Child porn on PC….1/4 million in legal fees…can we stop this frame-up?

How child porn got on a man’s computer – without his knowledge

I recently came across an interesting computer blog post. It’s entitled Don’t Let Thieves Ruin Your Life with This Computer Crime at identitytheftfixe… .  This is a frame-up.  Wiki discusses a frame-up on Wiki at secure.wikimedi….  Some thief accessed his work computer and downloaded child porn on it. It’s a disaster of the highest making. Let me summarize some key article points:

  1. His reputation – along with that of his wife – lies in ruins.
  2. He spent $250,000 in legal fees defending himself.
  3. He suffered health issues due to the stress.

This man was completely innocent. But he’s male and a work technician found child porn on his PC. As Curly Stooge used to say, “I’m just a victim of circumstances.”

Let’s look at some way to prevent this scenario. Let’s focus on the Windows operating system

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

I here to tell you this: “Don’t be a victim of circumstances.”

Let’s start with a router…even for one computer

I first shared this technique in a blog post entitled NetTalk and MagicJack – Some Leftovers at b2b-techcopy.ne…

There’s an interesting answer to why use a router, found in the newsletter at terryscomputert… . The author recommends using a router to enhance security, even if you only have one computer. Here’s what they say – in part:

“A cable/DSL router isolates your computer from direct connection to the Internet. Your computer can easily ask your email, web pages, etc. through the router. The responses come back to the router and are smoothly routed to your computer. But, someone on the Internet side of the router can not start a connection to your computer — they can only respond to your request.”

Let’s talk about anti-virus and firewalls, shall we?

There’s really no reason not to have a firewall and anti-virus installed. Many Internet services ( like AT&T and Comcast), offer a commercial solution for the client. The one I use is Norton Anti-virus, which Comcast supplied.

If you don’t get a free commercial solution – don’t despair. There’s a few good free ones available. I would recommend reading the article entitled Best Free Anti-virus at freebies.about…. .

Many years ago, back when I had only dial-up connections, I tried both AVG and Avast (from the article list). My favorite free software is Avast. Avast and AVG were the first 2 on the article list. The third one listed shows potential, and is one Microsoft created. It’s called Microsoft Security Essentials.

Another open source solution showing potential is Clam Win. I have experimented with it and they have been around for years. I wouldn’t use it now, as it lacks real-time scanning. However, if you visit their site, they are working on it. I’ll definitely look at them, after they build the real-time scanning capacity. Make sure they work all the kinks out first.

If you don’t have a commercial firewall in place, I would endorse Microsoft’s Windows Firewall.

Beam me up Scotty

I first learned about this clever software from the newsletter, giving the router tip. You can find the free and pay versions of Win Patrol at winpatrol.com/…. The software comes alive at start-up and informs you when Windows changes something. If I upgrade software, I usually get a Scotty message. There’s a Scott terrier icon associated with it. For the record, I use the free version. It suits me just fine.

The registry and spyware please

Finally, I need to recommend a good registry cleaner called CCleaner (along with other software tools), available at Piriform.  And a plus for the fine spyware scanner called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (malwarebytes.or…).

Lessons Learned

There’s many lessons to be learned here.  Let me list a couple:

  • In the U.S., it’s a federal crime to have child pornography on a computer.  What disturbs me here is this: neither the company’s computer staff, nor the FBI cyber staff – checked for cyber viruses.  If they did, then the man wouldn’t have a legal bill mounting to $250,000.
  • In this news article http://is.gd/gubD3, it mentions Michael Flora was cleared of the charges, after he hired computer forensics expert Tami Loehrs.
  • Not sure about a work computer.  But I do know this: if you take these precautions I’ve outlined for your home computer, it will decrease cyber crime.

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2 Responses

  1. This question is now answered in the About and Chicago Work Resources page (towards the end).
    Randy

  2. Probably on your end. The feeds are standard WordPress and Google output, which just boils down to XML docs. If you put my website URL, followed by /feed into http://validator.w3.org/feed/, it comes up valid.
    Randy

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