Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Firewalls and such...

Ange said something in a comment on my last post that probably bears further study.

Listening to way too much NPR through my working years, 5 years ago or so I heard a piece on an IT student think tank that bought 8 new desktop PC's and connected them to the net without a firewall to monitor how long it was before there was an intrusion attempt. They had told their professors they expected it to be 45 minutes, and they were right.

Two years later they recreated their experiment and predicted it would be 20 minutes as I recall; it was less than 15 for all 8 computers!

Though only an illiterate autoworker, my younger son convinced me early on to always run a firewall and antivirus (I have a brother-in-law who firmly believes that all the viruses are written by the AV companies in order to sell you their product). Since AdAware and SpyBot came out, I run both of those as well. Probably not as often as I should, but more than once a month.

I've still had a few virus incidents through the years, but only a few. I got so tired of ZoneAlarm telling me it had blocked another intrusion attempt that I turned off that feature years ago; it still logs them but doesn't report them to me. (My little hiccup the other day my son said was most likely just a one time thing where Windows got confused and therefore took away everyone's administrative privileges; when he started it up in "safe mode" he fixed things quite handily.)

I truly wish that those who spend so much time creating the need for these products would direct their energies towards ending the genocide in Darfur or something, but in the meantime what little I have in my bank account I'd like to keep there!

9:58AM, the trash truck just rolled by about 6 hours early, so in a minute I'll go drag my cans back in. Then I get to call and deal with benefits as for some reason I have to call them to opt in to my health insurance program now that I'm retired...gee, is there someone out there who is retiring that doesn't need to continue there insurance. Other than "W" I mean...

May the week be kind!



fineartist said...

My sister Becky got laid off from ATandT recently and they were supposed to give her a letter that would entitle her to help finding a good job, only the woman in charge wont up the paper, and she's a creep...and she gets to keep her job.

I hear ya on the insurance thing, you bet.


robin andrea said...

We run two mac laptops and one PC. The PC is definitely the more vulnerable of the three. It is insane that there are people who get their jollies by screwing up other people's computers, but they're definitely out there.

You say that you are only "an illiterate autoworker"-- I have to disagree with you rather vociferously my friend. I've been reading your blog for quite some time, you are an articulate writer with a wealth of knowledge and insight.

Barbara said...

I too wish those who squander their talents causing mischief for us, the lowly end-user, would use their talents to show us how truly brilliant they are by doing something which contributes to society.

alan said...

Ten years ago or so, the Japanese ambassador to the United States said that the reason the Japanese automakers had not moved more production to the U.S. wasn't the increased cost of labor, but because all American autoworkers were illiterate...

So I've tried to take that into account each time I speak since then!


CrackerLilo said...

I'd also love to see these hackers do something useful!

That Japanese ambassador sure hadn't met you.

Casdok said...

Touch wood i havent had any virus incidents!