PDA

View Full Version : Did you have Windows spyware/adware problems?



Donshyoku
June 12th, 2006, 02:11 AM
I used Windows XP since its release until February of this year. Never once did I have any sort of adware or spyware on my computer, yet I do know of friends who have had it. Also, I never had a virus, but did have ONE worm ever... MSBLASTER, but who really dodged that bullet!? :p

Did you have problems like this? For some reason, I just don't see it as a good arguement against the Windows platform (though there are tons of others!).

Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but I think a lot of people that have adware/spyware/virus problems are not familiar with computers, the Internet, or spend a good chunk of their time filesharing.

I suppose, and yes it is a huge generalization, that the Linux crowd consists of users who are familiar with comptuers, operating sytems, and the Internet judging from their very knowledge of its existence! Heh, heh...

Just wondering...

glotz
June 12th, 2006, 02:26 AM
Well, statistically this is an excellent argument against windows. I certainly had spyware/adware on windows. Had a few viruses in my web browser caches but never had msblaster. After switching from IE to Firefox, I had no spyware. I don't fileshare or download random crap off the net. I'm rather experienced with computers. I've been sitting in front of one for 19 years now more or less religiously, mostly more...

And now I've given windoze the pink slip, no more virus/spyware concerns...

bikeboy
June 12th, 2006, 02:27 AM
Not quite sure what to vote. I had a very small amount of spyware problems (think I got coolwebsearch once) but never anything that I couldn't handle quickly and easily. So I would say "no I never had them" as I avoided viruses too. I do see on some other tech savvy forums that people run into spyware that no program gets rid of so I guess that would be an issue.

Another way of looking at it all though is that on windows you have to commit a larger proportion of your computer's resources to fighting spyware/malware/viruses. On Linux a bit of common sense and an up to date system are all that's required at this stage. For those of us on older computers (like my PIII) it makes sense that an argument against windows is the spyware problem, because we have precious little computing power as it is and we want it all to be used for productive purposes.

phillywize
June 12th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I used Windows XP since its release until February of this year. Never once did I have any sort of adware or spyware on my computer, yet I do know of friends who have had it. Also, I never had a virus, but did have ONE worm ever... MSBLASTER, but who really dodged that bullet!? :p

Did you have problems like this? For some reason, I just don't see it as a good arguement against the Windows platform (though there are tons of others!).

Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but I think a lot of people that have adware/spyware/virus problems are not familiar with computers, the Internet, or spend a good chunk of their time filesharing.
I totally agree with you. I think the people who are not computer-savvy enough to know that you shouldn't allow websites to install bizarre-o AciveX programs, or that the LAST thing you should do is click on a popup that says something like "Click HERE to get rid of annoying popups forever," or whatever else...they are not a population that is likely to come over to linux any time soon. I don't mean it to be snarky...it's just true. And probably for the better, since let's face it, Linux is still requires something more in the "comfort with computers" department.

I think the biggest advantage offered by Ubuntu and the open source OS world generally is the absolutely flabbergasting breadth of free software you can get, and the level of flexibility. I feel a lot less constrained by my wallet with Ubuntu. I can have the fancy software without paying hugely for it...e.g., Open Office, Firefox, K3B, Gimp, FreeNX (ok, not really so much an Ubuntu thing, yet...), pdf publishing, etc., etc...all things I would have to pay for with Windows. And I know there's lots of other stuff. That's the advantage. The security thing...I think it gets trotted out and touted as this amazing thing when, well, as far as the average Jane or Joe is concerned, it's not. If you're an IT person, then you can start getting excited about security. But if not...there's other things.

?????
June 12th, 2006, 02:34 AM
On this computer's Windoze XP partition - Never had it.
On my desktop windoze XP - Nope.
On my retired Windoze 98 computer - Major problems, lots of adware and spyware, and a few lower risk viruses + that April/May 2004 worm.

fluffington
June 12th, 2006, 02:48 AM
I never had any viruses or spyware up until last month, and I've been running XP since shortly after it's release. Whatever I did end up getting (can't remember the name of it) disabled Symantec (enterprise edition, not the craptastic personal version), the firewall, and IE's security settings (I had it set to only allow access to localhost, my test server, and Windows Update), then downloaded and installed lots of other crap. It took me a whole week to clean up.

I don't have to worry about that crap any more, though. I recently switched entirely to Ubuntu, and it's great. Not that security was the reason I switched. Part of it, certainly, but having a functional terminal and decent support for a multihead setup were far more important.

RAV TUX
June 12th, 2006, 02:51 AM
never had/have any problems.

I have always used


BitDefender 9 Internet Security

http://www.bitdefender.com/PRODUCT-72-en--BitDefender-9-Internet-Security.html

cnbiz850
June 12th, 2006, 03:48 AM
Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but I think a lot of people that have adware/spyware/virus problems are not familiar with computers, the Internet, or spend a good chunk of their time filesharing.

