2858Internet Security Warning-Eastman Genealogy Newsletter -Of Interest To All
- Jul 6, 2004- Major Windows Security Risk
NOTE: This article contains no genealogy information. However, it
contains information that every Windows user should know.
A new Trojan horse appeared last week. Technically, a Trojan horse is
not the same as a virus, but the result is the same: something bad could
happen to anyone whose computer becomes infected. Every Windows user
should read about the JS.Scob.Trojan problem. You can search Google at
http://tinyurl.com/2gndp to find hundreds of articles about
JS.Scob.Trojan. If you use Windows, you need to read several of those
Even the Department of Homeland Security is now advising computer users
to stop using Internet Explorer. Details are available at:
http://tinyurl.com/yrq6j. Note that the article says, "The Department of
Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team touched off a
storm this week when it recommended for security reasons using browsers
other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer."
A related story is available at http://tinyurl.com/yq2pp
Even Slate Magazine, an online publication owned by Microsoft and
published on MSN, is advising readers to not use Microsoft's Internet
Explorer! You can read the article at http://slate.msn.com/id/2103152/.
In short, the JS.Scob.Trojan program is a major security risk. It
installs spyware programs in your Windows PC and can capture any
keystrokes you enter, including your passwords, bank account numbers,
and credit card numbers that you type.
JS.Scob.Trojan is running rampant, and the anti-virus companies have not
yet found a cure for it. However, Microsoft has now posted a workaround
to this security bug on its Web site. The Microsoft patch is not a true
fix; it simply provides a method to avoid the problem. The company says
that it is still "investigating the problem."
JS.Scob.Trojan explores a weakness in Microsoft's IIS Web server and is
appearing in Web servers all around the world. Even Web sites that you
use every day and trust can become infected with this virus. Once you
visit an infected Web site, your Windows computer will be infected.
NOTE: The Web site for this newsletter at http://www.eogn.com
<http://www.eogn.com/> operates on Linux, not Windows. Therefore the
eogn.com Web site will not be infected by JS.Scob.Trojan, nor will any
other Web server that runs on Linux, UNIX, or Apple. You can safely read
this newsletter in any Web browser. The only Web servers that are
vulnerable to JS.Scob.Trojan are those running Microsoft Windows. You
will only become infected if you use Microsoft's Internet Explorer web
browser on a Windows computer and you visit an infected Web site that
uses Microsoft's IIS Web server.
Eogn.com will never run on a Microsoft Web server!
Luckily, there is an easy fix for this: don't use Microsoft's Internet
Explorer. Period. Use Opera or Netscape or Mozilla or FireFox or Safari
For even better on-going security, don't use Windows. Use a Macintosh or
Linux or some other operating system.
I have written in a recent Plus Edition article about Opera, a new Web
browser for Windows and other operating systems that is much better than
Internet Explorer, runs faster, and does a better job of displaying Web
pages. If you use Opera, you will not become infected by this recent
Trojan horse. FireFox is another new and faster Web browser.
Likewise, if you use Mozilla or FireFox or Netscape or Safari, you will
not be infected. If you are using a Macintosh or Linux system, you will
not be infected. The high risk occurs only if you use Microsoft Internet
Explorer on a Microsoft Windows system.
I am about to delete Microsoft Internet Explorer from my systems. Time
and again the Microsoft products have proven to have security holes that
are not shared with other Web browsers. I cannot afford the risk.
In fact, I am running a Linux system on my desk alongside my Windows
system. The more I use Linux, the better I like it. I also own an iMac
and like its Safari Web browser. I am thinking of scrapping my Windows
system soon and using only Linux. It is faster, much more secure, and
almost impervious to viruses and Trojan horse problems. Linux is also
becoming as easy to use as Windows.
Some people will argue that Microsoft has all these security problems
simply because the company's products are so popular. They will claim
that the miscreants who create viruses and Trojan horse programs attack
Windows only because of its popularity. They will claim that Linux or
Macintosh would have the same problems if those operating systems were
You know what? I don't care!
As a computer user, I know that using a Microsoft solution exposes me to
personal risk. My credit card numbers, my bank account information, and
more are at risk, regardless of the reasons. I also know that using a
Macintosh or a Linux system reduces that risk about 99.9%. Even if I
stay with Windows, switching from Internet Explorer to Opera or Netscape
or Mozilla or FireFox reduces the risk perhaps 95%.
I will probably switch operating systems. However, if you are not
prepared to do that, I strongly urge you to stop using Internet
Explorer. Instead, use Netscape or Mozilla or FireFox or Opera.
Think about it…
You can find more information about Opera at http://www.opera.com
<http://www.opera.com/>. You can learn about FireFox at
Do you have comments, questions or corrections to this article? Post
your message on the newsletter's blog at: http://blog.eogn.com
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