Why the Internet is going to remain a virus and trojan infested wasteland

Discussion in 'Networking, Telephony & Internet' started by Whisper, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Whisper

    Whisper Member

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    Look, I sort of have maybe a bit of an idea how computers work.

    You know, I try to stay current with the updates, but seriously, how is your not all that technically competent person stand a chance at taking care of any of this?

    Anyhow, Firefox has been bugging me to update, and I have been putting it off because I know the trouble and the amount of work involved in making sure all my plugins and addons are up to date as well. As you can see from this thread the experience did not go well for me.

    Doing a plugin check gives me a screen that looks like this:

    Click to view full size!


    Lets take this apart piece by piece shall we?

    I have the latest and greatest Microsoft Windows Operation System, Windows 7 64bit with Windows Update turned on to notify me of any updates, but do you think it has once told me to update Silverlight, even once? No, of course it hasn't. So of course Firefox tells me I have to update it, so that is 10 minutes of my life I'm not going to get back, goodness knows how long somebody not so tech savvy it is going to take?

    Of course Flash MUST BE UPDATED OR YOUR SOUL WILL BURN IN HELL, so you update that, which of course ended so well for me (I'm really going to get right on that flash update the next time it begs me to, right! :rolleyes:). At least I was able to do a google search to find the cause and solve it, not that it is ever going to get me back the time I lost having to spend trying to fix a problem you have got to wonder how it ever occurred in the first place.

    Now we have the lovely Java that needs to b updated. Of course this means visiting yet another website. Trolling through pages of information to find out what it is I have to do.

    So you have to go here: http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp just to get the download, but while you are there, you better go here as well http://www.java.com/en/download/uninstall.jsp to get rid of the old versions, and then realise you have a 64bit OS and there's a conspicuous link to here http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/java_win64bit.xml just to confuse you even further, that is if you ever got that far in the first place.

    Then you still have Shockwave and Adobe Acrobat to update as well. I given up on updating Adobe Acrobat, because if I updated all the Adobe Acrobat updates, I pretty much figure that it would consume all the time I spend on my computer and the internet, updating fucking Adobe Acrobat.

    So there you have it, the internet is pretty useless without a browser such as Firefox, Flash, Shockwave, Adobe Acrobat, Silverlight and Java, but trying to keep them all up to date is an exercise in futility, and is quite capable of wiping out huge chunks of a persons free time if you allowed them to.

    Goodness knows, I sort of know what I am doing, my real question is, what is your average computer user with no real substantial knowledge of their computers and software going to make of all this?

    If most people don't know, and if it is far too difficult and worse, it is time consuming even if you do know what you are doing, how the hell is world ever likely to rid itself of compromised computers attached to the internet?

    P.S. If you think this is a rant about how technically competent or incompetent I may be, then you have totally missed the point of this post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  2. Zoltag

    Zoltag Member

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    See, I figure you simply have really bad luck. I run Win7 x64 as well and havent had any issues with installing the updates you are ranting about.

    Updates are a nightmare. Software companies are heading in the right direction with automagic update systems, however that doesnt prevent users from doing things like run drivercleaner, which actually deletes drivers that it isnt supposed to, which may not appear to have an impact, until an update comes along that needs to use those particular drivers (Win7 SP1). This is just one example. There are many thousands more, without even starting to look for malware or overly restrictive DRM software. The only apparent solution to this is to run something like Apples walled garden approach, where users only get to choose from the things that their OS supplier deems worthy to be installed. And honestly, who wants that?
     
  3. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    Multitasking is a wonderful thing, and with that, a few clicks every 5, maybe 10 minutes isn't that hard of a thing to do, as most of the update process is actually automated :shock:
     
  4. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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    google chrome updates itself automagically.

    as for the other crap... eh. if it asks me to update, i let it update. no big deal.
    it takes mere seconds to click a button, it does the rest itself.
     
  5. FiShy

    FiShy Member

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    to busy using opera to read this sorry


    :)
     
  6. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    google chrome ftw.

    The only reason to use firefox now is a neat little IP spoofing pluging that lets me watch comedy central online.
     
  7. jkmatt

    jkmatt Member

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    I don't have any such dramas with updates using firefox and win7 x64, it will ask me if i want to update firefox or plugins it found updates for, i say yes, all done.
     
  8. evilasdeath

    evilasdeath Member

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    I agree with you totally whisper, your only pointing out 1 of many things that is wrong with the internet.

    IE6 is another of my hates, i still see web apps that only work in IE6 that companys haven't updated and throw up errors everywhere in IE7/8 or refuse to work in alternate browsers.

    I have problems with some of the updaters for programs as well, they don't support authenticated proxies, thankfully IT has turned the auth requirement off but some just refuse to update because they can't connect.
     
  9. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    You know, you don't *have* to sit there watching the progress bars.......

    My system is kept anally up to date and I don't spend any more time doing it than I have to. It's not hard to do and I've never had a problem (Win XP SP3, Firefox, plus all the usual stuff).
     
  10. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I update nothing. If it works, it works.
     
  11. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    "Why the Internet is going to remain a virus and trojan infested wasteland"

    Basically because of human nature. There will always be those that don't really care or know about security. But as I've said in another thread they need to take responsibility for thier activities on the net.....and some good practice would go along way to stopping some of this nonsense that floats so eaily around the net.
     
  12. chokeeweebee

    chokeeweebee Member

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    :thumbup: God bless courgette, I only wish that adobe, microsoft and even google adopt it for every web connected software or appliance there is out there.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Whisper

    Whisper Member

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    Obviously, that is what should happen, but that is not what happens on my system.

    To update Flash, Shockwave or Java, when I click on the update now option within firefox, I get redirected to a website for said plugin, and on that website I have to manually download an executable. Once the executable is downloaded, I then have to run the install program for each plugin separately.

