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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Worms squirm, McAfee Drops NT

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Worms squirm, McAfee Drops NT

The people have spoken. My bid for California governor has not generated the groundswell of support I’d anticipated. I guess my slogan — “Let’s put the goober back in gubernatorial” — didn’t resonate with voters.

Dial W for worm: I thought California politics was a snake pit until I found 500 copies of the Sobig.F worm wriggling inside my inbox. But I got off easy. One of my spies works for a company that recently converted to Cisco IP phones. When their network got hit by the Welchia worm, it took out the phone system as well as the LAN. It took a while to discover this because all outside calls just rolled into voicemail. And employees couldn’t call the help desk because — duh — the phones didn’t work. Rotary phones, anyone?

McAfee no like NT: In these infectious times we need all the help we can get, but NT users may not be getting much from McAfee. One of the Cringe crew couldn’t get an old copy of McAfee’s VirusScan to update itself, so he dialed up the company’s chat support. The techie’s response: “Mcafee virus online is no more [sic] supporting Windows NT.” A somewhat more articulate McAfee spokesperson confirmed the news, saying the company had stopped supporting the OS more than a year ago.

Block heads: One Cringehead recently tried to email a Road Runner customer only to get his message blocked. Turns out RR (which is part of the Time Warner empire) automatically blocks mail from servers on residential IP addresses to thwart spammers and viruses. Homies must use their ISP’s server to send mail; businesses blocked by mistake must set up a reverse DNS listing to get their mail through — unless they use AT&T DSL, in which case they’re out of luck. Sounds paranoid, until you consider that TW’s servers were specifically targeted by the Sobig worm.

I guess somebody didn’t want to pay his cable bill.

I’ve decided to bow out of the race and throw my support behind Georgy Russell, a 26-year-old software engineer who’s a lot cuter than yours truly.

She’s a lock for the geek vote.


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