Making Lemonade

First, I got lemons …

Earlier today I was doing some web development for a client.  This involves searching though stock photographs and images on the world wide web.  Sometimes I use clipart or photographs – slightly modified – or traced and recolored.  The images have to be appropriate to the site design and I find myself spending a good bit of time on Google, searching through the volumes of material for that needle in a haystack visual that can make or break the site.  This usually ends up being a combination of different images arranged to bring the correct effect.

I was scrolling through a deluge of useless stuff trying to find the right image and I got distracted in the boredom.  In and amongst all these mind numbing images was a single stand-out.  A pretty lady at the beach in a bikini.  I hovered over it … and then clicked in for a closer look – nabbed!

I was immediately reminded of all the times over the nearly two decades I had stood in front of someone who needed help because their Windows PC was infected.  Probably the most common question I received was, “how did this happen?”;  they always seemed to want to know why their computer was suddenly unusable.

… then I made Lemonade

I retraced my steps and created this video.  It’s not much but it does show how someone could become “infected” with Anti-Virus 2011.

 

Remember, even though I was lucky and happened to be using Linux as my computer operating system the steps are exactly the same.

  1. Surf the Internet
  2. Get unwelcome software installed on your (Windows) PC

The anti-virus 2011 software is a program that’s designed to run on Windows PCs.  Your anti-virus software sees it in much the same way it sees anything else you try to install on your computer.  It just sees an installation program and allows it to install.

Anti-Virus 2011 is a well known “trojan” program in the world of Windows.  It’s been around for years and it changes constantly to avoid detection.  It’s very hard to remove and can actually disable the legitimate anti-virus you purchased!

This video is my lemonade.  I happened to be surfing the web using my Linux computer and I happened to fall into this Windows trap.  I was spared only because I was using Linux.

Today I saved hours of potential down-time by simply not being just another Windows user.  To use that time I decided to retrace my steps so you can see how easy it would be for this to happen to you.  Hopefully, you can also see what people mean when they say if you’re using Windows it’s not a matter of whether you will become infected, it’s a matter of when.

 

 

This entry was posted in Operating Systems, Software. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making Lemonade

  1. Zachary Hodson says:

    This is an outstanding video, Frank. It’s always difficult to describe to people how they got infected. This shows how it can happen to anyone at anytime without engaging in any particularly high risk behavior. Once this chain of events has been initiated the average user can not stop it. I have been trying to tell people about this for years and now I can show them. Thanks Frank! Are you going to Copyright the video? (-;

  2. It was copyrighted as soon as he created it. He can add a notice to allow others to copy if he wishes.

    “When is my work protected?
    Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” – http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

Leave a Reply to Zachary Hodson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *