IT Employment

Cautionary tale: How a misconfigured laptop ruined a worker's life

The case of a Massachusetts state worker who was fired for having pornography on his laptop but later discovered to be innocent because the security software wasn't working and the computer was filled with malware should be a sobering anecdote for IT departments.

The case of a Massachusetts state worker who was fired for having pornography on his laptop but later discovered to be innocent because the security software wasn't working and the computer was filled with malware should be a sobering anecdote for IT departments.

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After child pornography was discovered on his laptop, Michael Fiola, a state worker in Massachusetts got fired and had to deal with a smeared reputation and financial fallout. But it has been discovered that his laptop was riddled with malware because the system's security software wasn't working. Fiola was likely innocent, and criminal charges against him have now been dismissed.

Michael Fiola and his wife Robin. Photo credit: Boston Herald.

This is one of those worst nightmare cases. The Massachusetts state government and its IT department failed Fiola. They were trying to do the right thing but ending up getting it wrong in the worst way. The result had devastating personal consequences for Fiola, and the likelihood of significant financial fallout for the state in follow-up legislation.

I've heard from a lot of IT professionals over the past 5-10 years that tracking and identifying porn on worker computers has become a quietly significant part of the IT department's responsibilities, and many IT pros have been struggling with all of the legal and ethical ramifications involved.

The Fiola case will only add to the gut-wrenching complexity of this issue. If you or your IT department are involved in helping to get someone fired or have criminal charges brought against them for something they have on their computer, you better make sure you thoroughly investigate the issue (and possibly hire a forensic specialist to help) before you act on something you discover.

I'd highly recommend all IT leaders read through the Fiola case. Here are some links to get started:

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

103 comments
kathygnome
kathygnome

I've seen all sorts of malware. I've seen all sorts of porno popups. I have never seen real child pornography as part of any of them. No matter how many idiots PCs I have to disinfect, in my experience it is not something that just randomly appears. If this was the usual junk, I'd be entirely believing of the malware thing, but not this.

cardhun
cardhun

The facts of the matter are that two independent computer forensic investigations - one on behalf of the defendant's attorney and one on behalf of the state - have both concluded that the sites and images embedded on the employee's computer were placed on the computer without any pornographic sites having been visited by the employee. This case therefore looks like a rather sophisticated attack on Michael Fiola's character. The next question should therefore be - who would have a motive for trying to discredit Mr. Fiola and getting him fired?

thechosenone062
thechosenone062

I mean, this would've never happened if Symantec wasn't so greedy and asked you to pay money to keep the software working. It should be free to prevent these kinds of things.

marok45
marok45

How could an IT worker get malware on his laptop? Is he opening attachments from random e-mails? I run anti-virus and anti-spyware once every couple months with AVG and Spybot and haven't had a single problem. I find it hard to believe that an IT worker just blindly installs anti-whatever and just rushes into the internet instead of practicing good security habits. As for him being guilty of intentionally looking up child porn, I don't know.

Thebatfae
Thebatfae

Why America thinks child Porn Is the worst thing I Disagree Crimes like murders robberies is the worst thing Any crime is worser and just to have A screen of nude child You get in this much trouble thats sucks this guy don't need to get fired He should be awarded for being true human Just for some shit like that just to see a lame body part that can be a nose to or eyes from children's or even arms I stale I get trouble I believe in god but this law sucks for some computer users on the world .I don't get It why is porn so bad for people It just a lame body part You see it from babies and don't get in trouble or adult Parts too But just to be 6-17 is lame to get trouble for that age. Is still the same as 0-5 or 18-100 years old. PLEASED AGREE with me .FBI only cares too checked people computer And they wasted time by checking peoples personal things on computers PRIVACY EVERYONE NEEDS. The lame FBI needs time to do more IMPORTING Things salving bad crimes in 2012 l Like god said

