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Thread: Unprotected PCs are Compromised Quickly

  1. #1
    Junior Member jseymour's Avatar
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    Unprotected PCs are Compromised Quickly

    In a resent article, USA Today along with Avantgarde, a San Francisco tech marketing and design firm, set up six honeypot computers, and monitored them for two weeks. This was a test to see what kind of attacks the computers would undergo while they were connected to the internet unprotected.

    The machines tested were types popular with home users and small businesses. They included: four Dell desktop PCs running different configurations of the Window XP operating system, an Apple Macintosh and a Microtel Linspire, which uses the Linux operating system.

    The unprotected machines, when connected to the internet, immediately began sustaining attacks to an average of about 340 per hour.

    Windows PCs that had recent patches and firewall sustained about 4 attack attempts per hour.

    Out of the constant barrage of attacks over the two week period, only 9 actual compromises were recorded to the unprotected Windows machines. No compromise to either the Linux system or the Mac.

    Read more at USA Today

    This demonstrates how important updates, antivirus, and firewalls are in today's computer enviroment.

  2. #2
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Education is the key, more news papers should write reports so regular home users become aware.

  3. #3
    Junior Member jseymour's Avatar
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    Yes, I was very surprised to see a newspaper sponsoring a test such as this.

    Like you say, the home user must be made aware of the threat to secure their systems.

  4. #4
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Our local news paper picked up a syndicated Tech column a year or so ago, before that PC shop did good business on spyware/virus removal. Things dropped off after the news article's and people learned that they needed to update their anti virus. When their PC's ran slow they'd say hmmm maybe I need that SpyBot S&D the paper was talking about.

  5. #5
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    I talk to people daily that wanna turn off their AV and firewall SW becuase it asks them things...Pops up messages asking if they want to let something access the NET. They don't want to learn what they are doing. It takes too much effort so they want it disabled.

  6. #6
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    rik - I am going to climb on the soap box on this subject. When my computer repair business was active, most of my customers were the people you described. There were also a sizable number that had purchased a computer for their children and then turned the kids loose. It didn't take long for them to load the machine with garbage.

    Your comment about these people refusing to learn how to protect themselves is true, but I don't think they should have to. The internet community's policy of placing emphasis on users having to purchase AV and firewall products has encouraged bad behavior.

    I wish that all authors and users of malicious code would spend significant time behind bars. I would like to see 10's of thousands of these guys rotting in a dark hole. Breaking into someones computer is like breaking into their home. You shouldn't be there unless you are invited.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

  7. #7
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
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    Many users will never use AV and Firewalls unless they are already there and they can't figure out how to turn them off. It's just a fact. Most users until recently were computer enthusiasts but nowadays most users are just people that want to shop online, burn CDs or whatever and have no interest in the workings of the machine. The trend will continue - witness media centre PCs.

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