Greetings All:

The MailBag, two weeks in a row! WooHoo for me! I hope that you all enjoy it.

Yours In CyberSpace,

John Vranesevich

Founder, AntiOnline

That was a real compliment.

Thank you too.

I was just complimenting you and your intelligence and you are rude.

What a piece of ****.


Ah yes. I wouldn't feel like I was doing my job and living up to people's expectations of me if I went an entire week without being called a piece of ****. You may remember Lisa from last week's mailbag. She was the one that had a vocabulary very similar to that of President Bush's. BTW: Someone mentioned in our discussion forum last week that Bush collects pokemon cards. Anyone know if there's any validity to that?


Thank you for the latest updates, with the link
for "newbies" -- I am one.

I've been subscribing to your updates for a bit,
gleaning little bits here and there, BUT I am totally
green and sufficiently busy trying to make a living
while "keeping one eye over my shoulder" at the
security issues facing our office (my formula is that
the "potential" problems facing us are 1) the risks I
know about and understand, 2) multiplied by about
90 for all that I don't know and how bad it could
possibly be when I let my imagination run wild!)

Your service is appreciated! I thank you for all your


Dave Johnson Insurance, Inc.

John, exactly how much do you appreciate our service? Heh. I noticed that you work for an insurance company. AIG quoted us 6 figures for professional liability insurance. Apparently they consider us "high risk" for some strange, strange, reason. A local insurance company charges us 4 figures. So, either AIG has serious problems with the way they come up with quotes, or our local insurance carrier is too dumb to realize how high risk we are. Care to send in a quote? Heh.

Hi John,

I don't know much about how hackers get into computers etc...but i
suspect a friend has been hacked. She is a very trusting soul who
believes that no one would be interested in getting into her puter cos
its just a personal computer and she mostly just visits chat etc.
However, she has been hassled in chat by punks more than most of us.
They seem to take special pleasure in humiliating her, perhaps because
she is so easy going. She has had ongoing and quite serious "weird"
computer problems in the past few years, resulting in her puter being
down as often as up. She recently had a new motherboard installed in
her brand new computer and for a few days had no she is
getting all kinds or weird error message..such as: "error killing decode
thread" and "error asking thread to die"...sounds ominous to me!??
She has a cable connection and no firewall installed.

Could you please give me your comments and i will pass them on.

Thank you.


Well, her problem may sound "ominous", but I have a feeling it's probably rather benign. I'm willing to bet that your friend has a program called "WinAmp" installed? Maybe an older version perhaps? I bet if she upgrades WinAmp to the newest version, these "ominous" messages will vanish. If she doesn't have WinAmp installed, then I'm wrong. In which case, she should definitely unplug her computer, and barricade herself in her house along with last year's unused y2k supplies.


Figured I'd give you a laugh.

I wait with baited breath (not really) for your mailbag to start
back up. I enjoy it, so as I read your entire website everyday I
keep an eye out for it. I also take advice (from you know who) and
buy Languard to stop the folks here from looking at Porno and beating
the LAN to death by creating a Streaming Audio center for everyone to
play there favorite Napster gotten Goodies.

Then one fine afternoon (today) I finish with some meetings
(which I hate) and return to my desk to read your website....LOW AND
BEHOLD, you've written a mailbag....... I'm thrilled, I start doing
the Snoopy Dance (not really) but immediatly click on the
link.......and then.....BAM.....the LANGUARD tells me I can't go
there cause there is a policy violation. I say to myself...well the
heck with that, turn off the service and have my fill of the
mailbag.....Only to learn I should take the word "ass" out of my
Languard settings!!!

Anyway, thought you might get a chuckle....


It's always a b!tch realizing that as an administrator, your own initiatives stop you from enjoying the finer things in life (such as my mailbag). Yes, I've been known to use the word "@ss" every now and then in the mailbag. An occasional "j@ck@ss" "dumb@ss" and "sm@rt@ss" as well. Once, I even used the word "f ^ ( |<".

From: "Satan dastou"


04/04/2001 - Column: There Are Bugs in the Cookies-(Youngstown State U.)


"Many employers are firing people for "cybertransgressions," such as use of company e-mail or improper browsing they track through Web cookies and bugs. Dow Chemical, the New York Times Co., and Xerox Corp. have all fired employees for "cyber-transgressions," Hawkins said."


