View Full Version : comments please

04-08-2001, 11:17 PM
should people be held accountable to their unknown actions on the internet?? these actions being the likes of sending infected emails, dos attacts, speading trojens worms etc.

should pcmakers be held accountable for handing over an unprotected pc to a newbie? kinda like giving a box of matches to a kid to play with.

isn't it strange that computer users use ignorence as a valid and accepted excuse.(sorry i didn't relise that 'sexypic.jpg.exe' was a trojen thats now clogged up the office lan)

should people be made to have a pc drivers lience before connecting to the net??

just a few questions and remarks from a recent disscusion. just interested to see what nonpro uses thought.

05-08-2001, 12:27 AM
Nice topic tweak, well thing to think about is with this net explosion you have alot of people new to pcs aquiring them for that very reason and of course they are not going to know the full implications of running this or that rogue file, I was recently reading bout how in the US over 50% of users with always on connections ie. cable have no form of security protection what so ever! let alone know how to implement such features. Scary thoughts indeed but now you know how those major DoS attacks can be staged.
One of the real topics for debate lately has been should ISP's be accountable for their users actions, well in the case of kiddie scripters who maliciously target other users - they should be punished independently of their ISP.

05-08-2001, 02:27 AM
It certanly is unique isn't it.
I guess the problem is that if all software was made so simple that even the stupidest user could handle it then the rest of us would be unable to work properly.

As for all the outlook worms etc. I personally think microsoft should be held accountable for the 'billions' in losses, but alas we all agreed to their license agreement.
If your write software targeting 'home' users then you should not allow them to do such stupid things.

Sorry I'm not the kind of person you were targeting but I'm sick of being woken early in the morning by some idiot who just did exactly what i told them not to 2 days ago.

05-08-2001, 11:35 AM
As a computer user (nonpro) since my TRS 80 I am constantly amazed that so many inexperienced newbies actually manage to get the things to go. I tried on many occations to set up a firewall but the instructions beat me. My antivirus (Mcafee online) was fine until a virus got through and destroyed my ability to go online and hence ability to scan. My Microsoft products have had to be reinstalled so many times that I have a real hassle convincing microsoft that I am not installing a pirated version!
No. People should not be held accountable for their unknown actions on the internet.

Yes. PC makers should be held accountable for handing over an unprotected PC. These should be setup with simple driving instructions attached.

Not everyone understands the dos based extensions so unless a user is given specific instructions (shouldn't this come from the network manager) on what not to do how can they be expected to know what not to do?

Certainly before setting someone loose on a PC connected to a lan there should be some form of tuition/drivers licence. For a home user let loose on the net this would be impossible and hence they should be sold a computer as setup as possible to avoid the traps.

My bit DW

05-08-2001, 12:12 PM

I can see both sides of the issue - but would like to put this to you all.

A vehicle can be purchased by someone without a licence, and manufacturers cannot stop unlicenced drivers from starting their vehicles. A vehicle has the potential to kill someone, whilst a PC can make life miserable for some when things go wrong, viruses in them are not generally life threatening to humans.

As for making manufacturers accountable for end-user's actions, well if that was possible I am sure many things we take for granted these days would also be banned or regulated.

With PC's, I believe some sort of licencing or training prerequisite is an ideal, but quite frankly, an impossible dream.

Many users of PC's these days got where they are today by trial and error, learning from mistakes, trying something to see what it does and so on. A PC is a tool designed to help us, a material possession.

Do all you can to protect your toy, make or have backups of what is important to you, but be aware that others are out there intent on causing havoc, usually because of the stupidity of others. As mentioned earlier, this is the hardest thing to combat - the person who does what they are told not to, or vice-versa.

An interesting topic.


