent time I only get infected with one piece of garbage through a flash exploit.

  • Just the OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:46PM (#40783461)

    I picked this option because sometimes the OS is trolling me. It's Windows 7, and it works fine, except some annoyances that I would categorize more like malware behavior than anything else.
    For example, focus stealing: I fucking hate that. I type while looking at the keyboard and of course Windows Update pops up asking for a restart while I'm writing and space bar activates the OK button. Then svchost.exe stealing one core worth of CPU processing power exactly when I'm about to kill whatever boss in whatever game, and so on.

    • > sometimes the OS is trolling me
      There used to be an old Win 95 joke ... "Win95 is NOT a virus -- virus do something [useful !] "

      > For example, focus stealing: I fucking hate that. I type while looking at the keyboard and of course Windows Update pops up asking for a restart while I'm writing and space bar activates the OK button.
      Totally agreed that is annoying as hell. Apparently MS can't add a bit to the input queue / message queue to tag where the mouse move / click came from -- human or program.

      • Yeah. I understand that software makers intentionally implement focus stealing to make their product "pop out", but I hate it with a passion. Every time a Yahoo Messenger contact opens a chat session with me, the damn window pops on top of everything (even games!). I once almost sent someone my e-mail password because I was logging in and he contacted me just then. It's a horrible implementation, but I'm not blaming Windows for it in such cases. However, the Windows Update stuff is pure Windows. And that on

    • My corporate IT department finally started supporting 32-bit Win7, but still thinks 64-bit is scary. So I'm limited to the 4GB that 32-bit Win7 knows how to manage (sigh. Can't even do >4GB of swap space.) One of my coworkers decided to work around it by installing VMware on the hardware and running a supported 32-bit Win7 in a VM and his own instances of Windows and Linux in other VMs.

      • Wait...huh?! You can't allocate more memory to the VMs above and beyond what you have available for the host machine. Now I could be wrong, but I believe that VMware Player and VMware Workstation is limited to the amount of memory addressed by the host OS and not what's physically installed into the box itself.

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          That is true.

          From how I read GP's post, however, it seems the coworker installed VMWare ESX directly on the hardware (ie. it *is* the operating system and can assign memory however it wants), or installed VMWare inside some "unsupported" 64-bit OS.

          • by danomac (1032160)

            I doubt ESX[i] was used, you'd require another workstation to get a GUI. It's likely installed on on a host OS on the hardware.

        • You can indeed have more VM ram in use than actual RAM. However it isn't recommended for most usages. What happens is that VMWare will spool RAM to the HD just like ... Virtual Memory does. There are instances where this isn't a problem, as the VMs themselves also do Virtual Memory ("swap"), and in fact VMWare has this thing called a Balloon Driver that swells VM ram usage forcing the guest OS to swap to disk for you, then reclaiming that ram for other Guests.

          Yeah, I love VMWare. :-D

    • Apple OSX focus model is just as irritating. I'll be typing in one window and before I know it, half my sentence has jumped over to another. WTF?!

      As for the svchost.exe snagging an entire core of processing, that one is easy to diagnose. Just open the Task Manager and right-click over the offending process. Now choose "Go to services(s)". There you go. Windows 7 has a really nice CPU scheduler. Not often what you say will happen. The only time a service really starts to consume CPU is when checking for Wind

      • The thing here is I shouldn't have to diagnose shit. The OS shouldn't hamper my main activity, often or rarely, unless it's a critical, CRITICAL thing it needs to do. Checking for Windows Updates is nowhere near critical, or in other words it's far less critical than my focus-owning software that I am using at the time.

        • Just because a process uses 100% of a core doesn't mean it's taking away from your productivity. Or at the very least, it shouldn't. Some background services initiated by scvhost.exe already has it's thread priority set to "below normal" with "normal" being the standard thread setting for all user applications. For example, Windows Backup is set to "below normal". I don't claim Windows 7 is perfect by any stretch, but it really does have an exceptional CPU scheduler. This OS is truly workstation class. Avid

          • I couldn't care less what the theory says as long as practice contradicts it.
            Yes, I know about priority setting under Windows, it's checked for Programs; it doesn't help. Checking for updates (in form of "critical security" ones or not) can't and shouldn't superseed the importance of a currently running application which needs most CPU resources and has focus.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Most of the time I don't think it's the CPU usage that bothers me. It's mostly the Hard Drive usage of some applications that bothers me. Applications can easily monopolize the hard disk, especially if you are still using the spinning platter type. I wish there was a way to set applications for low/high priority on disk access, but I don't think there's any setting for this. Windows 7 is better for this, as it tends to cache more in memory, so you don't need to access the disk as much, but it's still the
      • Apple's Human Interface Guidelines explicitly tell you that you should never make your application do focus stealing. With this in mind, I never understood why they provide APIs that make it easy...
    • sometimes the OS is trolling me. It's Windows 7

      That's all you needed to say. Nothing else was necessary. Having to work with W7 is a daily struggle to accomplish what I want without having to constantly move my hands from one location to another or get menus to stop jumping around.

