Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Reason Why Not To Use Microsoft Products.

Well I've read about it but never actually seen it until today.

I visited a customer running Windows XP on two computers. They are using Wild Blue Internet (a dish). The ping rates were at 1500ms to (usual pings on this type of connection are between 150 - 500ms) So the first thing I did was reboot the PC and boot a Live Linux environment where no Windows problems could interfere. Still I could not get a solid

After calling the local Wild Blue Tech and asking him what to do I unplugged the router, plugged the computer directly into the modem, rebooted both the modem and the computer. What I found next was very disturbing to Wild Blue and Direct TV. The modem was in bridged mode and neither the installer, Wild Blue, or Direct TV did this.

After getting threw to Direct TV (can't call Wild Blue directly for this account) it was explained to me that the user had exceeded their uploading bandwidth for that month. WAIT! First of all don't most of us download too much stuff and not upload it? Second of all the only use for this computer was E-Mail, web browsing, and typing / printing.

Figured it out yet?

The first guess the Direct TV tech had was that a torrent client was in
use. WRONG! My guess was a Zombie Virus was in use. Correct!

What is a Zombie Virus? Oh just a virus that takes over any and all Windows computers and does the hacker's bidding. In this case uploading. This hacker also managed to hack into and alter the settings of the user's router and modem! WOW!

Why would the hacker do this? Well by putting the modem into bridged mode this removes the main firewall / NAT from the network allowing the hacker transparent access into the network.

According to Direct TV only they or Wild Blue could get into the modem and program it remotely and you can't locally. There is no reset switch on the Modem either.

Because of this the customer's Internet was shut off by Wild Blue and they were penalized. We are attempting to get this taken off the account, get the modem reprogrammed, and we are dumping Windows for Linux putting the user back in control of their own computer.

So add this one to the list among the viruses that take out computer Bioses turning a Windows computer into a useless brick to be put into a landfill, identity theft, etc.

So just remember to keep using Windows because after all your use to using it. :D Or of course you could

For those of you who are already using Linux and you feel left out all you need to do is:
Configure and install an SSH server to allow people to get into your computer.
Then you need to make sure to post your username and password for your computer publically online.
Then you can enjoy this same Windows experience in Linux.