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Unread 02-27-12, 09:33 AM   #1
kasca
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Has this been cheaked out?? Iam afraid i not about to follow a link that just pasted here.
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Unread 02-27-12, 02:38 PM   #2
Phanx
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Well, one of the links goes to curse.com, which is obvious, and the other goes to a .edu domain, which can only be registered by a legitimate US educational institution (in this case, Colorado State University) and is extremely unlikely to be hosting malware, so I think you're pretty safe.

Anyway, as long as your operating system and browser is reasonably up to date, and you're running some kind of antivirus/antimalware software, the chances of any link posted on a forum infecting you are pretty low, especially if the person posting the link went through the trouble of posting so much information around it. Most spammers post only a link, or a link surrounded by broken English.

Finally, I've never understood the point of coming to post only "I don't trust this link, so I'm not clicking on it." If you don't want to click a link, great. Nobody's trying to force you.

Last edited by Cairenn : 02-29-12 at 07:06 PM.
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Unread 02-27-12, 05:32 PM   #3
kasca
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I go becase i like to help. Iam not real computer literate so i look to see if anyone cheaked it out.
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Unread 02-27-12, 07:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
Well, one of the links goes to curse.com, which is obvious, and the other goes to a .edu domain, which can only be registered by a legitimate US educational institution (in this case, Colorado State University) and is extremely unlikely to be hosting malware, so I think you're pretty safe.
In my many years of owning a web hosting company, I've seen and experienced otherwise. People should never assume things. Just because it's an edu domain does not make it safe.
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Unread 02-27-12, 09:29 PM   #5
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Obviously, nothing on the internet is ever 100% safe. If you're unwilling to accept any risk, you should never even connect your computer to any network.

That said, I think the fact that an .edu domain is controlled by a legitimate educational institution does make it safer, because such institutions generally have strong policies about what types of files users may host on their network, and strong penalties for users who violate these policies. A .com domain might be hosted by a provider who has similar policies, or it might be hosted by a "rogue" provider in Russia or China who doesn't care what's on their servers.

Finally, I've been using the internet on a near-daily basis for the last 15 years or so, and have never -- not once -- had my computer infected with any kind of virus, worm, trojan, keylogger, spyware, or other malware. The only things any security scans ever complain about are tracking cookies, or occasionally "no CD" cracks back in the days when requiring the game disc to be in your CD-ROM drive was a popular anti-piracy measure. It's just not that hard to avoid being infected by malware, and I really don't understand how so many people get so completely destroyed by viruses.
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Unread 02-28-12, 11:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
I've been using the internet on a near-daily basis for the last 15 years
Only 15 years? At any rate, you're looking at it from an end user point of view. I'm stating things as an experienced hosting server admin. A hosting account does not need to be hosted in some foreign country in order for their account to be hacked (I am in no way saying the OP's site has been hacked). I've seen it happen more times than I care to think about, and nine times out of ten the client is completely oblivious to what's happening on their account (and you can beg your clients till you are blue in the face to keep any and all third party software they install on their accounts updated. Most of them don't.) People hack sites for many different reasons, and some of them can get pretty darn creative about it. There's nothing that you can say that will change what I've seen, experienced, and witnessed.
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Last edited by Cairenn : 02-29-12 at 07:06 PM.
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Unread 02-28-12, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
Only 15 years?
I'm only 27, and I grew up in a rural area where dial-up was still considered state-of-the-art when I left in 2002.

Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
At any rate, you're looking at it from an end user point of view.
Well, since in this situation I am an end user, and my post was addressing other end users, I think it's pretty reasonable for me to speak from the perspective of an end user.

Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
If I did have the time for something like this, I would probably call the university and speak to them directly about your program.
I just can't wrap my head around this level of paranoia about a simple link on the internet. Let's say the guy is a scam. Let's say he has managed to hack into the web servers of Colorado State University, and has spent hours crafting all of these web pages he's linked to to make himself look legitimate.

Let's say there's some kind of virus on one of the pages. If your computer is reasonably up to date, and reasonably protected, the chances of that virus being able to infect you are pretty low. Even if it does get through, the chances of it having an immediate and catastrophic effect on your computer are probably pretty low (I'm basing this on the fact that I've cleaned up dozens of computers for friends and relatives that had dozens or even hundreds of viruses on them, yet had continued to function without data loss for months or years).

Let's say there is no virus, but there's some other kind of scam. Let's say, for example, that the addon he wants you to install has some sneaky code in it that sends his character some gold the next time you open a mailbox. The addon is published on Curse, he's posted the link publicly here on WoWInterface, and people in this very thread have already reviewed the addon's code and commented on it. Do you really think that nobody would have noticed something like that?

Finally, let's say his whole point is just to get you to "waste" 90 minutes of your day playing WoW with some strangers. Even if that's the case, and the promise of a 30-day game card is a lie, who cares? Does it really ruin your life, or have any effect on anything, if you spend 90 minutes of your day playing WoW with some strangers for "nothing"? All of the time you spend playing WoW is for "nothing".