      As to focus stealing, try dealing with Remedy. No matter what you do, it will take focus. It cannot be stopped. The programmers and designers of Remedy should be taken out back and shot, repeatedly, with a .22 until
  • by magic maverick (2615475) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:52PM (#40783537) Homepage Journal

    I run Ubuntu Linux (10.04, so I've got until April 2013 before I have to find an alternative), and am reasonably secure I think. So I don't think I've got any malware installed. Though Firefox has been crashing regularly since I updated to 14...
    I don't have Adobe Flash, or Adobe Acrobat Reader, or any Adobe products on my machine. I do have MS Windows 2003 in a virtual machine, but rarely run it. I also only run software from the repositories (and only Free Software) rather than randomly downloading stuff from the 'net. I am also careful with my browsing habits, using NoScript and RequestPolicy (which, once set up, are surprisingly painless, esp. NoScript) for example.

    Seriously though, there are three (and more!) great reasons why Linux based systems are inherently superior to MS Windows.
    1) Lower usage by people who mindlessly click through things, leads to fewer bad peeps targeting the OS.
    2) A wide variety of variation (not just in distribution, but also CPU-type, etc.) means that it is much harder to target with malware (though this also makes it harder for other proprietary systems to run, I don't really give a shit).
    3) Even if you do get access to a Linux based system, the security model makes it easier to clean up afterwards (as all you have to do in most cases is just delete the user account and files that were infected).

    Of course, Android is an example of a Linux based system that demonstrates that I'm not correct with at least the first point, and probably the other two points as well.

    • You seem to have sane computer usage habits so would probably be OK with any OS (not that Ubuntu is a bad choice though).
    • re: Android vs. Linux as a whole

      #1 you're right on. As someone said, there is no patch for human stupidity. The more users you have, the more dumb users you have.

      #2 I don't see a difference. While both support a number of CPUs (Android a smaller subset of course), the vast majority of Android devices are ARM variants and the vast majority of Linux machines that users run arbitrary software on or otherwise can expose to malware are x86 variants. Yes there are plenty of ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC based applia

  • The ones with malware on their computer "not worth the chase."

  • Never on the Linux partition, none for a very long time indeed with Windows.

    The last infection I've gotten on a personal machine was in the MS-DOS days from an infected floppy, but F-Prot caught it before it could do any damage.

    • We seem to be pretty much on the same boat. Only once has F-Prot detected something in the DOS days, and it was in some file that I didn't ever use. Since then I have not had any malware that I was aware of *touch wood*. Of course right now all my keypresses might be sent to some mystical host at China, but probably not, so I'm not losing my sleep over it.
      • by dbIII (701233)
        Coincidentally I use the linux version of f-prot on a mail server. It catches quite a lot daily.
    • I caught a nasty in Win 2000 back about 10-12 year ago, from an infected disk that was given to me. Having bad files that never got the chance to infect the OS is another matter; I get those all the time and the scanner gets 'em.
  • Get a portable that takes EE3 RAM, one that takes up to 16 GB. Load that sucker up. Download the free VMWare player or Virtual Box. Install a Linux distro (I favor Zorin because I hate having to rewire my brain from Windows), and do all your surfing in the VMWare appliance, with Ghostery installed of course. And your favorite keystroke encryptor too. I've had zero problems with viruses or trojans since I started. I barely use the base OS at all now. Just Linux and Windows VMs.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @08:12PM (#40785579)

    New laptop out of the box, turned it on and almost instantly a popup appeared, it was nagging me to upgrade, disrupting me from setting up my computer, bogged the machine down really bad, and at one point even asked for personal information AND a credit card number!

    Fucking McAfee, no wonder normal people get crap on their system when their (absolutely worthless) virus protection behaves exactly the same.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:27PM (#40786505)

      Fucking McAfee, no wonder normal people get crap on their system when their (absolutely worthless) virus protection behaves exactly the same.

      "That's a nice computer you have there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it."

      • "That's a nice computer you have there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it."

        That's Norton. McAfee is more like "Make me a sammich, bitch."

        • That's Norton. McAfee is more like "Make me a sammich, bitch."

