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Windows Virus & Why I use Ubuntu Instead

This is becoming a frequent activity for me. Scanning wifes computer for viruses. She has been adamant about using her Windows laptop, ripe with all sorts of problems. She is an accountant so her need for MS Office and MS Money have been the crippling factor as to why she wont make the switch. Recently, as she was shutting down her computer, some program would not shut down. Its was called... "Spy Eyes" (on further investigation Spy Eyes is a trojan that breaks into internet connections and grabs bank account info). WOW. I have never have this problem in the 5 years of using Ubuntu. This is not the first time this has happened to my wife either.

Upon finding out about this virus, I rebooted into Ubuntu on her computer. Luckily I have it as a dual boot in case I ever needed to use her computer, but she never uses Ubuntu on it. After rebooting into Ubuntu I immediately installed ClamTK Virus Scanner. Its free. I updated all the definitions. I ran the virus scan on the entire Windows side of the computer. Every last file. It took about 7 hours. When I woke up Sunday morning my view was of the screenshot above. ELEVEN viruses found. I quarantined them all. Then I thought, what the heck so I deleted them all.

The Windows side is fine without any viruses (for now). I had a talk with my wife yesterday about finally making the switch to Ubuntu. She doesnt have time. Shes too busy. Its a burden to switch. etc. I dropped it and we went about our day.

As we were out yesterday I received a call from our bank. FRAUD ALERT. YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN COMPROMISED. I called back to find out what was going on. It turns out someone went on a shopping spree with our credit card info, charging more than $500 yesterday on it.

Maybe NOW is the time for her to switch to Ubuntu?

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  1. Very true about the viruses. Too many out there for windows, and if not careful too easy to infect a PC. I had a friend try to install the "Mac Defender" 4 times, and when I asked why she said a friend on Facebook send her the link... I was dumbfounded.

  2. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Personally, I would tell my wife that she didn't have a choice about switching to Linux.

    MS Office and MS Money can be easily ran on Crossover Office (For $39 a year) and even then, there are viable alternatives... My Mom was an accountant for Kings County in Calif for 35 years and used Linux exclusively for 8 of those years while working at home, so it can be done.

    The second our bank account was compromised by a Windows user (Wife, Girl friend, Husband or what ever), that crap software would come off immediately... No questions...

  3. Not everything runs well from WINE. I use Windows XP in a VM, only for playing old games and homework (I need MS SQL Server). If anything goes wrong I can always revert to the pristine snapshot, though I'd have to go through the annoying updates all over again (updates on Ubuntu are way better than anything I've ever seen on any version of Windows). Since I only install stuff I know, and only for stuff I can't get done with Ubuntu, and since I do practically all my browsing on Ubuntu, I'm not likely to get malware. The only sites I visit in XP are Microsoft Update, Yahoo, and my own little website. When will I get infected? There's also practically no sensitive data that's accessible in the VM.

    Anyway, it works great. XP actually seems to have better performance in the VM than it did on real hardware when it came out. The only problems seem to be with 3D acceleration and wrong screen resolution on fullscreen games (they insist on 800x600. I haven't figured out yet how to solve that, though I haven't really tried, either).

  4. yman - thanks for the responses. Yes, this is how I run XP on my system, through Virtual Box. It works fine although a problem. Im looking into other money programs instead of MS Money. Ive done this before, and nothing has been comparable. The newest version of Moneydance looks about the closest to MS Money as possible and MS Office 2007 works great now on Ubuntu if you install it with Play On Linux.

  5. Marky9:28 PM

    Buy her a Mac if she won't switch to Ubuntu because of her work. Doesn't MS Office apps have a Mac version? At least with a Mac it is less prone to malware than Windows. Bank account is safe. It is sad how limitations like this prevent people from swithching to Ubuntu.