When does open season on HACKERS start??

Buick From Hell

Staff member
May 29, 2001
I'm about totally fed up with hackers and their virus bull$#!t!

This is the kind of crap I'm getting now:
Dear user, the management of Engraver1.com mailing system wants to let you know that some of our clients complained about the spam (negative e-mail content) outgoing from your e-mail account. Probably, you have been infected by a proxy-relay trojan server. In order to keep your computer safe, follow the instructions.

Further details can be obtained from attached file.

In order to read the attach you have to use the following password: 21562

The Engraver1.com team
I find this rather fascinating, since the "Engraver1.com team" consists of ME!!

I probably spend as much time deleting virus-ridden e-mails as I do reading the good ones. I've never been much of a hunter, but if they ever DO open up a hacker-hunt, count me in.
:mad: :mad:
Just in a little defense...

REAL hackers dont bother with this ***** virus crap... These people are just lowlife scum wannabe hackers who think that by sending out viruses and trojan horse emails that they will somehow be elevated to godlike status.

More than likely in our lives you'll never run into a REAL hacker, none of us are in any sort of position that theyd be after us... (AFAIK)
Granted, most "hackers" aren't virus spreaders, but ALL virus spreaders are hackers!

I do have a certain sense of respect for hackers, simply because of their knowledge of computers...back in the early '80s I got into writing stupid programs in BASIC for the Atari & Apple II's ... for example, I wrote a self-running "craps" program that would make 3 separate passline/come bets, and all bets would automatically be adjusted according to the outcome, and I could adjust the adjustments! I would just start it, and come back in a few hours and see if I'd found a "system"...nope! (can't beat mathematical odds!) Took me MONTHS to get it the program to work right, and I was real proud of it! (a hacker could probably write the same program in about 20 minutes!) But I never had the time or inclination to learn machine language, and then PC's came...

so okay, sorry to rag on "good" hackers!
There are some pretty decent spam removal tools out there but...

If using some of the below, I have a few tips mostly from the top of my head for you. Not a complete list just a quickie.

Outlook Express -
Its Microsoft so make sure your machine is patched. Also, take advantage of its built in filters. "Create Rule from Message" comes in handy for those messages that come through on a regular basis. You can also do "Message Rules" to create filters. There is a checkbox in the options panel under SECURITY for "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus". Yeah, a buddy may send you some "fun and cool" thing but this IS a business contact email right? You have to make a decision without good filtering what matters more. If things you need cant come through, you could always re-enable this feature.

Outlook/Exchange -
Not likely you have this one but I'll mention anyway. This combo, in the current versions, is VERY good about filtering crap out or allowing you to configure filtering. Integrates well with aftermarket solutions that together will get 9x% of unwanted mail.

Netscape/Mozilla -
I use Mozilla as Netscape AOL crap bugs me. Mozilla is the technology behind Netscape anyway. Ok, I have mine set to "Do not load remote images in Mail and Newsgroup messages" which prevents emails that in order to be displayed go out to the internet to get their content - IOW a linked file built into the email.

I also use Mozilla's "Junk mail" filtering. Any message that is, well, junk gets the "this is junk" button clicked. I set my options to send anything marked as Junk to be put in a different folder than my inbox (like delete). You can highlight multiple messages at a time (prevents them from being opened) then tell Mozilla the selected messages are all junk. Works pretty good! I also like how some of the "nasty' mails out there that would do harm are written for Outlook or Outlook Express and not Mozilla.

Mozilla also has a browser and an EASY to use HTLM editor. Its roots are in the opensource arena so its got a small "footprint" after install too. I didnt install all the plug-ins for Mozilla's browser so if Im looking for Software I shouldnt be I dont get hit with as many popups or auto running crap... that said I do run a seperate popup stopper as my primary browser is still IE.

Some of the big name anti-virus programs out there now have a full package of protection... blocking popups, firewall, antivirus, spam killers ets. If you use something outher than Outlook or Outlook express be carefull though! Why? Well, if say you recieved an email that contained a virus but did NOT open it but instead it was auto deleted or filtered into another folder it IS possible for the AV program to find it, and delete it. Sounds great but many email programs store an entire folder as one file. Your "inbox" is just a single file in many cases.... so, now that entire "infected" file is gone. :)

As you could guess Im typing generic stuff and not things specific to you. If its not too lengthy it may be helpful to someone. My final point or tip is to mention that if you use an auto preview feature in your email software, it is the same as opening the email. IOW, if you have the message highlighted in one area and the content is displayed in another, you migh as well have actually "opened" the email.

