I think I have a virus

That was the first sentence my mother said when I called her back after she had tried to reach me in the office, which is highly unusual and therefore I suspected some serious problem. Her tone of voice suggested she was seriously ill. Well she wasn’t my shock was for naught. She had gotten an email from somebody claiming that she had a virus named lsass.exe on her computer and that he had determined that with a port scan. The mail included a supposed patch. The evil thing being that she had received the mail in a way that somehow associated the sender with friends of hers. Since my mother is using the web mostly for ebay/amazon and the occasional surfing spree so far she has been lucky and receeived little to no spam at all, so she had really no idea what she was dealing with.

Smartest thing to do? Call the daughter. Daughter knew the mail contained the virus and so I drove home that evening to fix everything and make sure her computer was not infected. It wasn’t and the only thing I really did was to install Mozilla for her and make her promise to at least try Mozilla before going back to her Explorer/Outlook-Express combo. By the way: lsass.exe is just a normal windows tool that has to do something with security, look it up on google.

Just before I went home I thought about installing a jabber client for her. I am sure she would use it if I explained it to her as a type of email 🙂 and I might still do it the next time I am there …. maybe get both my parents an instant messenger so they can communicate when they are both surfing (different rooms other end of house …) or even better: I can imagine them sitting their both with headsets fighting over who has to take that phone call, because they both want to keep surfing ….

I have been hoping for well uhm years now that I could get my parents to use a ‘real’ browser instead of the bug-heap that is called “Internet Explorer”. So this is a small step for me but a huge step for my parents 😉

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories