[Dshield] He thinks he is bulletproof, is he?

Michael Leone loki at psu.edu
Thu Dec 4 13:29:46 GMT 2003

Personally I think He's got something going there. I don't think he is any 
grave danger, at least any that's been used in the past 5 years. Everything 
nowadays is for win2k and XP. Unless someone nukes him.

I don't see any danger, and I think that he's probably smarter than the 
rest, although he sounds like my College Advisor with the 16megs of Ram 
deal. ;-)
Don't fix it unless its broken.

At 01:01 AM 12/4/2003, you wrote:
>I belong to a group that occasionally sends emails containing proprietary 
>commercial information from person to person for comment.  Recently while 
>seeking evaluations of a data base program I learned we have a person in 
>the group who uses a machine with only 16 megs or RAM and who removed 
>(more or less completely) Internet Explorer from his Windows 95 machine 
>seven or eight years ago and he has no AV and no firewall.  Since MS 
>alerted us to the RPC vulnerability 
>(http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-026.asp) I have 
>been trying to get him to upgrade his machine, obtain anti virus software 
>and firewalls, or at least get any required patches.  This is his latest reply.
>"I rarely do Windows.  I do them at times when I need to view
>an MS-Word document with all its pretty fonts and formatting
>and/or lines and and boxes and images.  If I just need to know
>only what the document says I use a program named Antiword to take
>a look at it.  Antiword does a great job of converting MS-Word to
>plain text.  Antiword is free and you can download versions of it
>for almost all operating systems including even DOS.
>Other times when I do Windows are those times when it is really
>important for me to take a look at web pages infested with lots
>of JavaScript and requiring a browser capable of handling it in
>order to get any information from them.  None of my DOS-based browsers
>can deal with JavaScript.  They just ignore it.  A DOS ported version
>of the Unix text browser known as "Lynx" does a great job of getting
>into https SSL web pages.  I have it installed on my machine.  For
>doing web-browsing to display inline graphics I use a DOS browser known
>as Arachne.  It displays web pages just as well as MSIE and NetScape
>as long as the web pages don't make use of JavaScript and/or
>browser-specific proprietary HTML tags.  Also Arachne doesn't do SSL.
>Lynx does SSL but it doesn't handle JavaScript.  I have successfully
>used the Lynx browser on several occasions for doing online shopping
>and ordering merchandise by using a secure web page.
>I have the understanding that as long as I am using a DOS-only machine
>there is no way a hacker could invade my machine while I am online
>without my noticing that something very bizarre and fishy is happening
>inside my system.
>For going to web pages with my Windows 95 machine I use the Opera
>browser.  It isn't as bloated as the current versions of MSIE and
>NetScape and it runs fine on systems having only 16MB of memory.
>I never use a Windows machine for doing email.  When I am at a public
>terminal running a Windows machine I do my email by running Pine on
>my Unixish shell account.  I can get into my shell account on the remote
>computer by running a Java Applet that does SSH which I can access from
>a web browser.  When I finish my session the Java Applet self-destructs,
>BTW, I have never received from anyplace on the internet a virus or
>a worm capable of infecting a DOS system.  I have received thousands of
>viruses and worms that are capable of infecting Windows 32 bit systems
>only.  That is why I don't do my email with a Windows system."
>I suspect he is very vulnerable to something, but lack enough root 
>knowledge of TCP/IP and DOS to speak with certainty.  I agree he is safer 
>than many, even safer than some with firewalls and AV software in that 
>most virus writers these days don't seem to be expecting a DOS based 
>machine, but I suspect he isn't as malware proof as he thinks.  He on the 
>other hand believes he is completly bullet proof to all forms of malware 
>and probe/infection attempts.  I'd like a second opinion.
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