Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 25th Sep 2012 22:17 UTC
Bugs & Viruses You might assume your new PC is secure, but is it? In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission just charged seven rent-to-own computer companies and a software design firm with computer spying. Some 420,000 rent-to-own computers allegedly secretly collected personal information, took pictures of users in their homes, and tracked their locations. Meanwhile Microsoft found that PCs from China had malware embedded before reaching consumers. The virus "could allow a hacker to switch on a microphone or Webcam, record keystrokes and access users' login credentials and online bank accounts." And, an FBI investigation found that counterfeit routers purchased by various US government agencies also were pre-loaded with malicious software. Do you assume your new PC is secure, or if not, what steps do you take to secure it?
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It would be when I'm done with it.
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 25th Sep 2012 22:50 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

At the very least, I would wipe the stock installation of Windows with a fresh, clean version of the OS. Preferrably from a known-to-be-trusted copy of Windows... ie. the retail version, direct from Microsoft. Windows can't get any more "clean" and pure than that. Too bad those discs cost an arm and a leg, though. But more likely these days, I would just nuke it in favor of something else. Linux, BSD... whatever. And boom... no spyware or any other form of malware.

Edited 2012-09-25 22:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

At the very least, I would wipe the stock installation of Windows with a fresh, clean version of the OS. Preferrably from a known-to-be-trusted copy of Windows... ie. the retail version, direct from Microsoft. Windows can't get any more "clean" and pure than that. Too bad those discs cost an arm and a leg, though. But more likely these days, I would just nuke it in favor of something else. Linux, BSD... whatever. And boom... no spyware or any other form of malware.


You can download the ISOs for Windows from DigitalRiver for free and use the product key on your machine if you want a clean install.

Reply Parent Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I know absolutely nothing about DigitalRiver. What they are, what they do, whether they can be trusted.

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You can download the ISOs for Windows from DigitalRiver for free and use the product key on your machine if you want a clean install.

Unless your OEM is using a BIOS certificate method of activation, in which case a product key is not used at all but a certificate in the machine's BIOS is checked against a certificate in the OEM copy of Windows. Fortunately, it seems this method is mostly phased out, but I've still encountered it on occasion.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I am always amazed when I meet people who don't do this (ok, well not so much now after several years, maybe more sad than amazed). It should be common sense by now that you should only use a five foot stick when dealing with computers fresh from the store/manufacturer.

People ask me to "make the computer go faster" and all they had to do was get rid of the bazillion of infections that their OEM was nice enough to provide. Had they just done that *before* they started to blast it with their personal files...

Reply Parent Score: 3