    Now while you and the majority of the responders in this thread were too busy being smug and self satisfied to notice, the point of this thread was not about the dramas I am going through. I am fully capable of resolving all the damn problems I've posted in this thread and have done so, I'm not going to sugar coat it and say that it is not annoying nor completely non-trivial to do so, it is hardly the case, the point of this thread was to exemplify the problem your average computer user faces, who may not have, either the time or the know how to even consider thinking about resolving these problems, and that is why I believe the Internet is going to remain a virus and trojan infested wasteland.

    Good practice is all well and good, but far too many of the posters in this thread and this forum for that matter, take their knowledge and experience for granted.

    Is this shit for real?

    Do you use it on your home computers?

    Do you use it on your mums computer? Dads? Wifes? Childrens? Grandparents?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  14. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Is it though? What is the incidence of viruses and trojans? I asked this question once on another forum and nobody had the information to hand. I did some googling and found the incidence is high in China and the US, but not very high in Australia.

    My impression is that a lot of malware comes from dodgy sites and dodgy files downloaded from filesharing sites. A lot of "average computer users" don't know that these sites even exist, let alone use them. I have had computers for a long time (my first computer was a Macintosh 512k, whenever that was). I used to run Windows 98 (long after XP came out). Not only have I never had a virus, my antivirus programs have never detected/isolated any from my computers (nothing found on scans, no popups showing something dodgy has been trapped).

    Is it really a virus and trojan infested wasteland? I wonder.
     
  15. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    I hope it remains like this. More money to be made that way.
     
  16. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    heh....that is the flipside.....it keeps a whole industry in the money ;)
     
  17. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    First, the internet isn't a wasteland. In fact, purely looking at the ratio of "bad traffic vs good traffic" you'd be forgiven for thinking "what problem?".

    Firefox automatically checks and updates itself with the click of a button. It checks and updates your add-ons at the same time (baring externally provided plugins, which you note below). It also checks your add-ons regularly for updates. How is any of that difficult?

    Well I'm not sure what's wrong with your windows update, but mine does. Look, here is is, right here!

    [​IMG]

    So yes it does update through windows update if there is a critical security vulnerability. What the plugin checker is indicating is that you don't have the latest version with the latest features.

    Flash should update itself better. No question. To that end I suggest the alternative flash player updater. It does the job better than Adobe.

    Settings for flash are available via the settings manager. If that's no good, just wait a bit and they're introducing a control panel applet.


    Er, your Java automatic update not working for some reason? Appears like a little orange icon in your taskbar;
    [​IMG]

    Click the icon, click install. How hard is that?

    Well I don't use reader because I detest it, (install PDF X-Change and don't look back) Adobe does have an extensive updater application that is once again supposed to handle this. I can't comment on Shockwave as I can't recall the last time I installed it.

    This is like saying that modern plumbing is too difficult to use because your head hurts from banging your head on your tap to make water come out.

    In my lifetime I have supported some of the most non computer illiterate people that have ever existed. The absolute number one problem, without question or doubt, is that they utterly refuse to read the instructions presented to them and make an appropriate choice. That problem is beyond the power of mere auto update to solve.

    In your examples, you've gone a generation beyond that and refused to even acknowledge that these options have even BEEN presented to you, instead preferring to seek solutions via the web to cry that it's "all too complex". That's a bit of a strawman argument sorry.

    However, even via the web. The update/install procedure for firefox, flash, reader and java are still pretty darn simple though.

    But if you have someone who really can't use the auto updater and can't click next next next on a few pages, you could just knock them up an installer for the above using http://ninite.com

    It really doesn't get any more simple than that.
     
  18. ConlMaggot

    ConlMaggot Member

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    If your just browsing and reading emails, try Ubuntu or another linux variant.

    All updates done from one console. It's a 5 click and one password process.
     
  19. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Most will not have a clue what they are. Let alone get to actually using them.
     
  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    No surprises here, but I use Linux at home.

    All systems are auto-updated daily (which covers most plugins - Ubuntu/APT handles Flash too).

    All systems not on a whitelist go through DansGuardian (and all whitelisted systems are password protected, encrypted and auto-lock their screen). The wife and I get daily automated summary reports of all blocked and accessed sites by the kids (and will continue to do so until they are 18, and anyone bitching about "privacy" can piss off, because they're my kids and I care about what they do online).

    Thus far nobody is missing out on anything. There's no "Microsoft-only" problems I've encountered that prevent anyone from using the tubes effectively (whether it be work, school or play). The kids are largely responsible on the internet, and on the rare occasion when they aren't we have a frank and honest discussion about it, educating them about the consequences of their actions.

    No viruses, no malware, no bullshit. The wife and kids are non-technical people, and are well educated and practice safe browsing.

    And to be honest, I couldn't give a toss about the rest of the world. If people want to browse the tubes on unpatched WinXP boxes running admin accounts, that's not my problem. It's their drama to deal with (and potentially their software vendors' too, from a reputation point of view at least). Staying safe on the internet is easy if you give a shit. Much like getting the best private health care, life insurance, tax agent, mortgage, second hand car, new car or anything else in life is easy if you give a shit. The alternative is to not give a shit, and miss out. But blame yourself, not everyone else who didn't hand the answer to you on a silver platter.

    [edit]
    In case it's not obvious, the above is not intended to suggest Linux is "the best" system for browsing tubes. That last paragraph probably sounded that way, but it wasn't the point. Securing Windows (or Mac, or iDevice, or whatever) on the portals is just as easy. The key point is the "giving a shit" part, which is the emphasis that people should read above and beyond any particular brand of software.
    [/edit]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011

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