Date:         Thu, 11 Nov 1999 23:14:48 -0600
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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    PC's Take On Bubbleboy
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On with the show ...
PC's Take on Bubbleboy
Most people who know me well know that I think in analogies.  Maybe
that's one reason why it took me eleven years to get my economics
degree (I had a HECK of a time thinking of an analogy for sterilized
central bank intervention in the FX market).  :P
Anyway, here is my analogy for the recent Bubbleboy virus scare.
Imagine if the media discovered that millions of people around the
world were leaving the doors to their houses wide open.  The media
would absolutely PANIC.  TV reporters and newspaper journalists would
breathlessly warn you that
      YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN GRAVE DANGER!  Because of open doors,
      thieves can enter your house and steal all your possessions right
      from under your nose!  Gypsies can enter your home through these
      same open doors and steal your children in the middle of the
      night!  And don't forget about the killer bees!  For years we
      have told you that you only have to worry about killer bee
      attacks when you are outside, but this changes EVERYTHING!
      Killer bees can be swarming down your street, see your open
      door, swarm into your bedroom, and turn you and your loved ones
      into human pin cushions!  No one's bedroom is safe!!
It is a shame that the media did not grow up in *MY* house, because
they could have learned a lot from my father.  My dad, the Rev. Bob
"Bob" Crispen, taught me a great many things, but there was one piece
of advice he shared with me over and over again.  That advice changed
my life forever.  You ready for this?  Here ya' go: SHUT THE DAMNED
What does this have to do with the Bubbleboy worm?  Well, there is an
inadvertent 'open door' in the Windows operating system that *COULD*
conceivably make your computer vulnerable to outside attack.  In
specific, a mean spirited hacker *COULD* 'walk through' this open door
on your Windows PC and read any file on your computer, delete specific
files or programs, or even completely erase your hard drive.
Bubbleboy is the first virus [actually it is a worm] that takes
advantage of this open door.
The important thing to remember is that like our mythical bedroom-
inhabiting killer bees, Bubbleboy really ISN'T the problem.  The
problem is the open door!  Close the open door to your house and you
won't have to worry about killer bees in your bedroom; close the open
door in Windows and you won't have to worry about Bubbleboy (or its
ilk) causing damage to your computer.  [It is amazing that the media
doesn't seem to understand this.]
As I mentioned in my last TOURBUS post, Microsoft released a software
patch in late August that closes this open door in Windows.  The patch
is called "Update for Security Vulnerabilities in 'Scriptlet.typlib'
and 'Eyedog' ActiveX Controls," and you can download it from Microsoft
by either running Windows Update -- step-by-step instructions on how
to do this can be found in my last TOURBUS post at
-- or by downloading the patch directly from Microsoft at .
Who is affected by this so-called 'Open Door?'
Technically, this open door affects everyone who uses Microsoft
Internet Explorer 4.X or 5.X on a PC.  However, since Internet
Explorer is so closely integrated into the Windows operating system,
the truth is that *EVERYONE* who uses Windows 98 or 2000 is affected,
even if you don't ever use Internet Explorer.
Does this 'Open Door' affect Windows 95 or NT users?
I think so, but I honestly don't know.  From what I can gather from
Microsoft, it does.  [That download page I mentioned a few moments ago
offers patches for "Microsoft Windows 95 and 98" as well as "Microsoft
Windows NT."].
Does this 'Open Door' affect Mac users?
Nope.  This open door is in the Windows operating system, so it only
affects Windows users.  [Chalk one up for 'thinking differently!']
I read in the media that Bubbleboy only affects Microsoft Outlook and
Outlook Express!  I don't use Outlook or Outlook express.  Is my
system safe?
NO!  Remember, the problem isn't the bees in the bedroom (Bubbleboy)
it is the open door that let the bees into the bedroom in the first
place (the "open door" in Windows).  Bubbleboy is a worm that uses
Outlook or Outlook express to walk through the open door in Windows
and to conceivably do bad things to your system.  Even if you don't
use Outlook or Outlook express, you still remain vulnerable because
the door remains open.  Bubbleboy may not get you, but the next worm
might.  The ONLY way to protect yourself from both Bubbleboy and
future attacks is to CLOSE THE DOOR by downloading and installing the
software patch from Microsoft.
I use Microsoft Outlook on a Mac.  Should I worry about Bubbleboy?
Nope.  Bubbleboy takes advantage of an open door in Windows.  Since
Macs don't have this open door, Bubbleboy poses no threat to your
Do I really have to download and install this software patch?  Can't I
just update my virus definitions instead?
You really have to download and install the software patch.  Updating
your virus definitions may protect you from Bubbleboy, but it will do
nothing about the open door in Windows.  To protect yourself from the
open door, you're going to have to close it by downloading and
installing the software patch from Microsoft.
I Ran Windows Update, But I Didn't See The "Update for Security
Vulnerabilities in 'Scriptlet.typlib' and 'Eyedog' ActiveX Controls"
File In The Critical Updates!  What Should I Do?
Run Windows Update again.  Once you get to the "Select Software" page,
click on the "Installation History" button at the top of the screen.
When the history finally loads, look for
      Update for Security Vulnerabilities in "Scriptlet.typlib" and
      "Eyedog" ActiveX Controls (version 5,0,2720,2700) was
      successfully installed.
If you see that somewhere on the page, you have already installed the
security patch.  If you don't see that, keep reading ...
I Tried to Run Windows Update, But It Didn't Work!  What Should I Do?
Download the security patch directly from Microsoft at .
Killer bees in the bedroom?  Patrick, you REALLY need to get out more!
You're telling me?!  :P
To sum up, don't worry about Bubbleboy ... worry about the open door!
If you download the software patch from Microsoft, you will protect
yourself from Bubbleboy and its progeny.  [Bubbleboy is rather
innocuous -- it doesn't really do any terrible damage to your
computer.  New strains of Bubbleboy may not be so kind.  Until you
close the open door in Windows, you'll be vulnerable.]
I hope this helped.  :)
    PC's Take On Bubbleboy
SKWINTA (phrase).
Usage: "Skwinta town and git us some Moon Pies!"
(HINT: "Skwinta" = "Let's Go Into")
[Special thanks to Gordy Burkins for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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TOURBUS -- 11 NOVEMBER 1999 -- PC'S TAKE ON BUBBLEBOY, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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