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a Special Report
"A Personal Virus ATTACK"

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A Personal Virus ATTACK
Does your computer have a virus, too?

Although this report was written a few years ago, the message is still appropriate and 
points out the virus grief that can result from not keeping our security tools up to date

Date Line: Sometime in 2003

We had been using the internet for a dozen years and were recently  infected for the first time.

Like many people, we did install a virus protection program a few years ago, but since we never seemed to have a problem, and since the up-date subscription ran out, we became somewhat apathetic about the whole topic.... until one day when we received an email message from one of our friends.. advising us that we had transmitted a virus to him in one of our messages.

We were infected.

Fortunately, our internet connection was functioning and we made a mad scramble to the McAfee site where we purchased and quickly downloaded their up to date on-line Virus protection program.

We immediately made a virus scan of the whole computer with all of its files, (thousands of them), and found that some thirty or more files were infected with more than one strain of virus. The anti-virus program was able to cure all but one file which we had to destroy by deleting it.

We were very lucky. We could have been infected by some very mean and nasty destructive viruses, but now, as long as we keep our Virus Protection program data files up to date and run regular virus scan routines, we should be ok.

The major question that immediately comes to mind is "How did we get infected?" We could have opened the wrong file on some email message, or a floppy disk could have been the culprit. We really didn't think too much about hackers trying to inject a virus in our machine.

Heck, we aren't on line that much; our dial-up connection is on only when we are on the net or sending e-mail, and besides, who would want to hack us since we are just a private individual family with no big corporate type data and few personal secrets.

The McAfee site also offered a Personal Firewall (*), so while we were there to get the anti-virus program, we purchased their Firewall software… also downloadable.

What a surprise was in store for us!

And everyone who has a Personal Firewall program has no doubt been as astounded as we were. The program alerts us every time a hacker, or someone tries to get into our machine through different ports in our software. We never even knew that so many ports existed.

There seems to be a bunch of them and dozens of attempts to compromise them.

The Firewall protection allows us to ban the sources of these attacks and report them to the 'hacker police' associated with the McAfee organization. Sometimes these penetration attempts come rapid-fire, one after another. Other times they are quite random over an extended period of time. But one gets the feeling that there is something out there just waiting to pounce as soon as we go on-line.

We have two computers on line at home. Before the second one became infected, we quickly installed Symantec virus protection on it (because we had bought it sometime ago but never got around to installing it). We immediately registered it and downloaded all of the current virus data files and ran a virus check. Then we bought and downloaded the McAfee Personal Firewall for that machine, too.

By sheer coincidence, while we were struggling with our home problem, our internet dedicated machines at work became infected for the first time in five years, but with an entirely different strain of virus. After downloading the latest data files, we were able to disinfect those computers, too.

We also installed the McAfee Firewall. And have since added anti-Trojan Horse protection, DSL with its included firewall and virus protection, and we never, ever open anyone's personal floppies and unfamiliar email unless we scan them first!

There is a moral to this little story. You can be bitten by one of these computer virus bugs, too, and the chances of this happening are increasing all of the time. There are reportedly more than 100,000 virus strains lurking 'out there'.

We don't know why there are people 'out there' who get pleasure from being malicious, juvenile, criminal, etc., but they are there… and we have learned that they are trying to get into our machines from hidden sites all over the world.


It really doesn't matter whose product you use. McAfee virus and Firewall protection, Symantec, AVG, or who ever. You can download these programs right from the internet if you need the protection RIGHT NOW... or get the software as a CD from a local software store,

(*)What's a Firewall? more info here

Be Safe Online ... Don't let unsuspecting correspondents or friends, or even those nasty hackers infect your computer.

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