Aug 23, 2003, 6:26 AM
Post #3 of 3
Part of my job is protecting a major health care corporation from hackers/virus developers. In the last 60 days, the number of virus infections has increased by over 1100 percent (thats more than 11 times from 2 months ago). All of these virus start off with a information pay load (pay load is what the virus does to your system). The current news maker SOBIG, came on the scene 3 weeks ago, at that time it collected information on what systems it could get into, and email addresses that were on that system. The developers of this virus (and these are some very smart, computer knowledgeable people) then restarted the virus with several different types of pay loads (some of these will completely wipe your hard disk after using your system to infect other systems). Microsoft has in the last year stepped up to the plate and did some thing about their very popular operating systems lack of security. Anti virus developers have also increased their speed in detecting these strains and getting answers to their users. But, like I tell all of my people and users, it is up to you to make sure that your system is protected. This means that you download and install all of the OS patches from Microsoft (or if your running XP Home, or XP Pro, that you have auto update turned on and that you use it). Some form of anti virus protection must be installed on your system. But, you also need to have some personal firewall protection installed as well. The best and easiest to install (and it is free) comes from ZoneAlarm. On all of my machines here at the ranch, and the laptops that I take with me, I have anti virus and firewall protection. As of this writing, in the last 7 days, 2600 infected emails and attempts to connect to my systems have been blocked by the anti virus software and the firewalls. You should have a firewall even if all you have for a internet connection is dial up.