Where im working also (Adecco/ Compaq Canada) they fire people left& right for browsing the web(security/hacking - porn). I also got screemed at by a supervisor for listenning the 2600 radio show at 5:00am when there is nobody in the building & for browsing UNIX web pages & threathen of loosing my job. Last week another tech got fired for that.


Heck, you should have been fired for listening to that 2600 radio crap, heh. Emmanuel, talk about a rebel without a cause, damn!

Thought you guys might enjoy this parody I wrote on the Hacker Manifesto. It is about the End-User. Why? Well, bascially because, as an IT professional, I am sick of watching a "new" virus infect thousands of company's networks simply because an end-user cannot understand "do not open attachments from unknown/untrusted senders". Causing "untold amounts" in damage...

Anyways, enjoy and share it if you like it

- Rev

Another one got released today; it's all over the papers. "New destructive
virus wreaks massive havoc
Over the Internet", "Virus causes billions of dollars in damage for
corporate email systems!"

Damn end users. They're all alike.

But did you, in your technological-commonsense and 21st century techno
Ever take a look behind the eyes of the end user? Did you ever wonder
what made them think if anything, what forces shaped them into their current
mental state, what may have molded them?
I am an end user, enter my world...
Mine is a world that began with school and college degrees in some forgotten
I'm smarter than most of the other workers in the office, this crap they
have us work on us bores me...

Damn end users. They're all alike.

I have a college degree in some long forgotten specialty. I've listened to
technical people explain
for the fifteenth time how to be careful about emails. I still don't
understand it. "No,
Mr. Smith, I didn't listen and opened the attachment anyways. I don't even
know what an 'Anti-Virus' is..."

Damn end user. Probably they don't listen. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found an email program. "Wait a second, this is
I can send and receive email messages... I can send and receive programs
across the Internet!
Attachments they are called."

Damn end user. One of these days they are going to bring down the entire
network. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through
the network like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic
email is received, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetence is
sought... a virus has been deployed.

"This is it... this my calling..."
I can work and email friends across the Internet... even trade jokes, view
pictures, and trade our favorite programs...

Damn End user. Tying up the email server again with all those large-sized
attachments. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed, mindlessly
punching keys at
work when we hungered for fun and excitement through communicating with
The bits of fun that you did let slip through were pre-scanned and
We've been dominated by the executives, or ignored by the IT department.
The few that had something to teach us, have long left the company to seek
employment elsewhere,
but those helpful and understanding few were like drops of water in the

This is our world now... the world of the electronic mail and the
the beauty of not knowing where emails came from. "That person isn't in my
address book. Maybe I should add them to it,
send them and everyone on the TO: list a 'thank you' for their email."
We make use of a service that is over-complicated by IT professionals.
We view attachments without care to malicious intent by the sender. "They
sent this email to ME, why wouldn't I want to see what it is?"
We are naturally curious with technology, but do not want to be burdened
with complicated explanations of "to do's" and "not to do's" with it.
We explore... and you call us idiots. We seek after the latest jokes and
programs that people send us... and you call us careless.
We exist as numbers within companies, without nationality, without religious
bias... and you call us mindless, pathetic, data-entry clerks.
You build overly-confusing programs, network and security policies,
you don't spend enough time at our desks explaining why you hinder our
communication with friends,
you hang-up on us only after our forth call to helpdesk at 9AM, curse at us,
and lie to us telling us "viewing attachments is a very dangerous thing".
Well I have viewed many attachments, and ran many programs that people on
the Internet have sent me through email.
My computer does not run well. It is slow; randomly displaying blue screens
and error messages, yet you claim it is MY fault and walk away.

Yes, I am an end user. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that
of judging people by what they say and think, and send me, not what they
look like.
My crime is that of trusting people, something that you will never forgive
me for.

I am an end user, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
But you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

Haha, damn funny stuff!


I heard that you wrote an artificial intelligence program to sort through
articles and whatnot for information, like in the matrix. Is this true? And if
so, what language did you use? Please, any information you'd share would be
greatly appreciated.



Muhahaha, I would love to answer your questions, but first, you must choose: The red pill, or the blue pill?

Greetings All:

Hey, it's me again. Many of you may not know this, but I've been writing this damn mailbag since March of 1998. So, I thought that I'd end this one with a link to one of my favorite mailbags from days gone by. Enjoy!

Our Weekly MailBag From May 3, 1999

Yours In CyberSpace,

John Vranesevich

Founder, AntiOnline