I suppose, and yes it is a huge generalization, that the Linux crowd consists of users who are familiar with comptuers, operating sytems, and the Internet judging from their very knowledge of its existence! Heh, heh...

Just wondering...

Sounds like you want to conclude that Windows is just as secure as Linux if the same knowledgeable people are using both systems. That is nonsense.

Sometimes the mentality that Windows' problems are due to users stupidity is either pathetic or deceiving. Innocent people having this idea may be too immersed with MS and become numb. Many people are just too forgiving MS. Think about the PC/OS as ordinary product. Does your cell phone have that many problems? Maybe you would say that you are not stupid enough to have problems with the cell phone. Have you seen many people having a lot of problems with their cell phones? Have you seen many people having that many problems with their cars? The PC/OS is nothing more than a consumer product by now, and considering its nearly 30 years of history, it should have been a mature product -- nearly a commodity. We should consider it a world tragidy now that PC (thanks to the dominating MS Windows) still have lots of problems.

ComplexNumber
June 12th, 2006, 03:52 AM
everyone has had at least some spyware on windows, even if its only things like winfixer. i'm very security conscious, so i've never had any big problems except in the beginning when i downloaded a screensaver from download.com and ended up with a particularly virulant and aggressive trojan that kept on trying to dial home every 30 seconds or so until i put a block on it with spybot. i know know what to do and what not to do.

etc
June 12th, 2006, 04:04 AM
I'd just like to say that filesharing and spyware don't go together hand in hand. I used bittorrent and soulseek just for music and videos, and I'm almost certain I never got spyware from that.

What I did get spyware from were from things like installing RealPlayer and AIM (not saying it has spyware, I just need an example) that had other things bundled with it. You don't really put two and two together and come to that conclusion until you do frequent spyware sweeps and realize that its all the seemingly innocent programs, and not your browsing habits.

23meg
June 12th, 2006, 04:08 AM
I've had none on my own computer. I know my way around Windows, the web and defensive software so I never got into trouble.

Now I never connect to the internet using Windows. As a perfect, straight edge security solution I pull out the ethernet cable when I boot it, so it has no way of calling home or getting viruses and spyware.

warp99
June 12th, 2006, 04:19 AM
I got bitten by the Windows Media spyware trojan on my Windows boot partition same as described here:


After attempting to download the DRM, Edelman said: "On a fresh test computer, I pressed Yes once to allow the installation. My computer quickly became contaminated with the most spyware programs I have ever received in a single sitting."

"All told, the infection added 58 folders, 786 files and an incredible 11,915 registry entries to my test computer. Not one of these programs had showed me any license agreement, nor had I consented to their installation on my computer," he added.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1749993,00.asp

I had no idea what the hell happen since this was one of the first times I ever used DRM. I had a dual-boot setup, but after that little adventure I downloaded VMware, reinstalled and DID NOT enable the DRM. Now if I get a bad trojan or malware I just delete the .vm* and restore from backup.

IMHO it's the only way you can use Windows and be relatively safe. :cool:

newbie2
June 12th, 2006, 04:19 AM
it seems that, if you have window$ , you have 'automatically' spyware . :p
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060608002958907
:rolleyes:

etc
June 12th, 2006, 04:34 AM
edit: double post, sorry

aysiu
June 12th, 2006, 04:50 AM
Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but I think a lot of people that have adware/spyware/virus problems are not familiar with computers, the Internet, or spend a good chunk of their time filesharing. But if those same people did filesharing and the internet on Ubuntu, they'd be far less likely to get spyware--that's the point, isn't it?

warp99
June 12th, 2006, 05:10 AM
it seems that, if you have window$ , you have 'automatically' spyware . :p
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060608002958907
:rolleyes:

According to the groklaw link M$ checks the following:

* Windows product key
* PC manufacturer
* Operating System version
* PID/SID
* BIOS information (make, version, date)
* BIOS MD5 Checksum
* User locale (language setting for displaying Windows)
* System locale (language version of the operating system)
* Office product key (if validating Office)
* Hard drive serial number

If you use VMware most of the information M$ gets is VM_Virtual_ID, so if you wanted you can run multiple virtual copies (one on the laptop, one on the desktop) and you would always be certified.

This is the real resaon why M$ calls the mother ship daily. It checks to see if multiple virtual copies of Windows are running by referencing the check-in validation process against the product key. You would check-in when you start the first virtual machine, but if you start a different virtual machine that would also check-in. So multiple check-ins means multiple copies. :wink:

Dr. C
June 12th, 2006, 05:17 AM
I have had no problems with Spyware / Adware in Windows using Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000 and XP

For the most part Spyware / Adware is installed using social engineering and Ubuntu or for that matter other Linux distributions are not immune to human stupidity. If you can persuade a user to

a) Download the Spyware / Adware

and

b) Enter a command in terminal along the lines of
sudo install Emoticons_with_Spyware_and_Adware_Rootkit.pl

followed by the root password

One can totally mess up Ubuntu or for that matter any Linux distro. Some are easier than others. I have heard that Linspire sets up users as root by default for example.

