Joe wants to know how effective antivirus software is. Leo says it can work, but it really does give users a false sense of security. Zero Day exploits can still nail people within 24 hours of discovery. They can also expose people to more flaws. That doesn't mean Joe shouldn't have one, though, but Leo recommends not buying anything third party. He should stick with Microsoft's own Defender that comes with Windows 10. Ultimately, though, his online behavior is his last, best line of defense.
A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) hit the internet yesterday, tossing several networks offline. Leo says this happens all the time as robot computers are drafted to clog networks with phoney requests. What's disturbing about this particular attack is that it's using not only computers, but it's taking advantage of smart devices used in the home (called the internet of things), like routers, DVRs, smart refrigerators, and even internet enabled home security systems.
Victoria has an 09 iMac that runs El Capitan, but she got bit by ransomware. Leo says that's odd because the only ransomware is called "Transmission" and it's been eradicated after only being out in the wild for a day through Bittorrent. She gets a pop up that says "your computer is infected," though. Leo says that doesn't mean she has ransomware. It's actually a phishing scam trying to get her to install malware. And she can't get infected by it anyway. What it does mean is that the website is infected and she should avoid it.