About that antivirus program on your computer

Here in the last week, both at work and at home, I have seen the following type of email:

 

This email has every indication of being malicious, with a password protected word document, unsolicited, and with very little details to go on.  Let's download this puppy into our virtual machine and check it against just generic Windows Defender built into the machine.

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Nothing seems all that unusual.   But if you open the file, it really wants you to enable macros and click on them.

 

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Look what happens when you enable the macros and click on the files.  A bunch of VB scripts.  Are those scripts dangerous?  Absolutely.

 

This virustotal scan was taken nearly one week after the files was emailed to us.  Are we brave enough to run the scripts in a controlled environment?

The Obama and Trump Presidencies

Scouring through my social media timelines over the last several days, I find that the left and right have one thing in common, the glorification and/or vilification of Obama and Trump, depending on your political leanings.  Obama fans have said he was one of our best presidents, while Trumpsters will "Make America Great Again."  Neither will be quite the case.  Let's take a look at the pros and cons.

When history finally writes its final chapter about the Obama presidency, his 8 years will probably fall into the 2nd Quartile of Presidents, which is not that bad.  His administration has seen several key advances with regards to LGBTQ rights and other social issues, but economic issues have been a mixed bag.  On the surface, employment stats look somewhat impressive on the surface (Unemployment rate halved, while Dow Index tripled), the unevenness of the economic recovery led the decline in Democratic power nationwide, starting with losing Congress and then a decline in the number of statehouses and governorships.  ACA (Obamacare) is the signature legislative achievement of his presidency, but has not been the panacea as expected and awaits an extremely tenuous future in the Trump administration.

As I had written back in February 2016, I have very little hope for a Trump administration.  If he turns out to be a 3rd Quartile President, he will be exceeding my expectations.  Many of his cabinet picks have been on the baffling side with minimal knowledge of details of his cabinet posts.  He has questions about ties to Russia during the election process, has not disclosed taxes as is traditional, and has not divested interests in his companies to avoid the perceived conflict of interest.   Recent odds by British bookkeepers put the odds at 2-1 that he will either resign or be impeached before his term expires.  A very rocky start for the presidency to say the least.

Stop being enamored by politicians.  You can almost always do more for your local community than weighting for Federal help.

Congratulations to President Elect Hillary Clinton

Congratulations @HillaryClinton, you have become the 1st official female president of the United States.  In order to achieve this event, you had to beat a tremendous Democratic field of 3, including a (former Independent-Socialist) Bernie Sanders, and dry milk-toast candidate in O'Malley.  You used the power of the DNC to help make sure that the election was rigged against Senator Sanders, but also encourage the rise of the only Republican you had a better than coin flip chance of beating in Donald Trump according to the John Podesta emails leaked by Wikileaks. 

And congratulations to the Republicans, whose fascination in the xenophobic, misogynistic, loud-mouthed, charlatan of a reality TV star nominated the only candidate with a disapproval rating lower than Hillary Clinton's.  His ability to put his foot in his mouth makes him a viable spokesman for Dr. Scholl's.  His campaign rhetoric likely set the Republican Party back 40 years.  The upcoming war within the Republican Party will not be pretty.  Bravo, GOP electorate, Bravo!

Sigh.....if only 3rd party candidates had a legitimate chance to participate.

 

 

Wisdom of a 10-year old

There is much joy in raising a 10-year old who understands the geek culture.  Josh loves to think in hashtags (#crazycat) and understands the general basics on how the operating system works.  Today, coming back from the store he puts up this gem:

"Donald Trump is speaking:  brain.exe has stopped responding.  Click OK to restart brain.exe with /dumbmode: on."

He then follows this up with the following.  brain.exe has obtained a virus.  Click OK to terminate brain.exe.  I told him that it was ironic that he was talking about brain and computer virus in the same context because one of the first computer viruses that existed that affected PCs in the 80's.  His genuine interest both tickles my fancy and slightly scares me (no working for Russian mafia for you).