The lack of Spyware / Adware in Linux is due to many factors including
a) A more technically savvy user base (This is changing fast)
b) A very small share of the desktop with no incentive to write the stuff for Linux (Again this is changing fast)
c) It is somewhat more technically challenging to install software from websites in Linux than in Windows (Again this is changing fast)

but there is a future for Spyware / Adware in Linux unfortunately primarily because of the miss conception that Linux is immune to Spyware / Adware. It most definitely is not.

There are many valid reasons to use Ubuntu or another Linux distribution over Windows but immunity from human stupidity is not one of them.

It is called a "rootkit" and not an "administratorkit" for a reason.

aysiu
June 12th, 2006, 05:23 AM
I'm with FineE on this one. I do believe Ubuntu has a better security model than Windows, but what good is a security model if you have a dumb user with an easy-to-guess password? What good is that security model for someone who'll click on anything and enter her password for anything?

Once Ubuntu becomes more popular, it'll bring more stupid users to it and more ill-intentioned software writers to it.

Person who designed a program that looks "fun" but requires the sudo password to run? Meet stupid user who will think your program is "fun" and readily give away her sudo password to run it.

TeeAhr1
June 12th, 2006, 03:40 PM
I did, a little. It really isn't as much of a crippling problem as some people would like to make it out to be, as long as you know what you're doing and take some basic security precautions. The problem is that 3/4 of Windows users don't. PEBKAC.

G Morgan
June 12th, 2006, 05:08 PM
I certainly had spyware but it was simple enough to deal with. I've had virii as well. The main problem is a family member with double click syndrome. I've tried to cure him but my only success has been refusing to fix his computer.

Ubunted
June 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM
I use a router, Firefox with AdBlock Plus and CookieCuller and AVG, which has only ever caught two viruses. I do a checkup with Trend Micro Housecall and the BitDefender online scanner every two weeks or so and they always come up clean.

egon spengler
June 12th, 2006, 06:59 PM
I don't recall ever having any spyware ever. It was something that used to actually worry me a little because people used to talk as if every XP box was under a constant barrage and me not seeing anything couldn't help but wonder if perhaps, AVG, spybot and ad-aware were all malfunctioning

Donshyoku
June 12th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Sounds like you want to conclude that Windows is just as secure as Linux if the same knowledgeable people are using both systems. That is nonsense....

Think about the PC/OS as ordinary product. Does your cell phone have that many problems? Maybe you would say that you are not stupid enough to have problems with the cell phone. Have you seen many people having a lot of problems with their cell phones? Have you seen many people having that many problems with their cars? The PC/OS is nothing more than a consumer product by now, and considering its nearly 30 years of history, it should have been a mature product -- nearly a commodity. We should consider it a world tragidy now that PC (thanks to the dominating MS Windows) still have lots of problems.

I've had lots of friends that have had problems with their cell phones (blame Cingular) with faulty SIM cards and outer screens that break not from wear. This is a hardware issue, however, not software.

If we do want to apply the hardware/software issue to OSs and ignore that boundary for the sake of arguement: let's. I'll take three friends that I have with cars.

One of them is already on his third car. The car would not have been in such bad shape if he kept it up to spec with oil changes, checkups, and for Pete's sake some power steering fluid! Due to mistreatment, he had two cars crap out... is this his fault or where they just faulty vehicles?

The other friend has been on the same car since he has been driving and he keeps it in good condition by knowing where to go for help and trusting someone else with his car's safety if he does not know how to do it himself. Due to his understanding of what to do or how to learn to do it (just as a budding Windows user should know or be learning how to use his/her PC), it is in good condition.

Lastly, another friend is a car enthusiast. He knows his car in and out and has never had problems with it unless it was something he was intending to do such as a test or diagnostic to see/reach his car's peak. By knowing what he is doing, he hasn't had any unwanted problems. Again, compared to the computer industry... he is the person who has a car and knows all there is to know about it. Does a Windows user who knows all about Windows have these problems? Look at the poll... someone is doing something right!

Regardless, we can't hold Grandma and Grandpa XP to the same standard when it comes to learning the computer. If only they choose to distance themselves from the geek realm of computer knowledge, they should still know where to go or at the very least, how to protect themselves from problems they want to avoid. That is not MS's responsibility, just like it is not Jim Beam's responsiblity if a drunk man drives his car into a tree. Users need to do their half and the software manufacturers' will do theirs.