chris
chris

There is a lot of judging going on here, and judging is exactly what caused this situation to be blown out of proportion. I am fortunate enough to know many friendly, open-minded, and talented IT people. I am also unfortunate enough to know many that operate on the other side of the spectrum. Many people fear IT departments because of overzealous IT Directors/Managers and policies. There is a fear of disciplinary action or termination at a single accidental click or typo in a URL leading to the incidental opening/downloading of material that violates company policy. I was happy to read another gentleman's comment relating a story of somebody who felt "comfortable" approaching him to tell of a such an incident. Kudos to him for being an outstanding IT team-member! Many companies aren't fortunate enough to have people like him working for them. We don't know if Fiola was aware of the material present on his laptop. I've had garbage show up on my computer that I wasn't aware of until later. It happens more than you realize. Perhaps he did accidentally open a porn link. He may very well have thought that simply closing the window(s) was a sufficient course of action, and was attempting to proceed without the hassle of an "investigation". Could you blame him for that if recent events are a GOOD indication of the investigative skills at hand? He might not have been saavy enough with computers to know that something could possibly have been installed without his knowledge. Heck, he might have thought the security software on his laptop had prevented anything harmful from happening. The point is that there are many questions that WE probably won't get answers to, and we shouldn't judge anybody (Fiola or the IT Department) involved in the case.

MGP2
MGP2

Whoever it is that keeps saying that they "stand by their decision" (not to rehire Mr. Fiola) obviously can't admit when they've made a mistake. I hope they find kiddie porn on his or her computer so they can join Mr. Fiola in the unemployment line. Let's see if they can admit THEIR boss should "stand by their decision".

TechinMN
TechinMN

The case in this article highlights a bunch of failures: of the user, the IT department, and management. The user should have contacted IT that he had a problem in the first place (at the very least, a s**t load of browser windows with porn content popping up after you complete an action is a dead giveaway that something's wrong); the IT department should have been more on top of the AV/AS issue, and at least done proper investigating before blowing the whistle; and, management should have (legally, ethically, and morally) ensured a proper forensic investigation was done PRIOR to giving the guy the boot and smearing his name. What it boils down to is the guy screwed himself out of fear (or embarassment), IT dropped the ball (possibly by not preventing it, definitely by not looking deeper), and management jumped the gun big time. Objective analysis and communication could have turned this into a learning experience. Instead, laziness, improper communication and emotional, knee-jerk reactions--and I suspect a bit of political points building as well--caused it to become a very expensive farce, with the end result being a significant loss of tax payers' money (there's no other way this could turn out) and the un-necessary ruination of a man's personal and professional reputation.

brasstown2
brasstown2

The IT network staff failed their responsibilities and need to be taken to the woodshed. He is justified in taking legal action against the state and the individuals charged with overall security. Additionally they probably never educated their workers about the use of the internet and how the tools available work. I have seen some pretty locked down systems where getting anything done was a real chore and on the other hand some open systems that were really at risk. How do you strike a medium where security is not so intrusive as to be a productivity killer and not to open to attack from the web or carried into your network?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I can understand if he doesn't want to work with them now, but he should sue them for lost income and some damages - and that's advice from someone who hates seeing litigation happen. I think it should in this case.

Popoyd
Popoyd

In my experience, porn malware comes from porn sites. It's relatively easy to figure out from the logs where it comes from. Porn is a multibillions-dollars business and it doesn't come from giving all the porn away, all the time. "Likely innocent" I take wiith a pinch of salt. I've seen enough porn-in-the-office cases to figure out it doesn't come out of the blue. Just from my experience...

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

malicious code inserted on an innocuous web page that opens up porn dialers and others that redirect to pron websites as pop ups etc. they open before you have a chance to realise what they are. Admittedly it's highly possible someone did use the computer to access a light or mild porn sight and got bounced by it to something else, but there's been no evidence put forward that no one BUT the defendant could have done the access; and that's where the prosecution case breaks down. The thing COULD have happened without any intent by the defendant and others could have done the deed. The case isn't proven beyond any REASONABLE doubt.

