Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

ALL in a day's work

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I don’t know how to really judge today’s experiences. The morning was energetic, blazing and full of vigour as myself and Yogesh were fighting computer viruses in our college computer lab – bare-handed!
The pesky virus is known as “VBS.Redlof.A” in technical terms. It is a polymorphic virus which changes it’s own appearance every time it infects a new set of files. And to add to the tensions, it infects all the html, asp, vbs and htt files. It simply means that even if one infected file is remaining on the disk, it’s only a matter of time when someone stumbles upon it and opens the file. (KA-BOOM).

Although the virus is not too much destructive all the time, it is quite annoying and eats up a lot of disk space. I won’t write too many details on the virus here… you can get them on any of the antivirus sites.

The basic idea behind not using antivirus software to tackle this problem was that the virus being polymorphic, is not that easy to remove from an infected file. It’s pretty easy to detect, but all of the anti viruses I tried suggested me to delete the infected files immediately. That is NOT possible. As many of my classmates have worked hard on making those files… I can’t just let them be deleted. (Although someone always deletes all of my files on the college network, I suspect the lab assistant guy.)

Ok, getting back to the point, I made a little utility in Visual Basic that allows to remove the infected part of the file even if it is different-looking in every file. Used it to clean the files first. Then we removed all the “folder.htt” files from the disk. Next thing was to use the windows registry editor to disable the ‘autostart’ feature of the virus. (It tell windows to run the viral code every time windows starts… pretty smart!)

After we had removed all traces of the virus, we re-installed the operating system to replace infected system files safely. (If you are wondering: simply re-installing windows without deleting any files IS possible.)

With that done, we were ready to get the antivirus and get it’s final opinion on the cleanliness of the system. We reported to our professors, who were lethargic and were not even interested in what all things we did to get rid of the trouble.

Yogesh asked “Should we clean other computers in the same way too?” and the answer was, “Yes, maybe, we’ll see. I have to go now, I’ll talk to you about it later.”

Well, well, so much for being “ghostbusters” of the college lab! Anyway, I had a very entertaining and informative experience. This was the second virus I fought without any “expert” software. The first one was the “Verona.B” worm. I’ll surely remember this day.

The afternoon was lazy and depressive.

After coming back from college, I was feeling good for my success and bad for not being appreciated properly. It’s not a problem as long as my personal satisfaction is concerned, but what I wonder is how did these people get appointed as our professors? What kind of ‘experts’ or ‘computer scientists’ are they going to produce from the college if this is the kind of interest professors show. But trust me, they cannon, under any circumstances shut down my curiosity and interests. And in the end, I look forward to becoming an expert in computers!

Ashutosh and Joy were at my home since morning… they were working on their project. I think they are going good at programming. Ashutosh has picked up the skills quite fast and Joy is not far behind! With all those thoughts in my mind, I had a nice talk with them and then they left at 5 for their tutions. (For Your Information: I don’t have a tution at that time.)

The evening was… well I don’t know coz I was sleeping from 5 to 7. Then

I woke up at 7 when Yogesh came here. We talked for sometime and then he left. Then I phoned Joy after sometime, told him I’d be coming to his place at around 8:30 to pick him up. Then I had my dinner and watched some TV programme on frogs and left.

Went to Joy’s house, picked him up and started off towards home. Met Mom and Dad on the way. (They had gone out for some work) Then we went to Bonney’s (my friend) house. (His team was declared the first runner up in the Quiz Competition for which he is in Mumbai. They missed the first prize in a tie-breaker. Anyway, “Congrats Bonney! Keep it up!”)

Then went to Yogesh’s home, Amit Patole (our senior) was there. Talked for sometime, informed Yogesh about the cancellation of the tomorrows’ electronics tuition and started off towards home.

Came home, printed around 50 pages of information on viruses (for my project) and started writing this…


Written by hiway

January 29, 2003 at 12:19 am

Posted in computers, rant

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