Ezine 164 Internet Altruism is Alive and Kicking – But so are Those Pesky Viruses

Guy’s Ezine 164 Internet Altruism is Alive and Kicking – But so are Those Pesky Viruses

This is an update on my previous ezine 164.  See here for this and other back-numbers.

Readers’ Responses Show that Altruism is Still Alive

The positive sentiments to my last Ezine overwhelmed me.  What the readers’ numerous helpful comments did was to reaffirm that altruism is still very much alive on the internet.  Incidentally, the postbag reshaped my criteria for choosing an operating system.

I should have realized that while the internet has evolved during the last 10 years, people are still fundamentally the same.  Not only are those people who had a helpful personality in 1999, still altruistic today, but also it seems that a good proportion of the next generation has inherited this supportive trait from their parents.

Guy’s Update on Virus Threats

Last week I was delighted to get so many letters from readers who were battle-hardened generals in the fight against viruses.  They reinforced my suggestion that viruses are now posing different threats, in particular, how their fiendish creators not only counteract anti-virus software, but also exploit attempts to control them for their own nefarious purposes.

It’s pretty obvious that I am no expert on computer viruses.  My revelation has been that I have been complacent; I thought though that the threat of viruses had largely been beaten off.  When the truth is that modern viruses, like all ‘good’ parasites, don’t destroy their hosts, they just become more cunning and better at infecting other victims.

Guy’s Reasons to Upgrade a Computer (Revamped)

Now I realize that most people cannot afford the money and hassle of upgrading every time Microsoft produces a new operating system, my point is that if the decision to stick or upgrade is close, then a modern system is much more resistant to virus attack.


  1. Faster, fewer crashes.
  2. Cool new features.
  3. More secure, less susceptible to virus attacks.


  1. More secure, less susceptible to virus attacks.
  2. Faster, fewer crashes.
  3. Cool new features.

You may remember that the virus attack, which I was asked to fix, was on a 32-bit XP machine.  Incidentally, regarding viruses, I had a lucky break by choosing a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 for my own desktop.  If you are interested in virus attack stats you may find this link as interesting as I did.


This is an update on my previous ezine 164.  See here for this and other back-numbers.

Readers’ Comments on Ezine 164

This ezine attracted many more responses than usual.  All were positive and each adds another brick to the argument that internet altruism is not dead.  These are the readers own views, I am pretty certain that they don’t have any connection with the products that they recommend.  Guy thanks them all for taking the trouble to write in.

Tim G:

I think the problem may be (simplistically) two fold;

* White noise. There’s just so many people out there who have access to the internet and now have a voice!

* Money. Those geeks now realise that they never got any appreciation for their efforts.  So why bother for the greater good of mankind?

Tim also points out that: Minorities (old internet land) always seem to have a great sense of community. As soon as it moves into something popular that just seems to dissolve away.

Karl S:

Two golden rules:
1. Always keep your OS up to date,
2. Always keep your AV software up to date.

Whenever anyone describes problems, etc. to me, these are the very 1st two actions to be taken.

Other aids:
Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector),
Belarc Security Advisor,
F-Secure Online Virus Check,
F-Secure Blacklight Rootkit Eliminator
SysInternals Autoruns.exe (makes msconfig look like a toy),
SysInternals ProcessMonitor and ProcessExplorer to spot really tricky malware

Ron L

The problem now days is that there are too many infections and they are manipulated and evolve daily so it is nearly impossible to document every one and how to remove them. Using Combofix potentially could be worse than the cure as some Malware detects it’s there and circumvents it and using it to wipe entire folder structures. So best not to use such a tool on your own without advice as to when and how to use it.

There are dedicated sites that will assist anyone for FREE with removal of such Malware.
You can go here and we will help you completely free. If you want to buy the program to add live protection that’s great, but you don’t have to and we’ll still help you for free.



Jacob S

You are not alone. I have dealt with 4 such infected machines in the last 8 months, and we have a suite of McAfee corporate products on every machine (McAfee detected the problem but was not able to remove it permanently).

On the first two, I tried the same things you did. Then I consulted with McAfee support staff, which helped me eliminate the Trojan/Virus, but the damage to drivers and registry made the systems nearly unusable. I rescued any local files, wiped the disks and did fresh OS installs.

On the second two, I proceeded directly to rescuing files, scrubbing and reloading from scratch. This goes against my nature, but pragmatism beat me down.

Paul D

All in all, the most secure "peace of mind" resolve is to reformat drive and install a fresh OS and patches. With Conflicker looming, I wouldn’t take any chances that it .. or some Rootkit .. now lives on the machine.

Judith G

We have seen great success cleaning all kinds of malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It has a full-featured free trial, a kind of altruism in itself.

Ken W

Reminded my of Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool.  He also says: I don’t think I will ever buy another AV tool, with the possible exception of Kaspersky.


The product that has served me well is Vipre – from sunbeltsoftware.com. There is a safe-mode/command prompt version that acts as a rescue for machines that just cannot be started normally, of course the normal, properly installed version, and they periodically create specific removal tools for things like the recently hyped conficker. The best part is that these are truly free, with updates, for 15 days – plenty of time to sort out any PC I have worked on up to now.

Guy Recommends: Tools4ever’s UMRAUMRA The User Management Resource Administrator

Tired of writing scripts? The User Management Resource Administrator solution by Tools4ever offers an alternative to time-consuming manual processes.

It features 100% auto provisioning, Helpdesk Delegation, Connectors to more than 130 systems/applications, Workflow Management, Self Service and many other benefits. Click on the link for more information onUMRA.

Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT) IP Tracker

Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets.  IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:

For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges. 

For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker

Will and Guy’s Humour

Will and Guy have articles on our humour site to suit all moods.  Here is a feature on the serious topic ofEarth Day we seek not to preach but just to encourage you to mull over the future of our planet for one day of the year. Earth Day

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