http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/tech/050797.htm Monday, Oct. 1, 2001 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is teaming up with the computer industry to help American companies and regular Internet users prevent the 20 worst computer threats -- from the Code Red worm to the Melissa virus. The FBI also announced Monday it is putting computer security tips for home users on the National Infrastructure Protection Center's Web site with the intention of making it a one-stop shop for home users confused by most security terms. ``The challenge right now is that (home users) either go to a vendor, or they go to a site that's too techie for them, so they give up,'' said Alan Paller, research director at the Sans Institute, working with the government on the project. For regular users ``This is a site that's designed for people that are regular users, and it isn't trying to sell them anything,'' he said. The tips include using updated antivirus software and being suspicious of e-mail attachments. All the recent Internet viruses took advantage of well-known program vulnerabilities, and the government hopes to get users and companies to patch them before the next virus appears. The list, compiled with the help of more than 50 computer security experts, addresses software bugs in Unix and Microsoft Windows operating systems, as well as many common mistakes. These include using simple passwords and not backing up critical data. The all-purpose fix will help counter the thousands of hacking tools that scan through the Internet looking for vulnerable computers. ``It lets (computer administrators) know the things these scanning programs are looking for, and it will protect them the instant they put the machine on the Internet,'' Paller said. Sans Web site Both the list and the fixes can be found on the non-profit Sans Institute Web site. The institute's Paller said the Top 20 scanner can be obtained for free by sending an e-mail to the Center for Internet Security, using instructions found on the Sans Institute Web site at www.sans.org. Paller said the fix eventually will be distributed on a CD-ROM as well. Security experts long have said computer users should download regularly new software fixes, known as patches, but the practice is frequently overlooked at large companies and universities. Many individual users are unaware of vulnerabilities in their computers and find installing software updates tedious and difficult. In July, the FBI and industry groups joined in a campaign to tell computer users how to protect themselves from the Code Red worm - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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