Security Corner

Nov 9 2009   12:56AM GMT

If You Never Get on the Internet, You’ll Never Have a Problem

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

So, if all you need to do with your PC is write documents that you’re going to print out locally or balance your checkbook with information that you’ve input offline, you should be safe, right? Wrong. Did you bring home anything from the office, like on a thumb drive, or on an – now obsolete – floppy disk? Do you ever do this? Well, if you do, then you’re not completely safe.

Have you been computing long enough to remember the “Stoned” virus? This little nasty (though it really wasn’t very nasty compared with today’s malware) spread via infected floppy disks. My entire business (8 computers) got hit with it in 1989. We had a “sneaker net” in those days and almost everyone had to work on various documents at some point. The disk got passed around to every computer before I figured out what was going on and neutralized the threat.

It’s true that if you never get on the Internet, you reduce your attack surface significantly, but, really, do you know anyone who isn’t connected to the Internet in some way these days? I think not. So, Houston, we have a problem.

Who do you know who’s willing to unplug their PC from the Internet?

I guess those of us in the security field don’t really have to worry about our jobs, do we?

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