I just don't understand why there's so much fear and paranoia going on in this thread. The guy sounds legit, and I can't see much potential of any kind of payoff even if it is an elaborate scam. If you don't trust him, or don't trust the links he posted, don't click on the links, and don't volunteer for his reasearch. It's that simple.

I'm generally a pretty big pessimist, so the fact that I'm apparently on the optimistic side of this conversation concerns me.

Last edited by Cairenn : 02-29-12 at 07:07 PM.
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Unread 02-28-12, 09:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post

I just can't wrap my head around this level of paranoia
Paranoia has nothing to do with it. This is my work computer and I have all of my clients information on it. It's my livelyhood. Being a single mom of two teens, I don't make a hell of a lot so I cannot afford another computer that I can set aside specifically for gaming.

Weather or not you can "wrap your head around it", always remember that people have their reasons for doing things regardless of weather or not you know what those reasons are or if you agree/disagree with them.
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Unread 02-28-12, 10:55 PM   #9
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Use Dropbox or some other online cloud storage, or an external hard drive, or a USB stick, or even CD-Rs or DVD-Rs, to back up your important stuff. Having critical information in only one place is a bad idea even if you don't use the internet. What if your hard drive fails tomorrow?

Burn a disk image to a CD and keep it around. Replace it periodically with a new one. If your computer ever has some unrecoverable software problem (such as a virus that you can't remove), you can just restore from the backup, wiping away everything that's on the hard drive.

Really, it just comes down to common sense. If you don't trust the guy, or are afraid of clicking on links, nobody here is trying to force you to click on the links he posted, or participate in his study.

Posting things like "I wouldn't click on that link without calling the place that controls that site and talking to someone first" and "I own a web hosting company" togther gives less knowledgable readers the impression that (a) you are an authority on the subject, and (b) as such an authority, you are advising them that links on the internet are scary and not to be trusted. If your personal situation means that you need to be extra cautious, that's fine; it's not your situation that bothers me, it's the impression your posts give average users.
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Unread 02-29-12, 06:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
it's the impression your posts give average users.
I stated facts. Nothing more. Average users need to be aware, and I'll continue to help in any way that I can. If they get from my posts that they should be more cautious, then I feel good in being as honest and forthright with my experiences as possible.

Sorry if that bothers you. If you feel you need to discuss it with me, then by all means PM me.
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Unread 02-29-12, 08:32 PM   #11
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Regardless of your experiences, wanting to look up a phone number for a company/institution, call them on the phone, and talk to a live person about a page on their website before you're willing to click on a link to that page seems like a very extreme position to take.

Do you really think that's a reasonable thing to suggest to the average WoW player?

What about the people running the website? Do you think they're equipped to handle the volume of phone calls that they would receive if everyone followed your advice?

Anyway, how are you going to find the phone number to call without clicking on internet links? Do you collect paper phone books from every city and county in the country? What about other countries? How do you get all these phone books? Should everyone dedicate a room in their house to collecting phone books so they can check out every link before they click on it?

Where does it all end?
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Unread 02-29-12, 09:25 PM   #12
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When in doubt, use NoScript.
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Unread 03-01-12, 08:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
Regardless of your experiences, wanting to look up a phone number for a company/institution, call them on the phone, and talk to a live person about a page on their website before you're willing to click on a link to that page seems like a very extreme position to take.
That's merely your opinion.

Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
Do you really think that's a reasonable thing to suggest to the average WoW player?
Since it's dealing with Wow and considering we are always urged to use caution, that seems like a rather silly question but I'll answer it anyway. Absolutely.

Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
What about the people running the website? Do you think they're equipped to handle the volume of phone calls that they would receive if everyone followed your advice?
It's a school. Schools have phones and the majority of them have websites. I would hope they are prepared for the phone to ring.

Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
Anyway, how are you going to find the phone number to call without clicking on internet links?
I don't think I really need to give you a lesson on how to find a phone number.

Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
Do you collect paper phone books from every city and county in the country? What about other countries? How do you get all these phone books? Should everyone dedicate a room in their house to collecting phone books so they can check out every link before they click on it?

Where does it all end?
I kind of had a feeling, and this last statement just verified, that regardless of what I say or what the topic of conversation is you will find something wrong with it and want to nitpick, be argumentative, and/or combative.

The way things are with security and Wow, I find absolutely nothing wrong with calling up a company to inquire about the validity of something on their website. We are consistently reminded that we should be safe when dealing with any website regarding Wow. Making a phone call because you wish to be safe isn't hurting anyone.
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Unread 03-01-12, 10:19 AM   #14
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I'm sorry but I don't see anything combative about Phanx's last question.

When you propose something you suggest it as standard practice for "everyone", no?

Moderately popular sites can get hundreds or thousands of unique hits.
You're suggesting that all of these hundreds or thousands should have first phoned in before visiting.

This is also very much a catch-22 situation, I mean did you phone in to WoWi before visiting the site?
Did you phone-in to the site where you found the Wowi link?
If it was a search engine, do you phone-in to Google for any link they might return before visiting that link?

If you're doing all that for wow related sites only... what do you do for sites not related to a hobby.
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Unread 03-01-12, 03:05 PM   #15
Phanx
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Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
That's merely your opinion.
Obviously. Everything either of us is saying here that is not an empirical fact is "merely" our own opinion.

