A note to a local news station about recent worms.
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A note to a local news station about recent worms.
I just realized that a lot of coverage about the recent virus/worms that are affecting so many people considers that everybody with a computer is vulnerable and one of the local news stations just today said something like, "...the recent viruses that are affecting your computer..." So, I felt compelled to send this:
You know, when you mention these recent virus/worms that are affecting
Microsoft based computers, you should also mention that these worms and
viruses are not affecting Linux based computers. Microsoft is not the
only game in town.
This is a very important point, as my father arrived home in a hurry and siad to me to stop my Linux system as he feared that it would be severely affected by viruses. This was because of the hoopla surrounding the worms, that newspeople ignore other OS.
And my father's estimation of Linux has risen, so that I think that if the community uses this to advertise, it will be a very good launch pad.
at work we are dealing with hundreds of these calls. i was sitting down saying "install linux" to tease my boss because he doesnt like linux as a desktop machine. some kid (who's computer was infected with the worm and had to be cleaned) had the nerve to argue with me about it. he said "what would u do about a database". it caught me off guard. he said MySQL only had a 4gig limit and that Oracle would be 2 expensive.
...i didnt argue with him because i was at work and we cant just piss off customers, but this kid had the nerve to sit there and say windows is better in a server environment when he himself was without an internet connection due to flawed code and millions of dollars being lost due to server downtimes all over the place.
My dad got hit hard by another problem at the same time as the worm (this actually affected both of the Win2K machines in our house). The computer wouldn't boot up; it would get to the login screen then reboot. Soon afterwards the hard drive died (the other computer didn't get to this point, I re-installed Win2K on it-- it was my sister's-- and it was ok). Evidently this has happened to a lot of computer, judging by the win2k newsgroups I was trolling for help in, as well as other people we know.
ANYWAY... I took the opportunity to point out to my dad that if he had Linux, he would have been fine. He asked me how much it cost, and when I said free, he raised an eyebrow. Then he asked about some of the software he uses (basically Excel, Word, and Outlook) and I told him that they were easily replacable. He was SO close to switching, but I think he felt that he had invested so much money in his stuff he didn't want to throw it away.
Oh well-- my sister also told me last night that my 14-year-old nephew wants me to set up his computer to dual boot so he can learn Linux.
I am doing the things along these same lines. My dad owns a business and I am trying to talk him into doing a webserver and home network, of course all running linux. I am using the lastest virus issues to promote linux for this. He works with a lot of high dollar companies, so I kind of have an hiddden agenda, thinking when he goes to others offices and they are talking about a worms or viruses, maybe he will be like, oh I run Linux don't have to worry about any of that. I am thinking it will atleast get the word out there.
i'd like to play devils advocate here. i have a windows xp computer at home (i'm actually on it right now) and it just sits here all day and all night for months at a time on. hasn't crashed, or needed to be rebooted. it didn't get hit by any viruses and i haven't updated it in months. i just have a firewall on it and my router has a firewall and its perfectly fine. so just because its a windows box doesn't mean it will get hit. if the user takes some semi-intelligent precautions i think they can be ok.
You are one of the few. There will be some that just have the luck of that happening, but for the most part, if you don't patch things up, you'll get hit. A solid firewall seems like wasn't enough for quite a few people who ALSO had one...
But an anology would be STD's and abstinence. If you don't have sex at all, then you are guaranteed to not get a few of the STD's that are only transmitted that way The same goes for Virii affecting only 1 OS, if you use something that it cannot infect (Say, Slackware Linux) then you are guaranteed to not get infected. No 'chances' there.
I am abstaining from XP (not really, I dual boot actually with XP, so take everything I say about it with less than a grain of salt)
I sent a similar e-mail to my ISP (adelphia), who had sent a mass e-mail to all of their customers urging them to patch their Win2k/XP so that they would not be infected. I replied to to their e-mail and asked that in the future they only include me in their mass mailings if the virus also affects Linux/Unix OS'es. I also asked that they include a disclaimer advising Linux/Unix/Mac users that they do not have to be concerned with the virus. Needless to say, I have not received a response.