DOD providing free anti-virus for home computers
Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Tuesday, February 3, 2009
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — As computer technology advances, so do methods hackers use to infiltrate networks and computer systems.
Fortunately for servicemembers and Department of Defense employees, the DOD provides them free software to protect their home computers from these attacks.
Recently, one newly discovered virus known as “Conficker” or “Downadup” gained notoriety, infecting more than 9 million computers, according to an article Thursday on CNET News online.
“If it finds a vulnerable computer, it turns off the automatic backup service, deletes previous restore points, disables some security services, blocks access to a number of security web sites and opens infected machines to receive additional programs from the malware’s creator,” stated a description of the virus on the Symantec.com Web site. “The worm then tries to spread itself to other computers on the same network.”
But even as hackers get craftier in how they infect computers, the best way to keep your personal computer safe is to keep it properly updated and to have a good anti-virus program.
“Most individuals don’t always keep their computers updated to the Microsoft or anti-virus software standards,” said Staff Sgt. Luis Nunez, the information system security manager at Yokota’s Wing Information Assurance Office, adding that the DOD provides free corporate editions of both Symantec and McAfee anti-virus software for home use.
Nunez explained that, commonly, viruses will infect a home computer when the user clicks a link to a malicious Web site embedded in an e-mail or on another Web site.
In the case of Conficker, the virus also tries to spread by copying itself into shared folders on networks and infecting USB devices such as memory sticks, according to Symantec.
Viruses that spread like this are the reason the Department of Defense has restricted the use of USB thumb drives and similar storage devices, Nunez said.
To prevent home systems from becoming infected, Nunez said that users should not only rely on updates and firewall protection, but they should also have reliable anti-virus software installed.
To obtain a copy of the free anti-virus software provided by the DOD, visit https://www.cert.mil.
To download the software, a user must access the site from a government computer.
Military Spouses Forum
That's the only problem I see with the free software. Everything I've been readng recently has talked about specifically prohibiting removable media on government computers. So I guess you will have to download onto the government computer and then email it to your home computer. Kind of defeats the purpose of no removable media.
You can use CDs or DVDs to download your work or any other programs that you need for home use. You cant use pin drives, mass drives, external hard drives, cameras with chip type memories and things of that nature.
As usual, its all because people have been abusing the system by compromising sensitive information or bringing memory drives from home that are infected with worms, viruses, trojans, and other types of malicious code on them. If they had scanned them BEFORE bringing them to work to infect DoD computers, we wouldn't be having these issues using mass drives.
As soon as the Army comes up with a suitable secure mass drive and a way to verify that it has been scanned by anti-virus software before it gets put in a military computer you will see the use of these drives resume on a limited basis. At least thats the way I see it.
As far as the Army providing free computer security software, thats old news. The old HP that I had bought in Hawaii had Army secure ware on it. No one got past it while it was on my computer. I even reported a number of hackers that use to try repeatedly to hack my computer from Malaysia, Seoul, the Ukraine, and Shanghai to name a few places. One of the utilities was a trace program that would identify the location of the intrusion and the IP addy of the hacker. Needless to say, I scared the crap outta a few people when I confronted them with their activities.
If you have a CAC card reader at home (as I do) and can access AKO on your home computer you should be able to download the free software without any hassles on your home PC.
You don't even need a CAC card reader to access AKO at home. You set up a password at work with your CAC then you cna access it for 6 months with password. Then through AKO you may download the anti virus... I don't use what they offer though becuase it always seems to slow down my computer.
'Save the cheerleader, save the world'
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
I'm freakin' crippled now.
My butt-knuckle is killing me.
Unless it's AVG, it's not worth being free to me.
Using the the old login for AKO is a pain in the tucas. A compatible CAC reader averages about $28 and is way easier to use. Besides, you can also access all of the other sites that require CAC access too. The DoD security programs never slowed me down, and while I had it no one ever got into my computer that didn't belong there either. But, to each his own.
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