More Advice for Windows Users: Stop Using Windows

Brian Krebs, writing for the Washington Post:

Quoting Avoid Windows Malware: Bank on a Live CD:

I have interviewed dozens of victim companies that lost anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000 dollars because of a single malware infection.  I have heard stories worthy of a screenplay about the myriad ways cyber crooks are evading nearly every security obstacle the banks put in their way.

But regardless of the methods used by the bank or the crooks, all of the attacks shared a single, undeniable common denominator: They succeeded because the bad guys were able to plant malicious software that gave them complete control over the victim’s Windows computer. [...]

The simplest, most cost-effective answer I know of?  Don’t use Microsoft Windows when accessing your bank account online.

The ideal solution is to permanently switch to a Mac (or Linux).  But as Krebs suggests, booting a Linux-based Live CD is a quick & cheap solution.  You just download the latest version of Ubuntu and burn it to a CD.  Then reboot your PC with that CD in your CD-ROM drive, which will temporarily turn your PC into a Linux PC that is far more secure than Windows.  Use that to do your banking, and when you’re done, remove the CD and reboot again to get back to Windows.  The Live CD doesn’t touch your hard drive at all, so it doesn’t mess with your existing system, and any viruses or other security threats that surely are might be there on your hard drive cannot activate themselves to infect the Linux-based Live CD environment.

Posted by Anthony on reply

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