W32.HLLP.Handy and Rob Halford
Saturday, August 23 2003
For the past couple days I've been putting together a new computer for a customer. Today I ran the latest version of Norton Antivirus on it and discovered that the bitch was riddled with the W32.HLLP.Handy virus. It's a completely benign virus that spreads only via executables downloaded using KaZaA. You have to be pretty fucking stupid to blindly execute anything obtained with a file sharing program, and in general I'd been careful to virus-check my incoming files. Unfortunately, though, I'd been lax in updating my virus definitions. The W32.HLLP.Handy virus, you see, first appeared in the wild back in November, 2002, well after my last virus definition update. As something of a computer expert, I should know better. Bad computer security has real world consequences - if there's any lesson to be learned from the past week, this is it.
The biggest downside to this infection was how bogged down and slow the computer became as it inspected its files and purged itself of the infection. Also, some of the bigger files couldn't be cleaned by Norton Antivirus and had to be cleaned manually. This usually involved converting an auto-unzipping archive from a .exe to a .zip and then unpacking the contents and rezipping them into a new archive. These sort of activities occupied most of my day, although thankfully I was able to do other more interesting things simultaneously.
One of those more interesting things was surfing Friendster for "celebrity" profiles. Take, for example, the supposed Friendster profile of Rob Halford (which you can only see if you are somehow linked to me or one of my friends through Friendster). The profile gives "Metal God" as an occupation and states such interests as "breakin' the law" and "hiding the obvious from millions of concertgoers for nearly 25 years." Could this really be a profile created by the Judas Priest frontman? Perhaps not, but he has 239 Friendster friends, a popularity only true celebrity could be expected to garner.
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