The DOBC
The DOBC

That is kind of a socialistic view of the world, isn't it? Norton isn't free because the people that create/update it also wish to get paid for their work. Since food and utilities aren't free, they charge for their service. There are companies that provide free virus scanners to home users in the hopes that they will purchase their fancier version. I routinely replace outdated McAfee and Symantec virus scanners for people that don't want to buy the updates with free ones like AVG.

afzalabir
afzalabir

The free version works pretty fine; I had it catch a Trojan Horse just as I tried to run it (it was disguised as a software installer, FYI)

JCitizen
JCitizen

Stories such as these greatly disturb me when I see otherwise innocent people clubbed by zealots that haven't a clue. Our members are greatly served by your communication! I would like to think all TR members could/would make the world a better place - armed with knowledge; not just innuendo.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Remember, the article said the IT dept. didn't put good AV/AS on the computer or at least let it reach failure condition. Spybot Search and Destroy has an immunization feature that helps stop the page controls on an infected web-site from downloading malware from just clicking on something in the web page. He wouldn't necessarily need to get it from email; but while we're on that subject. Spam is getting more sophisticated all the time; even if you have your email source secure the spammers are looking for new ways for your computer to receive malware without you doing anything other than getting into you account; even if you don't open anything! It is a never ending battle to keep spam out of the mailbox in the first place; which is the only guarantee you won't get bombed.

seanferd
seanferd

All he does with his laptop is write reports, and send occasional email. Says he is not computer-savvy at all.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

[i]Many people fear IT departments because of overzealous IT Directors/Managers and policies[/i] Some IT departments are too big for their breeches. They think the company should cater to their policies, when it is they who need to be doing the catering. It's almost like they think they're the government :) I wouldn't be too surprised to see a backlash soon.

seanferd
seanferd

the fellow wasn't getting porn pop-up windows. He had no indication whatsoever that he was infected or that the cache contained pornography. Anyone who just types reports and sends email probably would not notice, you'd have to be doing something system-intensive enough to notice it bogging down, assuming that the malware isn't of the more modern type which doesn't bog the system or otherwise make itself apparent. Otherwise, I do believe that you are spot on.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I too am not a fan of tort action; but this situation is the real reason victims need it. If there ever was one, this one's it! (edited) spelling error

JCitizen
JCitizen

I've run accross many perfectly innocent clients who leave their computers on 24/7, who did no more that run as administrator and catch a spybot that took over their machine and used it for one of those "bot net" servers. Needless to say; you never know what kind of crud you'll run into when you look at the data files for the bot server. These people/families were doing ordinary surfing on the usual sites you would expect any ordinary American family to visit. Needless to say I have increased their cyber security 90% at least, compared to where they were before.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

They did an extensive probe and found he was innocent, so I tend to believe they know something more than we do. What's irritating is that he was hung out to dry without ANY proper investigation by his manager or IT.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

otherwise, they wouldn't be suspects, eh?

Acoyauh
Acoyauh

All the guy said is he's taking things with a pinch of salt. So should you. I agree that for the most part security depends on the user's habits, though ignorance can cause unintended trouble. Innocent or not is not for us here to decide, and making snap judgements to either side is simply silly. So many things could have happened there, and what I see now is simply one of those bouncing cases. Everyone assumed he was a perv, now everyone seems to consider him completely innocent. From our standpoint, both are biased and judgemental. Pinch of salt is correct, people. Both sides.

Popoyd
Popoyd

and with all the horror stories you can recall or pull out of your rectum, the fact is still that clean computers depend on their user's usage.

WindsorFox
WindsorFox

Because I have seen it come "out of the blue." You do not have to goto a porn site to get porn malware.