05-08-2001, 04:53 PM
yeo it is an interesting topic allright, one that seems to refuse to die on other boards.

my two cents on it-
i can understand the frustration of IT personal how have to clean up the mess and the people who suffer
the $$costs of networks outages due to virus,worms and attacks. however its near on imposible to regeulate what a person does with there net connection.

however a couble of things that have annoyed me in the past are peoples attide to sircurity. i which i had a dime(nz$1);-) each time someone said 'i don't need patches' 'antivirus/firewall eats two much resorces' and the classic 'my mate would not email me a virus'.
the very people who need firewalls etc are usually the ones who will uninstall it. i had a case of that recently. cleaned a comp out of homepage hijackers(the .exe type) and got the owner to install zonealarm. they installed it ok, but i heard later on that they uninstalled it due to 'to hard to use'. like how hard is clicking yes or no, really?

funny how the people who couldn't care about sircurity are usually the ones who complain the most when their system get 'volilated'.

education is the answer(or part of) but its hard to get the message across. maybe isp's cutting peoples net access off if they spread virus and trojens could make them sit up and take notice.

having a new pc come with firewalls and antivirus with autoupdates enabled would help with newbies but setting up a pc properly would add to the cost which means its less likly for that pc to be sold.

it is an interesting topic one that i'm sure will continue to pop up again.

05-08-2001, 05:44 PM
Still thinking about this.
I was talking to a friend who is doing law and aparantly ignorance is not an excuse.

As for the car example above I don't think claiming that you don't know how to drive is going to get you out of trouble when you hit another car.

05-08-2001, 07:47 PM
Hi again,

The car example was used to address the question about whether manufacturer's should be held responsible for mis-use :-)

I also get frustrated by those who claim that firewalls/antivirus problems outweigh their effectiveness... grrr

06-08-2001, 12:22 AM
just parts of a couple of post from anouther forum-

We all accept that for 99.99% of
our day to day activities and most people have little tolerance for the
irresponsible behavior of others. Except for one activity. Computer usage.

Why is irresponsible computer usage so ACCEPTED?

We have a client who, for reasons I won't go in to, used someone else
(the ubiquitous 'friend') to provide web services and install a small
Lan of 5 PC's, ISDN, and router. I found out today that they were
infected by our old chum W32SirCam@mm. I also discovered that their
'mate' had installed no AV software, there was no firewall on the router
and, in fact, they were wide open with no security measures in place at
all no idea what risks they were running. The owner of the business (a
travel agency!) is a female with as much grasp of computing as the man
in the moon. She was completely traumatized by her experience with the
W32 worm (which, of cause they emailed to everyone in their Outright
Depress address books!) terrified of computers in general, and paranoid
that she will lose her business because they are affiliated to a larger
company, which, when it found out how compromised our client's network
was, threatened to end the franchise (worth some $200,000!!!).

tweak'e comment- if that friend was a pro computer builder/service person i would sue the crap out of him.

06-08-2001, 10:29 AM
I believe education is the big problem here. Most new computer users have no idea what the hell a firewall is or what it does. Yeah they have anit virus software but they don't update it weekly. I'm been into computers since the Sinclair ZX80 came along and people laughed at me for buying a computer back then. Those same people now calling me when their system has a virus and need help to get clean it up.

07-08-2001, 12:29 AM
...as some wit once said:

'a computer is the most dangerous of things - after tequilla and handguns.'


10-08-2001, 10:01 PM
'To err is human, but to really f*** things up requires a computer'
Whoever wrote that is obviously not an IT person. In todays online world, where for some companies the difference between being compromised and not being compromised can cost them millions of dollars, I believe security is everyones concern.
Ignorance is no excuse, not knowing the gun had one bullet in it when you spin the chamber for russian roulette wont excuse you for shooting someone, and neither should it excuse you from costing people valuable resources simply because you wanted to know how romantic LOVE_LETTER_FOR_YOU.txt.vbs was.
If you are going to rely heavily on any peice of machinery, not necessarily restricted to computers, you have a users obligation to ensure you understand possible effects it could have on other people, and the ways in which you as a user can reduce the risk to others.
Taking the right precautions can protect you from just about any computer threat. Ive had complete control over my this computer for 18months now, no one touches it without my say so, and in that time I have never had a single virus, trojan, worm or hostile peice of code infect my computer. And I run a Win98 machine using OE, so its not like there are no threats out there ;-) All it takes is regular virus scanning, and a firewall, and suddenly of the people that can still get to your computer, 80% of them are proffesionals who wouldnt bother.
Newbies are entitled to make mistakes, but when they start ignoring the professional advice of qualified people who have to fix their mistakes, then they should not be allowed access to anything more powerful than a calculator.