Naglfari
June 12th, 2006, 10:20 PM
I wasn't really sure how to vote. I've never had what I would have referred to as "problems"....but it seemed like every time I would run Spybot and Adaware, they would find a few little pieces of something hither and yon.

My biggest concern about Windows was all of the programs that were supposed to be there that kept harrassing the firewall for internet access, so that they could call someone somewhere to send them something. Maybe my concerns are unwarranted, but there is just something about my computer talking to other people and computers without asking me first that I just don't really care for!

olsonar
June 12th, 2006, 11:04 PM
i never had any. of course, its awful hard for malware to get past zonealarm, avg, SS&D, and Ad-aware combined. (all free tools, worth a look if you still use windows)

K.Mandla
June 12th, 2006, 11:39 PM
I only got spyware/adware problems once or twice in the past few years. I got a virus on a machine once, way back in 1999. I was a chronic file-sharer (I pounced on gnutella when it first came out) and graduated through kazaa and bearshare and limewire and bittorrent. It's amazing that I didn't get into a lot worse stuff. :rolleyes:

cnbiz850
June 14th, 2006, 12:11 AM
I've had lots of friends that have had problems with their cell phones (blame Cingular) with faulty SIM cards and outer screens that break not from wear. This is a hardware issue, however, not software.

If we do want to apply the hardware/software issue to OSs and ignore that boundary for the sake of arguement: let's. I'll take three friends that I have with cars.

One of them is already on his third car. The car would not have been in such bad shape if he kept it up to spec with oil changes, checkups, and for Pete's sake some power steering fluid! Due to mistreatment, he had two cars crap out... is this his fault or where they just faulty vehicles?

The other friend has been on the same car since he has been driving and he keeps it in good condition by knowing where to go for help and trusting someone else with his car's safety if he does not know how to do it himself. Due to his understanding of what to do or how to learn to do it (just as a budding Windows user should know or be learning how to use his/her PC), it is in good condition.

Lastly, another friend is a car enthusiast. He knows his car in and out and has never had problems with it unless it was something he was intending to do such as a test or diagnostic to see/reach his car's peak. By knowing what he is doing, he hasn't had any unwanted problems. Again, compared to the computer industry... he is the person who has a car and knows all there is to know about it. Does a Windows user who knows all about Windows have these problems? Look at the poll... someone is doing something right!

Regardless, we can't hold Grandma and Grandpa XP to the same standard when it comes to learning the computer. If only they choose to distance themselves from the geek realm of computer knowledge, they should still know where to go or at the very least, how to protect themselves from problems they want to avoid. That is not MS's responsibility, just like it is not Jim Beam's responsiblity if a drunk man drives his car into a tree. Users need to do their half and the software manufacturers' will do theirs.

Your three car-friend's stories tell nothing to this topic. Everyone knows mechanics needs maintenance because it wears out, but electronics doesn't. PS's as well as TV's, cell phones are electronics. Do you maintain your TV or cell phone like you do for your car? But why do you have to maintain your PC? Because of Windows! Because it is a poor thing!

Your logic that it is not MS's problem if Windows goes wrong because the user does not know how to protect himself is plainly illogical. You burried your mind too deep in the sucking PC's (or more precisely Windows). At the initial times, I didn't know how to use the cell phone and I just fooled around with it and I didn't break it. Likewise, I didn't know how to use the VCR and I jusy tried it and I didn't break it. That is called consumer-friendly product. You may say "cellphone and VCR are too much simpler than PC's". Well I remember the initial times I learned to use Unix. I didn't know how to use it, nearly had no clue. I fooled around with it -- really. I didn't break it! That is called reliable!

Your saying that the driver has to know where to go otherwise he may hit a tree is OK, but the point here is whether that car can reveal to the driver that there is a tree upfront. If the car doesn't have a glass windshield but a steal one (sounds more secure at first), then you can't know where you are going, can you? That is what I mean a Windows' problem.

"Users need to do their half and the software manufacturers' will do theirs." is OK, but what half? To a user, as long as he does not overly abuse the thing, he has done his half. I am sure most PC users exercise enough caution with the PC's as they don't hammer it, don't knock to the wall, etc.. and they sincerely hope that the PC's don't get problems. Isn't that enough you would expect from consumers?

weasel fierce
June 14th, 2006, 03:14 AM
I hosed my original computer, propably in large due to kazaa, and knowing nothing about computer security.

My second computer picked up something, but I had to move and leave the box behind, before I could figure out what it was.
It seemed trivial, but it came up repeaetdly on scans.

AlphaMack
June 14th, 2006, 06:55 AM
Never experienced any spyware or adware but certainly had to clean up friends' boxes that were shared by others.

It all boiled down to lack of forethought about accepting attachments or downloading via P2P.