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Machine That Won't Stay Clean

kcnychief

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Political User
#1
I have this client who I have worked with for about 1.5 years now.

She has a PC that gets infected, nay, RIDDLED with spyware and viruses ALL the time. It's Windows XP Pro, SP2, Norton AV, patched, yadda yadda yadda...

Without Fail, about every 2-3 months, I get a call. Poor thing is just infected beyond belief. Last time I was there, about a month ago, Norton was disabled and after enabling/updating, found and removed 47 viruses :s

Now, I don't mind the business, but this is getting to be a bit of a chore. I'm thinking this time when I give it back, I'm going to remove Administrative Access for both her and her siblings. I have tried installing Firefox, mostly because it allows you to be a bit dumber, and still be safe, and it doesn't help.

Anyone else have any CONSTRUCTIVE pro-active methods I can put in place? I don't want different Operating Systems, AV Packages or anything like that, it is 100% user error. How can I lock this system down a bit, while it's still useable?

I know the lack of Admin is going to be a pain at first, but I can WTS to the box and install apps/make changes when needed.
 

fimchick

OSNN Senior Addict
#2
Are they using a router? You can probably enable logging on the router and get a report of where the heck they are going and what they're looking at that they get all these viruses. It may be a grey line between spying on them and helping, but that would be a decision that's up to you/their parents.

:)
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#3
It's not just the siblings, it's the parents too. I don't want to get into specifics but I have already tried that avenue. I know where they are going, and so do the people who need to know, but their lack of care and motivation to do anything about it aren't helping.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#5
That's not the point.

While I don't mind, I don't want to have to do it anymore. I'd like to try and create an environment that's hard to infect.
 

Brad

Moderator
Political User
#6
Unfortunately, it is going to be very hard to sell them the idea that you are going to put stuff on their computer that will keep them from doing what they want to do. Obviously, they are very happy with doing whatever they want and just calling you.
 

X-Istence

*
Political User
#8
Download SuSe Linux, install. Never have a problem again, at least if they are behind some router, otherwise consider enabling the Linux firewall and block all incoming requests. Automatic updates, stuff like flash still works so the kids can play their games and whatnot, and OpenOffice and other apps are included, and then be worry free.

Now, if that is not the perfect answer to user error, I don't know what will be. Just for reference, for spyware and virus related incidents I charge $120 hr + $60 one time charge, I don't seem to get a lot of business anymore after switching to Linux, but ive had several people comment on the fact that most of the time it just works, and that it does not slow down and then have to call me. Sure, you could call it a lost customer, but considering that I don't have to do monthly chores to clean their computers, I am happy.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#9
falconguard said:
Use task scheduler to automate specific programs?!? spybot, adaware, and Norton.
Not a bad suggestion, but still would require user interaction when the scan is complete to complete the removal process.

Norton, when enabled, does this by default btw.

X-Istence said:
Download SuSe Linux, install. Never have a problem again, at least if they are behind some router, otherwise consider enabling the Linux firewall and block all incoming requests. Automatic updates, stuff like flash still works so the kids can play their games and whatnot, and OpenOffice and other apps are included, and then be worry free.

Now, if that is not the perfect answer to user error, I don't know what will be. Just for reference, for spyware and virus related incidents I charge $120 hr + $60 one time charge, I don't seem to get a lot of business anymore after switching to Linux, but ive had several people comment on the fact that most of the time it just works, and that it does not slow down and then have to call me. Sure, you could call it a lost customer, but considering that I don't have to do monthly chores to clean their computers, I am happy.
Valid suggestion, but they can hardly manage Windows so I'd say Linux is not an option ;)
 

falconguard

Carbon based lifeform
Political User
#10
But, they would never operate as root and everything just works, just enabled Voip on my Suse install and it's free.

On the other hand when I run into adamant people that they want to keep windows, but are just technically proficient enough to do damage, I install Panda AV. It is much more user friendly than Norton and not quite as resource heavy.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#12
Admiral Michael said:
What about using Defender, or what ever it's called now.
I did do that last time I was there, apparently not having much of an effect!

Still though, nothing fool proof. May need to setup some user training.
 

kcnychief

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Political User
#17
I have used Deep Freeze in some areas, but I don't think that's a viable solution in a home environment.

No Admin access is the way to go, I'll just deal with the headache over the next month getting all their programs setup remotely :(
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#19
I had a long, productive discussion with the client today. Her daughter, who is the primary culprit, is away for the weekend, so we had a chance to chat.

I explained to her my "findings", and have decided the best way to go is to remove all admin access for all users, and install parental control software. I informed her of the sites I found were being visited, and we were in agreement this was the best way to go. Apparently this has been a problem for awhile, so she wasn't very shocked :eek:
 

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