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2858Internet Security Warning-Eastman Genealogy Newsletter -Of Interest To All

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  • Charles W Aubin
    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
      more popular.

      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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