life in the fast lane...
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Thread: life in the fast lane...

  1. #1
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    life in the fast lane...

    i am at a university. ever since the kids came back to school - i have been battling spyware & virus infections left, right, & center.

    it's amazing some of the stuff out there. if i am to believe my users - and in some cases there is no reason not to - they don't even have to click on anything anymore to get infected. all that needs to exist is a windows host with a slightly outdated patch status and it's hit by just being connected to the network/internet. it's not so much a data loss/security threat issue as it is the tedious grunt work issue of chasing down the machine and cleaning it or worst case scenario re-ghosting it. it's really mind boggling the amount of work this stuff generates.

    lately i have been actually thinking that migrating to a linux OS on the desktop actually might make some amount of sense. the thing that sends thunderous shivers down my spine is the support call volumes this would generate from users accustomed to using windows OS for all their computerized business lives. i am of the belief - and i have work experience to back it up - you make the slightest change to anything on the desktop - be it a office app or printing procedure - you will get panicy user calls. i remeber when wordperfect was going down the tubes and we had to force users to switch to ms word - the "hell" that broke loose. you would have thought that a new plague had resurfaced - not a user interface switch from one word app to another.

    anyway, i forget the point of my rant. oh yeah. spyware & viruses cause a lot of extra work and linux on the desktop sounds like a good idea right about now.

    :-)
    More cowbell! We need more cowbell!
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    \"Is the firewall there to protect you from the outside world or is it there to protect the outside world from *YOU*?\"

  2. #2
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    These are public computers? Well then first off... there would virtually be no problems if you and home users alike would put some policies in place. Think about it... millions of $$$ in AV and Firewall software yet everyone goes online and does mostly everything else useing full administrative rights and all the default settings right from install. Also the thing about school computers... if your taking care of them then isn't it YOUR job to update?

    First off... these people (and malware) should not have ability to edit the registry or make any other major changes to these systems for that matter, none of these computers should automaticly execute anything from removable storage, all ftp tftp instant-messaging & gaming related connections should be dropped... this really pisses people off the most.

    I don't even have the clipboard enabled no cut and pasting for you, *******!

  3. #3
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could, you know, do your job, and update? Or get rid of Windows.
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  4. #4
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    both you guys seem to have a similar POV. so might as well reply to both - kill 2 birds with one stone.

    first of all - i don't work with the students. i support the business units. big difference there. you can't slap them with policies up the kazoo without reason. also, your salary and all the hardware you work on comes out of their budget. (they are paying for it!) the divisional heads tend to feel that it's their equipment so they should have a big say in how it's handled. this is very unique to this place. most internal IT shops do not operate that way. (al least i don't think so!)

    we are also expeirencing an overall de-centralization and reduction of dedicated IT support. this is common in some parts of the indistry. it's been going on for years around here. in a nut shell, and this is just my personal take on this - (i might be full of it!) divisional heads are noticing that their direct staff is much more tech savvy than it was say 5 or 10 years ago. new jobs such as business analysts are cropping up. the job entails a lot of tech skill set. the divisional heads feel that their IT needs can be better supported & understood & met by their own direct staff - someone who understands their business - much better than lets say a specialized IT guy who understands IT needs for a whole bunch of different divisions with not much in common. so some functions such as specialized server purchsing, mgtm of those servers at la is being handled by people whos jobs entails doing a whole bunch of different things other than IT. but that equipment is still connected to your network.

    we are also seeing some instances of shadow IT. you do one thing. someone else does something else. you can't totally lock down the systems because they have to do their own stuff on them which requires admin privaledges.

    we could go on and on for ever. but it's all just cwap one has to deal with and find ways to work with or work around. best one can do it follow the CYA rule and have a healthy sense of humor.
    More cowbell! We need more cowbell!
    http://www.geocities.com/secure_lockdown/
    - - -
    \"Is the firewall there to protect you from the outside world or is it there to protect the outside world from *YOU*?\"

  5. #5
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    OK, so what does this have too do with patching? Do your part too stop a kiddie, PATCH.

    As for the things you just talked about, you must understand that IT management is crap. IT doesn't need management, it needs money, and intelligence, management just get in the way. If all else fails, a little BOFH love won't.


    Crash the Routers every 3 hours and blame it on a new problem that only the newest hardware fixes. Then you should have a nice fat budget to play with and some new found respect when you alone fix it.
    Kill the lights, let the candles burn behind the pumpkins’ mischievous grins, and let the skeletons dance. For one thing is certain, The Misfits have returned and once again everyday is Halloween.The Misfits FreeBSD
    Cannibal Holocaust
    SuSE Linux
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  6. #6
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    I am have a few opinions on this matter because I dealt with this until the CEO got mad enough to fire me without probable cause.

    Your job as an IT "specialist" is to make sure the CEO, boss, team leader knows what is going on. If this requires you to make charts, log the hours spent on fighting malware and comparing them with what you could be doing so be it. The reason people are bending more towards business professionals with a technical background could be attributed to the reasoning the a business professional looks at things a little different than 0's and 1's they also look at the price and a way to make that price worth it. It is your job to make the company see the reason behind purchasing or implementing new security.

    Secondly from what I read I am slightly dissappointed to hear that you would have a system left open that would allow them to even change the registry (like The Specialist previously stated) you as an Admin or IT person should either let those in charge know or if you are in power should make sure these actions are taken so that these regedit changes and other functions are turned off.

    Another thing! IMO Windows is not a bad OS. Yes, I know there are some security issues but there are ways to prevent those leaks from happening. In this aspect it is purely the admin's fault if Windows is not secured. And, if you are thinking of switching to Linux I would make pretty damn sure that you should be aware of the problems that could come from it. Migration problems/ different extensions/ compatibility issues it just doesn't seem worth it.

    If I was in your shoes I would get off my ass and do something about this problem there is no reason a machine should be unpatched or subjected to Malware.

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    Yeah thats right........I said It!

    Ultimately everyone will have their own opinion--this is mine.

  7. #7
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    When all else fails... grab an automatic weapon. Behold, the greatist and very best tool for security & generally gaining administration over random things in almost any situation.

    Problem solved...

  8. #8
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    If you don't feel like running around to all the machines and wanna check if they are patched here's this.
    http://www.gfi.com/lannetscan/
    When death sleeps it dreams of you...

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Secure~ you have my sympathies:

    we are also seeing some instances of shadow IT. you do one thing. someone else does something else. you can't totally lock down the systems because they have to do their own stuff on them which requires admin privaledges.
    We call them "User Mushrooms"..................and the only way I like those is FRIED!!! Seriously though, you should only need to give them local Admin rights? Please look into that.

    As stated, YOU are responsible for the patching and the implementation of policies. Your task is to get definition and agreement of those policies.

    There seems to be both an organisational structure and communications problem in your environment. A Business Analyst should be an IT employee with responsibility for business divisions/functional units.

    The user areas should have an IT liasion officer.............that's the one with half a brain, and he is not saving it for Christmas

    I disagree with Gore on this one, you actually need STRONG IT management in the land of the "User Mushrooms" otherwise you will have anarchy, followed by chaos.................and then you will be outsourced

    In a specialised IT environment you only need team leaders and project managers........the rest of the management structure is pretty much irrelevant. In that case Gore is 200% correct, the issue is always going to be resources ($ + skillsets)

    My advice:

    1. Patch
    2. AV, and keep it updated
    3. Firewall with sensible policies
    4. Needs only base authorities
    5. COMMUNICATE!

    Good luck!
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    Just Another Geek
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    Patching windows is easily done if you setup a SUS (WUS) server.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserv...s/default.mspx
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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