Since it's dealing with Wow and considering we are always urged to use caution, ...
I've never understood this either. WoW is just a game. Is your life really going to be over if you lose your account for a few weeks (eg. long enough to verify your identity to Blizzard so they will restore your characters), or even permanently?

Plus, you said you use the same computer for work and for personal use (playing WoW, reading forums, etc.). A keylogger that sent all your keystrokes back to its maker could come from a website totally unrelated to WoW, and get your WoW password anyway. If you believe this is such a great threat to your computer and/or your happiness, shouldn't you exercise these extreme security measures for all websites, not just WoW-related ones?

I don't think I really need to give you a lesson on how to find a phone number.
I haven't had a paper phone book in my home since I was 16 and living with my parents. I think by now even my grandparents no longer keep a paper phone book. Everyone I know immediately recycles any paper phone books that are delivered to them.

If there's some way to get a phone number that does not require either having a physical copy of a paper phone book or clicking on an internet link to a site you have not previously discussed with a live person over the phone, then yes, I guess I do need a lesson, because I can't imagine what that way could possibly be.
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Unread 03-01-12, 09:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
... If there's some way to get a phone number that does not require either having a physical copy of a paper phone book or clicking on an internet link to a site you have not previously discussed with a live person over the phone, then yes, I guess I do need a lesson, because I can't imagine what that way could possibly be.
Dial 4-1-1 for directory assistance.
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Unread 03-02-12, 12:51 AM   #17
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Directory assistance is not free on most (if any) wireless plans. For example, my carrier charges $1.99 per use.

It's been about a decade since I had a landline in my home, and the only people I know who have one nowadays are all over 60, but according the Wikipedia page you linked, calling directory assistance from a landline is not free either, and costs anywhere from $1.25 for getting a local number, to $7.95 for getting an international number.

I don't know about your web browsing habits or your financial situation, but I certanly can't afford to pay $1.99 every time I want to click on a link to a site I haven't visited before. For instance, I got home about 2 hours ago. In that time I've done laundry and cooked dinner for myself, yet I've still had time to browse web pages on 22 different domains. Had I called each of them beforehand, I'd be out more money than I pay for an entire month of Internet service, and probably used up most (if not all) of the voice minutes I pay for on my cellular plan. Though, I suppose if I'd had to make so many phone calls, I wouldn't have had time to visit so many sites.

Also, how would Google respond if I called them and asked them if it was safe to click a link to a Google Code project page? How would SourceForge respond if I called them and asked if it was safe to click a link to download the new version of the Pidgin IM client? Does Wikipedia even have a phone staff?

Last edited by Phanx : 03-02-12 at 12:53 AM.
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Unread 03-02-12, 01:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
blahblahblah
Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
blahblahblah
I've been where you are (the end user), so I can definitely see and understand where you are coming from and why you feel the way you do. You have reasons for the way you view this topic and I respect that. I've also given you my experiences (without too much detail as the admins def don't want me going into how some of my clients sites were hacked). Not only are you not willing to step back to view things from my perspective, you are totally unwilling to give an inch to discuss this without smart remarks.

Guess it's time for me to discontinue further discussions with you. I prefer someone who will at the very least be able to see things from someone else's point of view while also sticking to their own views.
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Unread 03-02-12, 04:47 AM   #19
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I'm merely following your suggestion to its logical endpoint. If you're unwilling to engage in any kind of debate, or back up your argument, why post it in the first place?

I'm not unwilling to look at things from your perspective. Your perspective seems to be one based in fear (eg. you've seen bad things happen on the internet, so you know bad things can happen on the internet, and you're afraid of bad things happening to your computer because it has important data on it and you can't afford to replace it). Based on that assessment, I offered several suggestions, none of which would require significant investments of time or money, all of which would protect your data and your computer, and greatly mitigate the effects of the things you seem to be so worried about on the internet.

If you don't feel that's an accurate assessment of your perspective, well, I can't read your mind, so I can't say I feel too bad about getting it wrong when you won't provide any logical counterpoints or concrete examples.

Anyway, yeah, I'm also done with the conversation when you quote my post but edit my actual words to "blahblahblah". I'd expect that level of maturity from a teenager, not a parent of teenagers, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised when it comes from someone who's gone out of their way to label themself as a "Psychotic Female" on these forums. :/

Last edited by Phanx : 03-02-12 at 05:28 AM.
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Unread 03-02-12, 11:06 AM   #20
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One small but important issue with making phone calls to the owners of websites.

People lie. Assuming you ever get a person on the far end and not a machine doing the lying.

Just because it has a phone number guarantees nothing. In the case of a education domain it certainly has a higher chance of confirming the veracity of a site in question. In the case of the thread this originally came from I would think it entirely possible to get the number of the institution and verify this study.

If however, we were to take this site as an example. Is there a number to call for a first time visitor? No there is not. Would there be any guarantee that who or what picks up on the other end is legit if there were? Of course not.

The overall concept of taking precautions of course is advisable. Not sure why everyone is doggedly sticking to this somewhat silly (and of limited use) premise of making phone calls.
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