Flu Virus And Humidity

This is a pretty interesting article about the Flu virus and humidity:

the researchers found the virus survived best at humidity below 50%, similar to the conditions found indoors in “a really heated building,” says Dr. Marr. “The virus is happy if the mucus droplet completely evaporates and leaves it floating around” in the air.

“It’s also fine in humidities above 98%, which you find in the rainy season in the tropics,” she says, where the conditions outside resemble the environment the virus finds in the body. “But in between, in a humidity of 50% to 98%, the virus doesn’t survive very well.”

If offices, schools and other places where people congregated were to install humidifiers and keep a closer eye on building humidity, would flu’s be less problematic? In theory it could actually save a business money to pay attention to the humidity in the building and keep employees from getting sick.

Windows Live OneCare

I’m curious if anyone has tried Windows Live OneCare (via Amazon note: affiliate link used) with Firefox, and especially with Thunderbird. I personally haven’t tried it. A quick Google search doesn’t turn up to much info. Is it detecting viruses in emails correctly and problem free? Or is it causing chaos? I’d love to hear from someone who has used it.

As a reminder, just because you don’t use Outlook doesn’t mean your immune from viruses. You still need a virus scanner.

The Apple Worm?

According to Norton AntiVirus, Apple’s own QuickTime.com website may be a threat to the safety of my (and your) computer. I was trying to view the M:i:III Trailer (link below in plain text, so you can think twice before clicking).

I’m not sure who is at fault. It’s either Apple with a contaminated server, or Norton who incorrectly pushed a bad Virus definition file out. Either way it’s a bad thing.

Apple Integer Overflow

Details: Attempted Intrusion “Apple Quicktime MOV Integer Overflow” against your machine was detected and blocked.
Intruder: movies.apple.com(62.153.251.222)(http(80)).
Risk Level: Medium.
Protocol: TCP.
Attacked IP: XXX(192.168.xxx.xxx).
Attacked Port: 2499.

The URL in question is (proceed with caution):

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/missionimpossibleiii/large.html

Anyone want to take a guess who is at fault? This is with Norton 2005 with 3/15/2006 Definitions.

Edit [3/16/2006 10:36PM EST]: Changed title to accurately represent dialog trojan worm. Added Norton Version.
Edit [3/17/2006 10:58AM EST]: Symantec acknowleges a problem with AOL in it’s latest update.
Edit [3/19/2006 5:30PM EST]: An document about the vulnerability (no mention on this bug), and update documentation.

A plan for worms?

According to Slashdot, a new variant of the Sanity worm is out, except this one patches to prevent it. Even good hacking isn’t a good thing. It’s still illegal and shouldn’t be done.

But government agencies should really start looking into such a thing. It’s obviously possible. There’s enough exploits in most software that a similar task could be accomplished. US-CERT among others should be researching the possibility of such tactics. A well designed worm can actually counter the effects of a very harmful one.

Even firemen have learned that fire is not only their enemy, but their friend. Fire is often used to put out fires… when strategically placed they can be a very effective tool against forest fires.

Designer Virus

Creating a designer virus, testing it in a dish and computer models: $200,000.

Realizing that virus has the potential to fight HIV. Priceless

Amazing story here. Hopefully some day I’ll be able to link back to this post with the title “HIV Cured”, or something to that effect.

Absolutely amazing. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that they figured it out!

Viruses

W32.Sobig.F is getting very annoying. So is W32.Blaster.Worm.

Why can’t people just take proper precautions:

  1. Firewall. I have 3, Win XP firewall/OS X Firewall, Sygate Personal Firewall (laptop), and a Netgear Hardware firewall (w/ SPI). All you really need is 1.
  2. Virus Scan
  3. Secure up to date software. At the very least, update Windows. Use a good email client like Mozilla.

Viruses are a real pain in the butt. And avoidable for all but the first few to get infected.