Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Keeping Your Valuables Off The Street 5 February 2002 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
Breaking news: New security hole discovered in [insert your favourite software here].

Breaking News: New virus/trojan/worm spreads like wildfire across the Net.

Yes, it seems like every day a new threat to the security of your valuable data is discovered and reported.

Not only is the stability and reliability of your PC compromised, but there's a risk that your valuable passwords, commercial and private data may be exposed to the scrutiny of crackers and other malevolent types.

Need Cutting-Edge Copy?
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or Net-based publications. If you're interested, drop me a line

You may have the latest anti-virus software, personal firewall and security updates for your OS and browser -- but there's no way you can guarantee that the next hole isn't going to blow your system wide open.

Anti-virus software does its best to spot commonly exploited weaknesses but it has to be acknowledged that much of the time the companies which write this stuff are reactive rather than proactive. On many occasions their software can't identify a virus until the signature for that virus has been added to the program's database.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
Nothing Yet
Have Your Say

This means that the next virus, trojan or worm to hit your PC may go totally undetected until others have reported it and the anti-virus software vendors have released an update to allow their products to recognise it.

So how can you *really* protect yourself from all this online danger? How can you keep your company and personal data safe from prying eyes?

What about using another PC solely for Email and web-surfing?

With the price of new (and second-hand) hardware forever falling, the option of using an "Internet Only" PC is rapidly becoming the cheapest way to provide protection for your most important data.

After all -- do you take your life savings with you every time you go down to the corner store to buy the paper?

Of course not -- you only take as much money as you might need.

So why put all your valuable data on a machine that is going to be used to surf the Net?

How much would it cost you to sort out the problems that a major cracker or virus strike might have on your primary PC? Most people significantly underestimate the cost of cleaning a system (something that could require a complete reformat and reinstall/restore operation) -- in a commercial environment this can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost time, "expert" consulting fees, etc.

Trawling through the printed edition of T&E I see brand new PCs (900MHz Duron processor, 128MB RAM, 20GB HDD) being sold for as little as $900 (sans monitor of course) and reasonably spec'd second-hand units from $500.

Suddenly it starts to make sense to have a dedicated "Net-only" PC in the office or home doesn't it?

Keep all those financial, personal and sensitive records safely out of harm's way by storing them on a machine that will never be connected to the Net.

Once you've got your "Net-only" PC set up, just dump an image of the HDD onto CDR and then, if you do get hit by a virus/trojan/worm/cracker, cleaning and restoring becomes a very straightforward operation.

Who knows, given Microsoft's recently displayed contrition, perhaps they'd even be prepared to let you install your existing copy of Windows onto this second PC by way of recompense. Or maybe the smarter amongst us might even take the chance to try out Linux as an alternative Net-surfing platform.

It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
Every month, Aardvark scores over half a million hits, at least 150K page views and delivers more than 6GB of data to visitors.

All this traffic has meant that I've had to shift the site to a new server to ensure that your daily dose is always fresh and delivered to your browser with minimal delays.

I also invest over 300 hours per year writing the daily column and compiling the day's news index -- all for your illumination and entertainment.

If you haven't sent any money to help offset the costs of running this ad-free, 100% Kiwi, always fresh, often controversial site then you can give yourself the warm-fuzzies this Christmas by doing so now.

Just drop by, click on the Aardvark, and hand over your loot.

Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

There are 2 new Vacancies (14 January 2002) In The Job Centre

There are 14 Domain Names for sale

Security Alerts
MIRC Chat Users Vulnerable To New Attack (NewsBytes - 4/02/2002)

'Dangerous' hole discovered in Morpheus (ZDNet - 4/02/2002)

Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

New vulnerability exposes Excel and PowerPoint macros ZDNet - 29/10/2001)

Virus Alerts
Gigger worm can format Windows PCs (The Reg - 11/01/2002)

Happy New Year' worm hits Windows (ZDNet - 19/12/2001)

E-mail worm Gokar spreading (CNet - 13/12/2001)

Bookmark This Page Now!


NZL Sites
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
NZOOM Technology WordWorx

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine

USA Sites
CNNfn Tech
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech


The Day's Top News
Open in New Window = open in new window
New Zealand

Open in New Window NetRatings is gone, long live net ratings
An industry forum of online publishers will meet next week to try to thrash out a new way of measuring web ratings...

Open in New Window Inequality in Government-school software deal
Students using their own computers for lessons cannot use the $10 million software deal available to schools...
NZ Herald


Open in New Window Studios race to choke DVD copying
An anonymous hacker known online as "Tron" is Hollywood's latest villain. Tron is the author of a piece of software called SmartRipper...

Open in New Window Will you be using this Dell PC for world terror (y/n)?
Dell UK is dutifully doing its bit in the war against terrorism, as evidenced by the Export Compliance section of the company's online order form...
The Register

Open in New Window Experts: Broadband Not Ready for Hollywood
Internet video-on-demand has been hyped as the coming wave in entertainment once high-speed Internet service is in enough homes, but experts say broadband services now on offer are not ready for prime time...

Open in New Window Suing Microsoft: Who's Next?
Since AOL filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft recently on behalf of its Netscape subsidiary, the possibility of further litigation against the software giant by other companies that feel they have suffered similar damages has widened...

Open in New Window Philips Burning on Protection
Philips, the Dutch electronics manufacturer, appears on a collision course with the record labels over its objection to copy-protection codes burned into CDs. The fight could be the format's death knell...


Open in New Window Venture capital optimism
AUSTRALIAN venture capitalists have painted a rosy picture of the private equity market, with strong expectations that business will pick up in the wake of a troubled 2001...
Australian IT

Open in New Window Mixed news for local online jobs
Internet job advertisements surged 11.2 percent in January, according to the Olivier Recruitment Group. One of the few sectors that saw a decline, however, was the IT&T sector, which experienced a fall of 9.1 percent in related job advertisements...


Open in New Window MIRC Chat Users Vulnerable To New Attack
A serious security flaw in the popular mIRC online chat program could enable a remote attacker to run malicious programs on the computers of millions of users...

Open in New Window More Spam-Friendly Holes Found In Popular Web Software
"Below is the result of your feedback form..." That's the first sentence found in many unwanted e-mail messages these days...

Open in New Window Cyber-courts go online
People seeking to recover debts will be able to take advantage of a new cyber-court service launched in the UK...

Open in New Window 'Dangerous' hole discovered in Morpheus
MP3 fans using the Morpheus file-swapping service risk having their personal details exposed online, according to security expert...

Open in New Window Inside Intel's monster chip
McKinley, Intel's upcoming server processor, will be huge, at least in terms of surface area...

Looking For More News or Information?

Search WWW Search Aardvark

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

jet engine page