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The Truth Is Out There

CNet reports the the anti-virus company, Kaspersky inadvertently quarantines Windows Explorer

The security company’s systems had decided that a virus called Huhk-C was present in the explorer.exe file, leading to its confinement or, in some cases, deletion. As Windows Explorer is the graphical user interface (GUI) for Windows’ file system, this made it difficult to perform many common tasks within the operating system, such as finding files.

In March of this year, Kaspersky criticized Microsoft’s consumer antivirus product, OneCare, for incorrectly quarantining and, in some cases, deleting Microsoft Outlook files.

Given that I have deleted Outlook from my system for its many failures in the security area, and have noted a lot of flakiness in the current version of Windows Explorer, both anti-virus company may have been correct – if it quacks like a duck…


1 Michael { 12.27.07 at 12:53 am }

Ubuntu is very nice.

2 Bryan { 12.27.07 at 1:22 am }

I’ve downloaded a Ubuntu system to test on my ancient emergency back-up laptop. It is currently running XP Professional and every time I use it for anything I have to wait forever as Microsoft downloads updates. As I generally use it on a dial-up because the DSL is down due to a power failure from a hurricane, it is a giant hemorrhoid to use.

3 Michael { 12.27.07 at 1:46 am }

The newest release runs right off the CD you can download and burn. You don’t even have to install it to your computer to try it out. I’d recommend trying it on better hardware and your normal connection to get a reasonable appreciation of it.

4 Steve Bates { 12.27.07 at 9:13 am }

Ubuntu Linux works fine, but I’d recommend keeping a working instance of Windows close at hand.

If you use Ubuntu straight out of the (nonexistent) box, it’s great. If you need even small enhancements… replacing Firefox with the latest major version, installing codecs and drivers so you can view Windows-standard formats such as .wmv and .avi, etc. … it’s a real bother. Bryan, you’d have no trouble with such matters, nor did I, but I hate to think what an average user would face. That’s why one needs the working Windows machine nearby.

This is no criticism of the underlying technology, just a statement that the *nix world is still friendlier to geeks than to office workers, as it always has been. Things are improving, but not as quickly as one might like.

5 Bryan { 12.27.07 at 11:28 am }

I don’t expect “flowers” on the installation, I’ve administered Unix systems and set up a Red Hat version of Linux for an Apache server a few years ago. But I won’t have to wait for Bill to decide I can use my computer to check my e-mail when I’m not sawing up downed trees, as has happened to me.

You have a period of connection before the battery back-up on the POTS gives out, and I don’t don’t want to waste it on updates from Microsoft.

6 Michael { 12.27.07 at 12:29 pm }

As a matter of standard installation if you decide you want it on your hard drive, it can repartition your Windows to make room for itself and leave the system capable of dual boot.

7 Michael { 12.27.07 at 12:29 pm }

Backup first anyhow, it’s just prudent. I shouldn’t have to say that to you Bryan but other readers might benefit from the suggestion.

8 Steve Bates { 12.27.07 at 6:22 pm }

You think I might benefit, Michael? 😈

I installed Linux on a separate older computer. Its HD had died; I replaced the HD and put up Ubuntu Linux on the new one, just to play with it. And yes, I’m pretty good about backing up… not perfect, but good enough that I survived the HD death with no real losses.

Back to topic, regarding Kaspersky’s embarrassing moment… they say even Homer nodded.

9 Bryan { 12.27.07 at 8:17 pm }

Kaspersky is the heaviest of the heavy-weight anti-virus products with the widest coverage and tightest controls. They cover every avenue to the computer, including Instant Messaging that most systems ignore. Hearing that they over-reacted to a threat is not exactly surprising, that’s what people pay for, a feeling of rock-solid protection.

Microsoft has a nasty habit of exploiting “bugs” in their operating system to speed up their software, and the better virus writers also target the “bugs” to slip through under the radar.

I’m going to use the laptop strictly as an e-mail and ‘Net machine, off-loading anything important to a flash drive. The HD is that big and I have other machines available, so I don’t need a dual boot capability.

10 Michael { 12.27.07 at 9:37 pm }

Steve, I was trying not to be pedantic to Bryan while recognizing that not every reader who might think to install Ubuntu and repartition Windows to do so would actually remember to backup first. So I thought I’d make the reminder for the sake of all the innocent data in the event of unexpected disaster. 🙂 Certainly wasn’t singling you out either or anyone in particular.

11 Steve Bates { 12.27.07 at 10:33 pm }

It’s OK, Michael. I was once a Serious Young Man myself. 🙂 And to this day I still sententiously remind people to back up… my clients and my s.o. are the usual recipients of my reminders.

12 Badtux { 12.30.07 at 10:47 pm }

I love the new Time Machine in MacOS-X for just that reason. Plug in the USB hard drive, it backs up to it. Simple. No need to nag “back up your data!”, the first time you plug in the USB hard drive it asks if you want to back up to it, and if you say “Yes”, it backs up and then updates its backup every time you plug it in.

13 Bryan { 12.30.07 at 11:09 pm }

That is definitely a nice feature. My clients have all had the back-up lecture I give regularly, but it doesn’t take root. I found one of them backing up into a directory on the same bloody disk drive.

I do love flash drives.