Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Company IM between me and a user who doesn’t really fancy herself to be any good with computers:
User: I am going to forward you an e-mail that I received that has an attachment(invoice) that I don’t know what it is, didn’t want to open it since it doesn’t sound familiar.
That’s a Trojan virus.
User: Whew! Thank goodness I didn’t open it! Thanks!
Me: long link to virustotal site
User: What is that?
Me: Only 9 out of these 43 scanners caught it. Ours didn’t!
User: Hmmm, I guess that is bad?
Me: It’s not possible for every scanner to catch every virus… it’s GOOD that YOU caught this one
User: I guess I’ve done my good deed for the day!
Back when I used Windows, I didn’t actually ever have an anti-virus program installed. I ran a deep clamscan every now and then and came up clean. I thought it was just me living on the edge and pretending I was safe. Years later I started meeting other IT pros who didn’t use it either. The fact is, no program can ever be as effective at detecting or disinfecting virus attacks as you can be at preventing them!
The fact of the matter is, anti-virus software is NOT your first line of defence! NEVER rely on it. People imagine it to be the well armed guard at the door, and you’re safe to do as you please without worry. What you really should imagine is that it is the safety net under your tightrope. You don’t ever want to use it. Your real safety depends on your skill. Keep your balance and stay up on the rope.
Test your effectiveness with the SonicWALL Phishing IQ Test. And if you have a suspected file, try uploading it to a site such as http://www.virustotal.com. If you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate to consult a professional. The longer you wait, the more expensive and troublesome your problem will get.
If I may offer one more piece of advice, consider using a better operating system than what Microsoft provides. Windows doesn’t get all the viruses just because it is the most popular. But that’s another blog.