Here's the source code
Hello %USERNAME% can I have your credit card details?
Not exactly high tech.
Malware authors have created a strain of scareware packages that lifts the name of an infected user from the registry of an infected PC in order to create more convincing scams. The wife of reader Chris came across the ruse when she used his PC to check on her Hotmail account. Before she could get onto the website she was …
Don't forget that when many OEM PC's are first turned on the operating system (especially with XP and Vista) is installed but not configured. The user goes through a series of questions, for example "enter all the users of this PC" and so that info will get written to the registry. And even though it is a shitty trick to play, I would still expect the majority of people to fall for it as the technical expertise would not be as high as the readership of this site.
Using software whose Source Code has not been independently verified by experts is *the* best way to get your computer infected with malware.
Even if you aren't a competent programmer yourself, insist on the Source Code anyway. The supplier doesn't know ..... And you can always show it to a programmer later.
If someone wants to keep their Source Code to themself, then let them keep the binaries to themself as well! They obviously don't care about the integrity of your computer, and thus don't deserve your business.
Come on now David, not everything has to turn into a PC vs Mac vs Linux bunfight, The Reg is above all that.
If you like arguments such as this their are plenty of sites out there for you. Other arguments you may like to have are:
1) Xbox 360 vs PS3
2) Gnome vs KDE
3) Chelsea vs Arsenal vs Man Utd
and how many open source programmers exactly are experts? Have not seen many, recently. On the other hand, I know "closed source" software vendors who actually sign contracts with experts to have their sources independently screened. Of course, it means nothing for Mr Stiles if he cannot see the source - even if he wouldn't be able to make sense of it. Pityful, really.
Aw, you left out my favorite, Vi vs. Emacs!
I've spent many a cheerful evening, beer in hand, munching popcorn, watching a group of alleged adults fight tooth and nail over a pair of bloated text editors.
(I'm agnostic BTW, each has its, strengths, weaknesses, quirks and charms, but in the end, it's the output that counts.)
I rather think not, since in order to have seen this message you have already managed to let yourself get infected in the first place. Hapless n00b!
Plus, of course, anyone actually "IT savvy" should not be scared (nor even the least bit surprised) when something uses your name, nor in any way give it any more or less credence than a requester that doesn't use their name, since anyone "IT savvy" would have noticed that tons of apps show your name in the registration data and so it's clearly nothing special if an app knows and uses it.
The Reg is starting to look like the American Government more and more so every day. Because a trojan shows 'information freely available on a machine' does not constitute an "OMGWTF?" moment. The last five or six pieces on malware on the reg have been completely out dated, scare mongering, loose reporting. I hope granny isn't reading the reg on her windows machine.
A few days ago I got handed a PC from my nephew asking if I had a spare moment to have a look at his PC as he was getting some popup messages. Since this is a regular occurrance in my family I took it home to look at it for him. It turned out to the the most infected PC I have seen to date. After the 20 minute WinXP boot process I found an suite of trojans, rogue 'anti-spyware' programs, viruses, keyloggers, adware. Most of these were hell bent on stopping themselves from being removed. My favourite are the triple-redundant programs. PROCESS A, B and C. Kill A and B or C restarts it, manage to kill A and B, C restarts it. Manage to kill all of them and some hidden bugger reinstalls them on reboot. To cut a long story, and process, short I could have reinstalled WinXP in 60 minutes but I like a challenge. 13 hours, about 10 different anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-adware programs later, a clean PC!
What do people who don't know any better do I have no idea!
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