I dont run AV software at home.
Buick From Hell:

I've read several of your posts over the last few months regarding software and virus issues. For over a year I had much the same problems. I rely on my computers for my business and cannot afford to have a PC down for any length of time. For the last three months, however, I have been completely virus free and have experienced absolutely no operating problems. How? I made the switch to Apple computers. I swear I will never return to a PC/Microsoft OS system again. I don't even run a virus scan on the G4 or ibook and have NEVER experienced a virus problem with them. One night I received over 1600 e-mail viruses. What did my system do? Notified be of this and continued to operate in its happy little way.

Consider an Apple. Expensive but well worth it. XP has enough open gaps to drive a truck through and the Apple/Unix is much more efficient and near impossible to defeat.
Depends on what software/hardware you plan to run.... not all devices are cross platform.

Set the patches to autoupdate and forget it - the biggest defense against a virus is the USER. Also, the OS doesnt play a large part in spam removal.

I have XP and do not run AV software. I have never had an infection. I DO run a popup stopper but disable it sometimes.

That said, I can certainly make a good case for going mac for office tools and internet! But you already have! lol. Im guessing his machines for engraving and ? are in play here.

I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that the antivirus software companies or the Windows software companies were behind alot of this to generate sales for their products:D
XP has enough open gaps to drive a truck through and the Apple/Unix is much more efficient and near impossible to defeat.

The reason for this is NOT that Apple's OS is any better or any more secure. Hackers and Crackers attempt to gain access to systems, usually for fun and thrill and fame. They usually do no damage, and leave a small token behind to prove they were there.

Virus writers are those that wish to do harm to others and gain notoriety doing it. If they didn't have the computer to write viruses, they would be out robbing and mugging people on the street. They are usually kids, with too much time and utilities on their hands. Believe it or not, they are usually not that computer saavy either - at least not down to the nuts and bolts. They use virus writing utilities, usually written for useful purposes, and make them do bad stuff.

Anyway, the reason everyone points to the insecurities of Micorosfts apps and OS's is because they are so popular. If you want to do something bad to a group of people, would you not go where there is the greatest chance of success??? If you wrote a virus to target an Apple OS, or say, exploit a weakness in Mozilla or something like that, chances are you would be trying to get someone that is a little more computer knowledgable. So, chances are also good that they have done all the security pathces to the OS and have anti-virus installed and updated.

The easy target are the masses of asses that run to best buy, get a computer, never do any patches, never install antivirus, or never update it. These virus writers usually find out about the weaknesses in the OS because Microsoft releases a tech bulletin with the security patch. Many machines in homes never see that patch, so the virus works.

If more people had Apples or ran Mozilla, trust me, there would be plenty of viruses and exploits out there. Microsoft is the easy target. Much of it because of their own doing, but that doesnt matter.

If you really want to avoid the virus thing, just run Linux. Thats what most of these virus writers are using anyway, so they spend no time writing viruses for it. They would only be hurting their buddies. :D
Although I have been a full time linux user for years, I don't know if I would suggest it to the majority of the TB public.

However, I would recommend that People like BFH with online businesses, or even the average TB user with a broadband connection get a hardware based linux firewall and e-mail filter in one. It's normally a pretty cost effective solution that will save you lots of hassle and trouble in the long run.
I would give serious consideration to going to Apple, if it wasn't for my computer controlled machines at work. Every machine is using a program that's IBM based, 2 of them are DOS programs. The only machine I could use an Apple with would be the laser engraver. At home I don't have that problem, but sometimes work comes home with me...

My stepson has been trying to get me to try Linux, but it's the same problem...

I'm hoping my virus problems are about over, the firewalls are doing their jobs and I haven't had a problem for weeks! (knock on my head). But on average I receive nearly 40 legitimate e-mails per day, and with all the "spoofing" going on, I get lots of viruses daily, and worse is all the "mailer-daemon" e-mails I'm getting telling me I'M sending viruses!!

It's just getting old...:mad:
I get emails from my business sent to my personal email with virus's attached. The virus's are all over the place and really suck. I am going to school for Computer Info Tech, soon to be Comp Info Security. The guys I know that are "hackers" are just as mad at the idiots sending the trojans and worms.
BFH and others,

You can still use linux on another computer to do firewalling/email filtering and never know it was on your network. I wouldn't suggest linux as a primary machine.