ADMIN: hiiiiikk!

Brett Dikeman brett at
Thu Aug 19 21:45:14 EDT 2004

Yup, we just had a hiccup with the server.  The antivirus bit went 
postal and filled 20GB of disk space with little bitty files, which 
makes getting rid of them a royal PITA(slow).  Then we had to sort 
out some side problems caused -by- the lack of disk space, but 
everything seems to be yippy-skippy now.  I think we lost a little 
email, not sure how much.

Incidentally, we get around a couple HUNDRED (sometimes more) copies 
of various viruses a day.  The viruses are a collossal waste of CPU 
time for the server, not to mention the bandwidth wasted- the buggers 
are 40-50kb EACH.  That's larger than the digest for quattro.

Obviously, consult with your IT department if the system in question 
is at work, or just leave it alone.  Assuming it's your system:

There's a free web-based scanner here:
(there are others, but that's one I've used with success before.)

While you're at it, run Spybot 
( and Adaware 
(  Between those two, 
you'll most likely uninstall all the spyware and ad programs(the 
average home windows box has over 20 such programs, btw).  Spybot 
also can make some little tweaks to IE to make it less like the 
internet equivalent of a whore-house; look under "immunize".

Then, trundle over to Windows 
Update( and install whatever 
critical updates it finds.  Service Packs are most important, but XP 
users be slightly wary of SP2, MS is apparently still working out the 
kinks on that one.  Also, you don't need the latest Windows Media 
Player or anything having to do with DRM(Digital Rights Management).

If you have MS Office, there's a seperate web updater for 
that(  You will need the 
original Office disks.

Reboot, do it all again until everything comes back with a clean bill 
of health(Windows Update and office update included- they often need 
multiple reboots/runs as some patches require other patches!)

If you have a full-time connection, it's best you drop the $40-ish on 
a router (dime a dozen at most electronics stores and whatnot- 
Linksys and Netgear are the bigest names) to protect your system. 
Some versions of windows, even if system-level firewalling is 
configured, are vulnerable while booting- to the extent that people I 
know have had trouble cleaning a system because they get reinfected 
so fast.

Try out Mozilla, or its lightweight counterpart Thunderbird- or 
Opera.  All three have none of the security problems IE and Outlook 
do, and some pretty nifty features- popup blocking and spam filtering 
builtin, for example.  Make backups first in case the importing stuff 
goes wrong- but I've turned several people to Mozilla and haven't had 
a single person complain yet.  Huw switched a long time ago on his 
own to Mozilla- and is one very happy camper, I believe.

I don't usually mention platform specific stuff like this on the 
lists, because this isn't a computer support list. However, infected 
windows systems have become such a nuisance to the list server that 
it bears mention.  Please feel free to pass along to friends/family 
the above set of programs to clean their systems as well.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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