Even well-guarded PCs may get infected

Dennis o'reilly By Dennis O’Reilly

There’s a window of vulnerability between the appearance of new malware and the updating of anti-malware tools against the new threat; you may fall victim in that interim.

That’s what happened to one Windows Secrets Lounge member, whose well-protected system appears to have been subjected to a questionable download in his browser.

Malware can enter a machine through the recently discovered IE hole that Yardena Arar described in her Jan. 21 Top Story. Windows Secrets Lounge member Cris Wadlooper experienced a different kind of threat, which he explained in the comment thread for Yardena’s story:

  • “I noticed that I had a PDF download pending in my Firefox queue, which I dismissed instinctively. (Why is there a file in my download queue? I asked myself.)

    “Disclaimer: I have IE6 on a Win XP2 box, Firefox is my default browser, IE is only for banks and other dinosaurs, etc.

    “I then browsed around a bit as usual, using Firefox, and the same download appeared! — interestingly, just after I refreshed Boston.com for some local news. (I block Boston.com from opening pop-ups via my Firefox preferences, yet the site still manages to do so!)

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2010-02-04: