This kind of incident (see article below) seems to be happening every few months. So you purchase a product (netbook) and it comes infected. No longer do you just have to worry about it working, or if the OS will behave nicely or the drivers will work with your printer. If the manufacturer can not control malware, what hope is there?

I am pretty puzzled about how the malware actually got on the machine. The article doesnt delve into too much detail, but looks like maybe a driver was infected that got placed on the machine. This seems to say the manufacturer does not use any kind of antivirus, or antimalware to test the security of the system before shipping it out. It also calls into question the security processes in place around managing software and development. A bit scary.

So what are some things you can do to protect against malware (i hope you know most of these already)

1) Use a firewall - A good personal firewall will help defend your system, especially if it has the capability to monitor outbound traffic or stop unknow programs from being run or installed. Try Zonealarm, free version.

2) Run anti-virus – This is obvious. while many antivirus programs will miss a lot of malware, you need a defense in depth strategy. Try AVG or Avast.

3) Install patches - A must do. Keep your systems patched because many worms, virus, and malware take advantage of unpatched system vulnerabilities

4) Use antispyware – This is a bit different from antivirus. It can stop malicious code from running and warn you of registry changes. A good start for the beginner is SpywareGuard and  Spybot S & D.

5) Protect the browser – Browser protection software can stop activex controls from running, protect you from tracking cookies and known malware. Two examples are SpywareBlaster and IE-SpyAd

6) Stop Surfing Porn!


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Netbook comes with factory-sealed malware
Chuck MillerMay 20, 2009
SC Magazine