Malware, Viruses and Lost Productivity.
Generally I'm a pretty patient guy who accepts people for who they are and don't wish anybody harm. But I really, really hate the people responsible for creating computer viruses, malware and phishing spam! They cause nothing but misery and aggravation for others.
I've been hit with a big wave of viruses/malware lately on my work PC, a ThinkPad running Windows XP, and it's been driving me batty. Trogans, worms, and most recently something trying to use my PC to send out massive amounts of email spam, which cascades into an even worse issue as my antivirus client fires off a pop up notifcation for each one.
So all this translates into lost productivity and frustration as I divert my attention to fighting off these pests, along with some help from the IT department.
Fortunately the timing isn't too bad, since a laptop upgrade is on it's way anyway, and from what I understand, Windows 7 will be less vulnerable to the type of infection I suspect I've caught: Trojan viruses spread on USB drives that take advantage of the "Autorun" feature of Windows. Along the same lines of the Stuxnet worm that's come to light recently.
That particular worm deserves is a whole other topic on it's own, but nonetheless it seem to take advantage of the same vulnerability that allowed my PC to become infected.
I have a feeling that a refurbished replacement USB hard drive that I was sent under a warranty replacement program came preloaded with at least some of these viruses! I plugged it in for the first time, and my virus scanner instantly came alive, attacking the "trogans". In a dumbfounded state I first found this hard to believe, but then again, I don't think it's too far of a stretch to think that those refurbishing factories are insecure.
Knock on wood but I think I'm at the end of the road with defeating my current infections, thanks to Symantec, AVG Rescue CD and SystemRescueCD. Now, hopefully back to work and business as usual...total productivity loss: 3 full working days over a 3 week period.
I hope at least someone is making a good living out of the virus business besides those making the antivirus software. ;)