richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sat May 22 15:19:11 EDT 2010
I have been sorting out several machines for a client;
an office that uses a mixture of machines running
Windows XP, Ubuntu and MintLinux. The Windows
machines work in an intranet that has no connexion to
the internet or to the other intranet consisting of
the Linux boxes that are connected to the internet.
One job I had to do was to take 2 hard disks out of a
Pentium 4 running XP and pop them into a faster
machine. However the machine was running slowly
and behaving queerly; so, although it has not direct
contact with the internet I thought "just for fun" I
would run some anti-virus stuff on it.
I downloaded Emsisoft because it allows one a
3 day full-featured trial. It is extremely impressive
insofar as it does a job which I don't believe should
be necessary on any operating system in an efficient manner.
Well my "just for fun" very rapidly became "egg all
over the face" when it became clear that the Windows
machines were infected with an even dozen of "nasties";
the most ugly being
The only way I can account for these computers having become
infected is through workers in this office transferring infected
MSWord and MSExcel files from the Linux boxes to the Windows
ones with USB Flash drives.
The only other possibility is that the staff are being 'disingenuous',
and have also been using their Flash drives on computers running
Windows at home or elsewhere.
As an essentially Non-Windows person (and my recent finding
only serves to make me even more 'Non' than I was before) I
should be very grateful if somebody who knows more about this
than I do (well, that shouldn't be difficult) could tell me:
1. Can virusus / trojans attach themselves to MSWord / Excel documents?
2. Can viruses be downloaded simultaneously as documents onto USB sticks
plugged into Linux boxes that then infect Windows boxes on transfer?
sincerely, Richmond Mathewson
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