          I sure hope they don't learn how to use sudo then.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      That's why the FIRST thing I do whenever I get a new laptop is a complete reformat, followed by a fresh install, preferably from my own media. My old Asus laptop had a "recovery disc" that let you pick-and-choose the software to install - I installed just the drivers (it is a pain trying to get drivers onto a machine with no working Ethernet or Wifi, let me tell you) and left McAfee and all the pointless "power management" software off.

      My next Asus laptop didn't even include a disc. It included crappily-mad

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @10:32PM (#40786527)

    I selected "None of which I am aware", but then I realized - I've got Adobe software all over the place.

    • You mean that as a joke insinuating poor quality of adobe software, but there's a hint of direct truth too, in that MOST infections these days go through flash or acrobat(if you have a real browser, anyways).

      If you care about security: install flashblock.

  • Malware? What is this "malware" you speak of?

    Linux household here (other than an old AIX box and an HP-UX box that aren't running right now) with hand tuned iptables, rkhunter, SELinux and a healthy level of paranoia. Oh yeah, and that's with a server on a routable IP address and running my own mail server and webserver.


    • Re:Malware? (Score:5, Funny)

      by jamesh (87723) on Friday July 27, 2012 @02:19AM (#40787661)

      Linux Malware, like everything else Linux, is very very good. If you had some, you wouldn't know it.

  • I'd be busily removing it.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      If I had malware I wouldn't be on Slashdot.

      If you _were aware_ that you had malware, you mean. Good malware wouldn't even let you know it was there. Almost every piece of malware I've come across has been really crap, and I can't help but think "I could write better than this"... but maybe that's because i've never noticed the good stuff?

      • I find that an unfair premise. Most malware, other than spam zombie malware makes its money out of convincing you to buy crap. Particularly "malicious software removal" services.

        • But there are more subtle ways of sell you things. How about a virus that uses a (publicly available) adblock server list to identify incoming ads and replaced them with ads that make the virus writer money. Wouldn't even have to be obvious depending on how shady the ad network is.

        • by jamesh (87723)

          I find that an unfair premise. Most malware, other than spam zombie malware makes its money out of convincing you to buy crap. Particularly "malicious software removal" services.

          There certainly it lots of "obvious" malware, but there is plenty that isn't. Keystroke loggers for one, waiting for the moment when you type in your bank password etc.

  • by DeeEff (2370332) on Friday July 27, 2012 @12:09AM (#40787043)

    So I'm pretty sure my linux machine is malware free.

  • but one of the OSes is Windows 7, though I'm booted into Ubuntu now.

  • Danger, Will Robinson!
    Not at this moment, but I've been using a friend's computer recently, and it seems to want a HDD format.

  • First website I clicked was slashdot. Except for the crap added in at the factory, it's verifiably gunge free

    • Hmm, my first is the PC Decrapifier website if I don't already have it handy on a thumbdrive. Next is a free antivirus option. After that the browser of your choice. But that's just me.

  • No actual infections on my Mac. Just a few lonely Windows virus siting in my email Inbox
  • by confused one (671304) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:55AM (#40789161)
    None that I'm aware of. Shouldn't be any considering it's anti-virused, firewalled, and I check it manually from time to time. Still, if it's there despite all this, I'm not sure I want to know... I'll take the blue pill please.
  • I'm confronted with malware only when I login to the form of apps that have access to all my info.

  • I setup EMET [] for all programs that hit the network, always use an ad blocker in my browser, and keep google's malware site warning turned on. If something is advanced enough to bypass all of that then it is probably advanced enough for me to not realize I have it anyway. Ignorance is bliss.

  • Almost all the popular web sites are malware. I'm not picking on Twitter in particular, just using it as an example. Last time I looked, the page you land on had several 100k of code. That's to display a dozen 140-character text comments. The horrible code:data ratio wouldn't be so bad, except that the code is fancy crap that takes several seconds to render, connect, and phone home God-only knows what to Central Command. All to display a dozen 140-character comments.

    Once again, not picking on Twitter.

  • Yessiree! I use Linux, so I rest easy knowing that no way will I ever get a virus or malware, nope, no way!

    Just like when I used to own an Apple computer... uh... never mind....
  • I have a dual-boot laptop with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04. On Windows 7: I run my browsers within a sandbox utility called Sandboxie, which provides many of the benefits a VM does. I also keep updated virus definitions, OS up-to-date, security settings and software updates for all apps. On Linux: This is my primary OS. Its fairly secure and most of my apps come from the main repositories so I have little to worry about. Since linux desktops are not very popular, most malware does not target it. I have a vir
  • We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of.
  • ... you insensitive klodzs, so how can I be infected?

  • BeBox with BeOS... Immune to all Malware Baby!

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?


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