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zoltanthegypsy
Posts: 3,503
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

Security Stories - funny and not-so-funny

[ Edited ]

Here we are on the last day of this event.  Lots of good questions and answers.

 

I don't have anything useful to contribute, so I'll start this thread with a couple of stories illustrating how easy it is to get into trouble on the interwebs. You can have all the security software in the world, but it won't eliminate PEBKAC. I blame a certain community supermod for encouraging this...

 

1) My wife yelled at me that her computer was messed up.  (It's always my fault)  She couldn't open an email attachment.  I asked her to show me.  It was from a familiar email address, but the contents were in broken English and the attachment was waaay suspicious.  She was just curious to see what it was.

 

The reason she couldn't open it was that the AV software had popped up a window screaming "do you really, really want to to open this!!!!!"  Fortunately the popup was behind the browser window and she couldn't click "OK".

 

2) A co-worker complained that his desktop had been running slow for a month or so.  I immediately noticed that the NIC LED was constantly blinking.  Welcome to the botnet.  We started playing 20 questions, and I finally got this out of him:

 

He had gotten an email - seemingly from corporate HQ (we were briefly owned by a large company) saying something like "Corporate has discovered infections on several machines.  If you find a file "..\windows\system32\something-important.dll" remove it immediately!"  He did.  24 hours later here came another email "Sincere apologies.  The previous email was incorrect, and we should not have asked you to remove that dll.  Please reinstall the attached file."  He did.  Hilarity ensued.

 

He didn't bother to run this by the IT guy (me, sort of) for a month.

 

3) A co-worker's spouse was visiting, and asked to use our wifi connection to conduct some of her business.  She needed to contact the mother ship in another state.  Check her email - or so I thought.  After a while, she came into my office and said something like " the IT guy at my office needs the password to your router.  He needs to change your firewall settings so my app will work."  He was running a remote desktop on her machine and had already tried to fiddle the router without asking.

 

Insane.  Criminally.

 

Anyone care to add to this?  Or petition the mods to remove it?

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

 

The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored. ... GeezBlog

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Microsoft MVP
Corrine
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎11-03-2011
Location: Upstate, NY

Re: Security Stories - funny and not-so-funny

Good idea, Z.  A bit of levity doesn't detract from learning. 

 

True story:

 

On one of the forums I admin, there was someone who was having ongoing problems with his computer.  He was a regular contributor to the forum, although in the general areas, not with computer help.  The problem I encountered with him is that he wouldn't follow through or would avoid answering questions that were directed at determining the nature of the problem.  Instead, he would claim to reinstall the OS and all would be well . . . for a while anyway.

 

Finally we learned the real reason he had ongoing problems with his computer. 

 

QUOTE:

 

"i am CERTAIN it is running hot, b/c, among other things, I cover all the airvents with a TOWEL while it is running!

yeah, i kno this is not ideal, but there are reasons (flying liquids!) why I am afraid to leave it exposed. anyway, i figured this was adding wear and tear to the machine, but i didn't think it was a cause of big problems in the SHORT-term.

HOWEVER, last night i left it uncovered (lid closed but no towel) and pointed a FAN at it. as of this morning (11 hrs or so) it is STILL running w/o a crash!"

Microsoft MVP, Consumer Security
Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!
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Security Information and Malware Removal @LandzDown Forum
andyP
Posts: 9,295
Topics: 161
Kudos: 713
Solutions: 635
Registered: ‎11-27-2007
Location: Bonnie Scotland

Re: Security Stories - funny and not-so-funny

Oh ha!  Very tempting Z.

 

What makes me angry are the occasions when customers come in with problems that are PEND related rather than PEBKAC related :smileysurprised: 

 

These are the users who admit when purchasing a computer that they are new to computing or not so computer savvy, purchase a system that fits their requirements and after being told "if you have any questions / problems - call and ask us".  They get home, unpack the computer, and generally get on pretty well but then they hit something which they are unsure about. OK, shop's closed and they don't want to wait until the next morning, - wait a minute the guy next door has had a computer for years.

 

They visit their neighbour, to seek help, who is more than willing to offer best advice. Their neighbour naturally doesn't study the config. before letting loose with their registry editing tools and tweak tools from the free cd included in their favourite magazine they received 5 years ago.

 

The result is the customer calls in the next morning because nothing seems to be working as it should be - I hate this :smileymad:  but have unfortunately seen it too often. :smileysad:

 

PEND = Problem Exists Next Door. - Can be more destructive than most malware :smileywink:

Andy  

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Community Moderator
zoltanthegypsy
Posts: 3,503
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

Re: Security Stories - funny and not-so-funny

Hey!  I resemble that remark!  I'm the guy next door...

 

I've taken to wearing this T shirt when I go out in public.  Maybe it will help.

 

Z.

 

will-not-fix.jpg


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

 

The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored. ... GeezBlog

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andyP
Posts: 9,295
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Registered: ‎11-27-2007
Location: Bonnie Scotland
0

Re: Security Stories - funny and not-so-funny

!LOL! :smileyvery-happy:  weni widi got the t-shirt :smileyvery-happy:

Andy  

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