TechinMN
TechinMN

"After poring over the laptop, Loehrs reported to the court ?with 100-percent certainty that the laptop was compromised by numerous viruses and trojans, and may have been hacked by outside sources.?" And: "All the porn...was located in the laptop?s cache... Consistently...there was ?no apparent origin or user interaction preceding the pornographic activity,? some of which was downloaded ?fast and furious.? " Let's see: corrupted AV and security software, malware and virus infection, and pages loading fast and furious with no user action preceding such activity? Yeah, that sounds like the guy was purposely surfing porn, doesn't it? No WAY it could have been a virus or malware, huh? It's attitudes like that, making automatic assumptions without looking at facts, that a) destroyed this guy's life, and b) ensures that when security breaches occur, very few people will feel comfortable coming to IT to get it taken care of properly. Case in point: about 5 years ago, one of my users, a sweet, highly-religous grandmother clicked on one of those cutesy emails that older women are addicted to (you know the kind)... Next thing she knows, she's over 100 porn windows loaded on her computer. MY user came to me with the problem (I swear, I thought she was going to have a heart attack, she was so surprised, flustered and embarassed!), and we found the source of the problem and fixed it. It was good as a lesson, and good for some laughs. Based on your attitude above of automatically assuming guilt and pre-judging, YOUR user would have done what this guy did: hidden it away and said NOTHING, avoiding the self-righteous IT guy who 'knows' what happened before even finding out the facts. I'm not ripping on you, just pointing out a fact: too many IT folks pre-judge users based on the little they know before finding out the facts. Too often, those assumptions are flat-out wrong. If we're open and give users the benefit of the doubt before confirming otherwise--become a part of the solution, rather than problem--users will come to us honestly. If we act from a position of arrogance, superiority and blame, they'll hide everything they can from us. It's that simple. I hope Fiola slaughters them in court and gets a huge settlement, because what they did to him has permanently damaged his reputation, and I highly doubt he'd be able to get any decent employment now between his age, character defamation and the economy.

Richard_P
Richard_P

Whilst it's true that porn sites frequently try to infect computers with malware, it's by no means the only source. Being my own IT department (i.e. contractor) I would estimate my anti-virus software catches a dozen simple malware attempts (click-this-link type) in spam every day, and a more cleverly constructed attempt every other week or so. If the guy's anti-virus software wasn't working he would likely be infected within a month just by opening his e-mail package, and with no other action.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

then no malware can get on it, and it's dead easy to install porn filters too. IT depts shouldn't be spending time looking for porn, they should be spendign time making sure the systems can't access porn.

Fregeus
Fregeus

...that the man is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. The man is not "likely innocent" he IS innocent until proven otherwise. I've seen porn malware coming from other sites than porn. Lets not assume anything when you are dealing with a man's life, liberty and his pursuit of happiness, shall we? TCB

bfpower
bfpower

I occasionally do malware removal for friends and coworkers, and the story almost inevitably starts with: "So [insert relative or family friend here] was visiting, and they were visiting questionable sites and now the computer has X happening." In fact, I will be working on one today that started with that sentence. In my experience, you primarly get porn malware from: - P2P sharing (read: illegal DLs, warez, etc.) - porn I'm not being judgmental about it, and I'm sure they have done their homework on this situation. However, it did raise a red flag for me.

drew.mcbee
drew.mcbee

Same here on the pinch of salt comment. We don't really have a problem here - but in my experience with personal equipment in the office, I know that porn related malware usually comes from porn related content.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

code and test their software fully, then 96% of the virus and attack code wouldn't work as the holes wouldn't be there at all.

seanferd
seanferd

Keeps all sorts of modifications from occurring without the user saying, "OK". Another fine tool which allows one to say, "No", with one's finger instead of one's foot. ;)

marok45
marok45

My bad Either way, companies should start teaching their employees good habits. Supply them with anti-virus/spyware and teach them how to take care of their computer and make sure their software is working and updated.

michael.tindall
michael.tindall

It seems to me that he should sue, if only so that it will become part of official court record that he was wrongfully terminated. In our liability-terrified society, it is easier for employers to find an excuse to terminate any employee who has become problematic in ANY way, rather than occasionally BACKING UP those they rely on most...the people that do the work, make money for the company, or or directly support those who do. Employers need to know that they CAN be brought to task for wrongfully "erring on the side of caution". In a case SO CLEAR CUT that the prosecution declares the defendant innocent, the next question shouldn't be "how fast can we escort this unfortunate employee out the door", so much as "after what we did to this innocent employee, what would it take to convince them to come back to work, and not cause the company EVEN WORSE embarrassment by demanding their legal rights?" The info we've seen so far indicates : This company may have problems with securing their network, this company may have problems with employee relations, this company will throw you under the bus if you work for them and you run into a problem (of whatever sort) that becomes public, and that it is a matter of public record that this employee was found innocent of the charges against him. Who was this company? Rather than further slander the man found innocent, let's discuss the company! The realities of technology have surpassed the law's ability to protect its citizens, neither from nameless malefactors over the internet (who may be in foreign countries, or who may not even be a live human being, but rather just free-range malware programs), nor by abuse from those for whom we work. Something needs to change.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

that the citizens will get tired of paying through the nose because of bumbling bureaucrats. We ARE the CEOs, and have every right to hold them accountable!

