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Monday, June 19, 2006

Computer Security - Download Nightmare

One of several internet security newsletters I get featured this story of how an innocent seeming download turned out within seconds to be a Security nightmare.

Anyone that downloads anything from the web (including web pages to be viewed like this one!) should take heed. There are many stories in the category of "Most Recent Horror Stories" at the C|Net site. I've read several accounts on various other sites as well, where merely clicking 'no' when prompted with the question, "Download now?", may actually trigger the download regardless of your selection. -- Perhaps, closing the browser window entirely may be safer in some cases.

There are increased warnings regarding potential for malignant and invasive javascript worms. Possibly the only way to be immune is to disable javascript in all one's browsers, except perhaps tweaks permitted for trusted sites.

A lot of webpages are built with bells and whistles that use relatively innocent javascript, such as blogrolling tools which let you know when pages have updated to tools that figure out which browser you are using, in order to present that web page correctly.

Malware developments along these lines could get very interesting as more people may once again decide to turn off javascript. It wasn't long ago that we often disabled javascript because it didn't always work properly, and now, perhaps javascript is enabled so well, that it is just about the most unsafe way to surf. If disabled, elements of fancy web pages with javascript (including navigation) will not load and will need to be rewritten -- if plain text HTML links are not already included.

Related Links:
C|Net - Antivirus and Internet security information
About.com Antivirus
F-Secure - News from the Lab
Information Week - Security

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/19/2006 03:57:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger yawningdog sent us a woof // July 07, 2006

I just heard about 'negative' agreements. If you hit the X and close a pop up, you may have justed negatively agreed to the service. I guess this is really appearing in pop ups that show up after you make an online purchase. The company you are buying from gives your credit card info to the pop up company. (That would be the last purchase I did with such a company.)

Hit F4 to close out pop ups.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // July 08, 2006

I do a lot of research online and sometimes end up on spammy sites that try to install things or give weird javascript pop ups. Sometimes I have such a bad feeling about the site, I shut down the browser entirely. Then enter the site into my hosts file as a 127.0.0.1 (localhost) which means that next time I end up going to that website, my computer points to itself instead of going there. Pretty useful since I'm not ready to entirely turn off javascript for all sites.   

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