Can it get infected over the air?



  • A co-worker getting malware on their computer reminded me of something back when I worked at a helpdesk for a small advertising company.

    Back then I was a wee lad of only 19, drifting from factory to retail to basement until blessed nepotism landed me an "internship" in this company. One day a user complained of "strange messages" on her computer and my boss (who is TRWTF, I'll get to him), sent me to take a look. I found the user, and the computer was unsurprisingly infected with malware.



    Now, at this point, me being an intern my boss did not allow me to actually touch any computers in the building without his say-so. Since I did not have any official training or education in any kind of computer program past high-school my Boss, let's call him Pedro because that was his name, being the idiot-incompetent-that-somewhow-managed-to-climb-to-exec-position kind that would actually readfucking hardware manuals when troubleshooting computers, ordered me to take pictures of all the "unintended behaviour" with my smartphone and then show him in person before doing any kind of work.



    So as I'm sitting there looking like an idiot taking pictures of the "evidence" on the computer (part of the "evidence and information collection" phase was taking pictures of user's internet browsing history so that fucking Pedro could then later have a "private talk"(read:in the lunch-room, with anyone present there) with the user about "dangerous internet usage") the user is hovering around me so nervous she's ready to explode, when she asks me:

    "Can it get infected over the air? I mean your phone, like an airborne virus?"

    I think I should have replied something snarky like "better get a facemask, just in case", but I hadn't yet developed the cynicism at the time.



  • @garrywong said:

    "Can it get infected over the air? I mean your phone, like an airborne virus?"

    I think I should have replied something snarky like "better get a facemask, just in case", but I hadn't yet developed the cynicism at the time.

    Be grateful there are so many people like that user. As long as people continue to view computers as scary voodoo black magic boxes, we'll continue to get paid a bunch of money for work that often isn't terribly difficult.



  •  Once had a user come to trade her infected laptop for a new one. Her children had been using it to download 'warez' over dialup. While I was doing my usual "You are a bad person, and the world hates you" speech, I flipped her laptop over and set it on the replacement to enter the serial number into the inventory tracker. Quicker than lightning, she snatched it up. 

    "I'm sorry, that's your old one. I was just marking down the serial number. Can I get it back, please?" She used one hand to grab the new one and the other to hand me the old, keeping them some distance away from each other. "Ma'am, you can't transfer computer viruses by touch." "You can't? Is it because they're not on?" "Yeah, sure. Keep it off when you're not using it, and stop letting your kids leave it on all night downloading things with Limewire."



  • @garrywong said:



    Now, at this point, me being an intern my boss did not allow me to actually touch any computers in the building without his say-so. Since I did not have any official training or education in any kind of computer program past high-school my Boss, let's call him Pedro because that was his name, being the idiot-incompetent-that-somewhow-managed-to-climb-to-exec-position kind that would actually read fucking hardware manuals when troubleshooting computers, ordered me to take pictures of all the "unintended behaviour" with my smartphone and then show him in person before doing any kind of work.

    And what exactly is wrong with that? There's plenty a problem that can be solved easier and faster after RTFM.



  •  @garrywong said:

    "Can it get infected over the air? I mean your phone, like an airborne virus?"

    Somehow I'm reminded of the old joke:

    Q:  "Is it possible I got VD in a public restroom?"
    A:  "Well, yes, but that would have been a little uncomfortable."



  • @garrywong said:

    ...actually readfucking hardware manuals when troubleshooting computers...

    That you think consulting documentation is a bad thing is absurdly foolish. The most incompetent thing this executive has done so far is not fire you already.



  • I should have been more clear about RTFM:

    Whenever a computer was brought in for his inspection, the first thing he would do was whip out the motherboard manual for that computer and go through the troubleshooting steps one-by-one. Even if the problem was something like a ripped-out USB port.

    I mean, do they even have information on things like that in motherboard manuals?

    Being close to 60 years old and having apparently worked with computers for "all his life", even if he read the fucking manual every single time you'd think he'd have memorized it by now if he wants to do that way?



  • @garrywong said:

    I should have been more clear about RTFM:

    Whenever a computer was brought in for his inspection, the first thing he would do was whip out the motherboard manual for that computer and go through the troubleshooting steps one-by-one. Even if the problem was something like a ripped-out USB port.

    I mean, do they even have information on things like that in motherboard manuals?

    Being close to 60 years old and having apparently worked with computers for "all his life", even if he read the fucking manual every single time you'd think he'd have memorized it by now if he wants to do that way?

     

    Actually, a ripped out USB port is one of the few occasions where consulting the motherboard manual is the appropriate course of action. Have you ever actually built a computer?



  • At that place all computers came pre-built from HP. At home I obviously build my own computers.