The DOBC
The DOBC

NO... Convicted criminals are guilty, suspects are in the stage where their guilt or innocence is being determined. Many people can be a suspect but later proven innocent. My wife went through several years of abdominal problems with vomiting. The doctors couldn't find a cause so they tested her to see if I was poisoning her. Right then I was a suspect, until they found no evidence. Later it was determined she was allergic to a medication she was taking. So what made me guilty when I was a suspect?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

sites can get hacked and compromise your computer. Dolphins ticket site? How many thousands did those guys get in like 45 min? While good and safe browsing habits ARE essential to a clean computer, like any other security practice, they are no guarantee. with the sheer number of automated scans, skript kidz, black market zombie kits, worms, virus, it amazes me more and more that I spend as little time as I do cleaning machines after infections. And while I agree that porn trojan web server root kits 90% of the time come from browsing bad porn sites, I do recognize the fact that the originating trojan/exploit could come from darn near anywhere.

WindsorFox
WindsorFox

According to your limited experience, but not necessarily according to my experiments and demonstrations. Between clueless users and determined thieves it CAN happen.

Popoyd
Popoyd

no assumptions. Just a friggin comment on my experience. You reply with zombi stories and far-out examples. "Probably innocent" IS an assumption.

WindsorFox
WindsorFox

I've also seen Win 98 and unpatched or partially patched XP get adware trojans installed by nothing more than being on the same LAN and having IE open to any or no page.

jdclyde
jdclyde

are also known to turn off your AV software before a patch can get out. We recently got a flood of emails that say "you sure look stupid " In the email is a link that points to video1.exe. How many of your users know the difference between a video format and a program?

Popoyd
Popoyd

I'm not pointing fingers or stating anything in this guy's case. I'm just saying that in my experience, if you stay away from porn, it stays away from you. I never get those kinds of messages, and I live 10-12 hours a day online. A person I know frequents ONE dating site. She's plagued with spam from Russian, free, adult, etc. dating sites. Ditto with a brother-in-law who does frequent porn sites. Porn spam is an everyday issue with him. I clean his machine from malware frequently. Mine's clean. Even my Google searches filter out adult content because I have no interest in them, still some appear in many searches. You don't HAVE to click on them. Therefore, IN MY EXPERIENCE porn and porn malware USUALLY comes from porn sites. Ok?

Popoyd
Popoyd

It's cheaper to prevent. Easier too. Plus proper security (usually) provides useful logs & tools for those cases when security is circumvented.

jtbowerse
jtbowerse

Very ironic that it takes a Canadian to remind us all of U.S laws :). But evidently that's exactly the standard that the State of Massachusetts applied when dropping the charges without prosecuting. Too bad employers aren't always held to the same standard as a court of law. I guess that's what civil suits are for.

bstockha
bstockha

That those who "have doubts", to my knowledge, were NOT there investigating the laptop in question and, therefore, have no direct knowledge other than what has been reported which, in court, would be declared as hearsay evidence. Most of us think of it as gossip.

jdclyde
jdclyde

they get their emotional button pushed when they see "child porn" and instantly turn off all logical thought. And as you can imagine, this guy was held up in front of the news cameras as the latest in great detective work by the police to keep our kids safe, blahblahblah. Everyone tuned in and saw his face as the child molester, but how many will see the retraction on page 10? All you can do is shave your head and move out of state, no matter HOW big your settlement is with the state, because everyone will still look at him as if he were OJ, and that he "got away with it".

