It used to be e-mail spam, while annoying, wasn’t that harmful. Things have changed. During the last day I received e-mails promising that they contained news about March Madness; Sandra Bullock’s possibly misbehaving husband; and Michael Jackson’s estate making a deal for a mint of money. Every last one of them contained a link to Windows malware.
I know this because, running a Linux system, I could safely visit these bogus Websites and watch Windows malware smack on my PC like bugs on a windshield. Most users though, if they’d clicked on through these links, could have ended up with one or more of the latest and greatest of Windows viruses.
I find this more than a little disturbing. Yes, good anti-virus protection will stop most of the attackers. But, by the very nature of these ever-evolving threats, anti-virus software is always playing catch-up. Sooner or later, even if you’re religious about updating your anti-virus programs, something nasty is going to get through. If you’re lucky it will be something that’s easy to delete. If not, you may have to wipe your PC down to bare metal and reinstall everything.