    The point I was trying to make was that he never did ANYTHING unless there were explicit instructions written down somewhere on how to deal with a situation. He could not use his own brains to deal with problems. So when a situation couldn't be solved by rtfm he would do things like re-installing all of an application if a user was complaining about a setting that wasn't explicitly stated how to change in a manual.



    Or in the case of a broken usb port, rather than plugging the mouse into another port he would replace the entire computer.

    Well, no, what he would actually do (and for half of all the problems that arose) is call HP support and let them deal with it, who would of course just send a replacement motherboard.


    And all this would lead to Suzy McMouseChucker to be left without a PC or work for days on end. No, he wouldn't give her a new computer because of some nebulous IT policy that he made up but, surprisingly, never actually wrote them down anywhere for anyone to read.



  • @garrywong said:



    "Can it get infected over the air? I mean your phone, like an airborne virus?"

    The answer, of course, is yes.



  • @garrywong said:

    At that place all computers came pre-built from HP. At home I obviously build my own computers.

    The point I was trying to make was that he never did ANYTHING unless there were explicit instructions written down somewhere on how to deal with a situation. He could not use his own brains to deal with problems. So when a situation couldn't be solved by rtfm he would do things like re-installing all of an application if a user was complaining about a setting that wasn't explicitly stated how to change in a manual.



    Or in the case of a broken usb port, rather than plugging the mouse into another port he would replace the entire computer.

    Well, no, what he would actually do (and for half of all the problems that arose) is call HP support and let them deal with it, who would of course just send a replacement motherboard.


    And all this would lead to Suzy McMouseChucker to be left without a PC or work for days on end. No, he wouldn't give her a new computer because of some nebulous IT policy that he made up but, surprisingly, never actually wrote them down anywhere for anyone to read.

    Fair enough mate; he's clearly a massive idiot.

    Now I feel bad for being all angry over the internet.



  • @Snooder said:

    Actually, a ripped out USB port is one of the few occasions where consulting the motherboard manual is the appropriate course of action. Have you ever actually built a computer?

    Have you? The majority (but not all) of a typical modern PC's USB ports are soldered onto the motherboard... If it's ripped out of there, you shouldn't need the motherboard's manual to know you're gonna need to replace the board (EDIT: or just tape over the one port, depending). If it's on the front panel, it plugs into a keyed header typically conveniently marked USB.



  • @garrywong said:

    At home I obviously build my own computers.

    Obviously.




  • http://www.actionscript.org/forums/showthread.php3?t=38532



    http://www.sodahead.com/fun/can-computer-viruses-actually-make-you-sick/question-2259655/



    And here i was, thinking i had the internet somewhat figured out, and then these people show up.



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    @garrywong said:
    At home I obviously build my own computers.

    Obviously.

    Yeah, he does it in his front yard, with floodlights trained on him, underneath a flashing neon sign which reads "GARRY WONG BUILDS HIS OWN COMPUTERS HERE!".



  • @eViLegion said:

    @Hatshepsut said:
    @garrywong said:
    At home I obviously build my own computers.

    Obviously.

    Yeah, he does it in his front yard, with floodlights trained on him, underneath a flashing neon sign which reads "GARRY WONG BUILDS HIS OWN COMPUTERS HERE!".

    You must have come around my yard that one day when the hookers didn't show up. Usually there are also hookers and huge inflatable pool and even a DJ, all kim dot com style.

    Here is a live feed.



  • @eViLegion said:

    @garrywong said:
    At that place all computers came pre-built from HP. At home I obviously build my own computers.

    The point I was trying to make was that he never did ANYTHING unless there were explicit instructions written down somewhere on how to deal with a situation. He could not use his own brains to deal with problems. So when a situation couldn't be solved by rtfm he would do things like re-installing all of an application if a user was complaining about a setting that wasn't explicitly stated how to change in a manual.



    Or in the case of a broken usb port, rather than plugging the mouse into another port he would replace the entire computer.

    Well, no, what he would actually do (and for half of all the problems that arose) is call HP support and let them deal with it, who would of course just send a replacement motherboard.


    And all this would lead to Suzy McMouseChucker to be left without a PC or work for days on end. No, he wouldn't give her a new computer because of some nebulous IT policy that he made up but, surprisingly, never actually wrote them down anywhere for anyone to read.

    Fair enough mate; he's clearly a massive idiot.

    Now I feel bad for being all angry over the internet.

    Don't feel bad, I agree with your previous comment. People who RTFM are never TRWTF. I think Garry is Wong. But he can be forgiven since he had a smartphone at 19, which means he's a young'un.



  • @garrywong said:

    huge inflatable pool
     

    Huge infla-table pool.


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