Your Mom 2.0
Your Mom 2.0

Same here. I often deal with "clean-up" jobs for friends and co-workers, and most of the time that is what caused the problems. No one admits it when they do it... it's always a visiting friend or family member. It was quite funny when the 50-something company president brought in his laptop and asked me to clean it up. Our offices in my work area have eight-foot partitions (basically walls without tile ceilings), and I work with a couple of very quiet and mild-mannered women programmers. Ity was lunch hour and I returned early, but so had the programmers. President comes in and says rather loudly "I've been visiting adult site and think I have picked up something." Well, I tell him to not worry about it and think of me as a doctor ("it's nothing I haven't seen before") and tell him I'll have it cleaned by the end of the day unless it requires a format and reinstall. But then he starts going into detail mentioning the addresses that he visited and where he thinks he picked it up. Needless to say, the lady on the other side of the wall was shocked to hear this coming from the CEO. We laughed about it but swore we'd keep that info to ourselves.

ley1963
ley1963

I have seen times where a typo leads a user to a "Bad" site when trying to access a legitimate website. These "Bad" sites that are similar in name to a legitamate sites can then download malware to a computer, leading to spyware and/or porn sites appearing on the computer. Purely unintentional. Generally the user is not equiped to combat these attacks and everything goes downhill till they call me.

seanferd
seanferd

At least teach the "users" to check up on whether or not the system is receiving proper updates, and that SMS (or whatever) is configured, running, and connecting properly. Fairly simple, I would think, and takes some burden off of IT support.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

moment they're accused - that's the way the mdeia and the prosecutors play it.

The DOBC
The DOBC

My mail server blocks all executables, video files, and many other possibly "bad" objects. If a user can justify that a file is necessary, I or my boss can release it from the cache. I swear that if a pop up box said that they had to give up their first-born child they would still click it because they couldn't be bothered to read. And after something gets in they swear that "I didn't click anything!"

JCitizen
JCitizen

The one AV program worth paying for! Like many of the modern programs worth their salt; this one has anti-root kit protection BEFORE it installs. I've seen it detect rootkits and hidden restore file viruses as NOD32 is being installed, and it reboots to WACK the rootkits/ect. in the Windows environment much like using the recovery console. I'm beginning to think scanning with it is pointless as it seems to have kick @ss hueristics to instantly detect nefarious action and stop it before it can install or do it's dirty work! Trend hasn't been any good since they stopped making IS 2006. I'd be interested in knowing which Spybot/Spyware you are referring to, 'Doctor' or 'Search and Destroy'. Also; Comodo Firewall Pro would have most likely stopped the modification of your programs before it had occured and notified you of exactly what was going on instantly.

jdclyde
jdclyde

It is almost always better to wipe and reload than to clean. You can spend a lot of time and still have to wonder if you really got it all.

ijusth
ijusth

I got hit by a program that not only installed a rootkit but turned off 2 of the 3 anti-virus software programs I had running. It killed Trend and Spybot and would not allow them to run manually either nor allow a reinstall. Talk about nasty. Luckily over 2 weeks of work with the help of some supportive techguys (that is a clue to their name LOL) I got the stuff removed. Who are these psychos who develop this garbage. They should work for the CIA or something.

The DOBC
The DOBC

Many brand new computers come with a virus scanner, and the naive user sees the virus scanners splash screen every time it is turned on. But they don't realize or aren't told by the salesman that it is only gong to get updates for 60 or 90 days and then stop. Sooner or later they get infected and swear they had a virus scanner, but didn't know any better. Many people are as dangerous with a computer as giving a loaded handgun to a monkey.

JCitizen
JCitizen

out there; but it has gone to pot since the 2006 version is being dropped by Trend. Have you tried McAfee site advisor? At least the free version seems to help!

JCitizen
JCitizen

back and did a link house cleaning. But that will be a never ending process. Just encouraging my clients to download the Free SiteAdvisor has helped them reduce these problems.

smadge1
smadge1

I know I've been hit twice from hacked web pages from a google search for things not even remotely related to porn. My AV kicked in and reported malware in my browser's cache (which was fortunately firefox) I reported the sites and the search keywords to google. I noticed recently that google now inform you if they think a site is compromised.

JCitizen
JCitizen

they just follow Google searches and get bombed by bad or misrepresented links; let alone all the highjacked web pages on otherwise legitimate sites. If they don't know enough not to run as administrator and use host file security, they don't know didley squat about the difference between a crap site and gold.

chris
chris

I never visit those types of sites, and my mother certainly doesn't either. We both receive numerous porn SPAMs a day. I could go on listing others I know in the same boat, but I won't.

dave
dave

Stay away from these type of crap websites and you wont be infected. It's that easy. Your brother-in-law and my son have much in common. Probably visit the same porn sites. Never learn.

cyclops75201
cyclops75201

Even "legit" sites can have porn re-directs and porn-related popups/popunders because porn pays server fees. Not only that but viruses have been written whose sole purpose is to hijack your browser and redirect to "other" sites. I have even seen infected stenographic files too. I can give you a list of more examples too. Sad thing is,this knowledge isnt limited to IT workers. Any frequent computer user could know this from everyday use. If I were you,I wouldnt use the word "experience" so loosely

JamesRL
JamesRL

I bought a refurbished computer from Tigerdirect and guess what - it had never had the previous users stuff deleted. So who knows what kind of stuff might have been on there. So of course, being paranoid, I never connected it to the net, and I booted from the install partition and wiped the main partition and started from scratch. But I could have found myself in hot water if I had trusted that since it had antivirus software installed that everything would be ok. James

jdclyde
jdclyde

No, not from "night of the living dead". Someone gets their new computer at "best buy" and plugs it into their cable modem. I had to clean up a system for an elderly couple. I asked them if they ever ran the "Windows Update", and her answer was "No, I like this version of windows".... :0 No antivirus software no firewall no maleware scanner no windows updates they did not clear their history, and looking it over, I saw NO indication that either of them had gone anywhere "inappropriate". I did a wipe and reload. A zombie can be used for anything from sending spam to hosting porn (legal or otherwise).

Richard_P
Richard_P

The situation you're describing is that of a reasonably configured computer with anti-virus, and someone who occasionally looks at porn sites. This guy's case is (probably) the opposite - if you want to see what happens, try turning your anti-virus and spam filters off. Malware comes into your inbox instead of junk (or delete filter), images are automatically shown with all the image vulnerabilities that were built in, links work even if you didn't intend to click them, buffer overrun vulnerabilities are there for you. As an analogy ... you don't play in the sewer, your friend occassionally scrubs the toilet wearing rubber gloves and needs a wash, this guy was dropped into a cesspit with his mouth open.

JCitizen
JCitizen

At least you have people agreeing with you. Me included, of course!

ryumaou@hotmail.com
ryumaou@hotmail.com

The burden of proof would be entirely on the State, not the accused. That is the presumption of innocence. In fact, the prosecutors need to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt", usually to a jury, but sometimes to a judge in the case of a bench trial, that the accused did, in fact, commit the crime of which they are accused. The accused need prove nothing, even though it may be in their best interest to prove that they are, in fact, innocent. At least, that's what the judge said when I served on jury duty. And all the lawyers I've ever talked to about this kind of thing. Thanks to TV, there are a lot of misconceptions about how it really works.

Popoyd
Popoyd

Obviously, since you have no doubts, you WERE there? I said I take things with a pinch of salt and I stand by it. Neither one of us knows all the facts. Yet, I'M judgemental? Talk about jumping to conclusions...

jdclyde
jdclyde

is on the State to prove he did it, not the accused to prove they did not.

The Ref
The Ref

I heard Disney had the site www.inandout.com for the movie in the 90's starring Kevin Kline, however when the domain name came up for renewal they discontinued it. Rumour has it that the domain was picked up by a distributor of gay porn but the URL was still linked by Disney. Possibly why these days the URL is normally www.themovie.com True or not? I have no idea and snopes has no reference but it is a good story.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. The stuff meant for the politicians - to keep those little kiddies happy, and 2. porn of under age kids having sex.

fx
fx

Wtf do they mean by kiddie porn? All porn is intended for people 17- because sex is illegal at those ages.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

from day one of the www - There was talk sometime in the Clinton administration for the USA govt to pay a few million to get hold of it, not sure if that happened. But many schools in the USA had issues when kids were given assignments to look at the President's site as whitehouse.gov and they typed whitehouse.com by mistake as they were used to typing com - hell I get queried every time I give my email address as it's .net.au and not .com.au - many policies would see people sacked for that error nowdays. Anyway. most people don't know about browser cache or how to clear it so any error stays.

RFink
RFink

That was during the Clinton admistration and it was next to impossible to tell the difference. :D

wrlang
wrlang

Typos are a problem, more than once I accidentially went to whitehouse.com instead of whitehouse.gov.

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