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Almost 200,000 members and the forum is a graveyard


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#1 GetOffMyLawn

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

Ouch! Something must of went wrong here for everyone to leave. 



#2 Budfred

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 02:40 PM

Changes in the way that malware is made and how to fight it...  Fewer people are seeking help like they used to, even on other malware fighting forums the traffic is down...


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#3 GetOffMyLawn

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Posted 15 September 2018 - 07:15 PM

I think the social media boom really killed everything. Back in the early-mid 2000s forums everywhere were really popular then Reddit, Instagram, Facebook etc. came along. I prefer message boards myself. I wish we could rewind time. Here's to hoping you guys continue on  :icon14a:



#4 scorpiotiger

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 10:46 PM

yes, I prefer forums.  I participate in social media, but it is like pasting a postit on a bulletin board - like talking to yourself.  Plus, it is more personality driven - people follow favorite people/celbrities, etc.  Whereas forum is more topic based.  and, there is more real conversation.

I learned a lot from forums in the 1990s and early 2000s.  can't say the same about twitter and facebook.  



#5 scorpiotiger

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 10:53 PM

I just looked... wow.. it is quiet.

 

Changes in the way that malware is made and how to fight it...  Fewer people are seeking help like they used to, even on other malware fighting forums the traffic is down...

so how has malware changed in the way it is made?  



#6 Budfred

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:46 PM

It has gotten more and more sophisticated, but the anti-imalware professional companies have also gotten more sophisticated in the automated tools they use to fight it...  Windows 10 automatically updates now whether you want it to or not, so there are fewer vulnerabilities...  On the bad side, there are probably many computers out there that are infected, but the malware is so stealthy that the user doesn't even know it...  So in some ways we aren't as needed as we used to be and in some ways we are probably needed more than many people know...

 

Also, because the malware is so much more sophisticated, the training to fix it takes more time and dedication than ever, so we don't have many people willing to do that anymore and haven't graduated a new malware fighter in a very long time...


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Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#7 scorpiotiger

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 02:15 PM

so the course is being kept up to date with the changes occurring in the industry?



#8 Budfred

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 05:24 PM

We have made some effort to update things like Practice Logs and tutorials...  The malware wars change rapidly, so we usually do updates even as people are training...  At this point, we don't have any active Trainees... 

 

Because the forum is so underutilized at this point, our funds are dwindling, so we are looking at ways to pay to keep the forum open...  If we don't come up with something by next autumn, we may need to close the forum...  If nothing else, we may see if someone would be willing to maintain it as an archive since SWI was really pivotal in the early fight against malware...


Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#9 scorpiotiger

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 08:31 PM

Well, I am very sad to hear that.  Seems like people would be interested in learning -  they have courses in "ethical hacking" - where you can get certified - and companies pay to have people basically try to find weaknesses in their system before outsiders do.  Seems this would be along the same lines.  Even though this is something created for  home users (and has saved me more than once) - it is basically an attack from the internet.  A lot of these aren't directed - just sent out to fish. Companies are more worried about directed threats.. but it is the same kind of thing.



#10 Budfred

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 11:25 PM

We have had a lot of people interested in learning over the years, but a fairly small number stick with it long enough to become Helpers and that number is dwindling even more as the fixes needed to fix the malware has gotten more complex...  A number of people who work at the level of companies as security people have had early training through the forums...  Even if you look at some of the big security companies, like MalwareBytes, they have a lot of people who first trained as malware fighters...  The people who started MalwareBytes actually came from the forums...

 

The good news is that automated programs are getting to be effective enough that we aren't as essential as we once were...  The best news would be in the automated programs got good enough to make all malware fighting forums obsolete, but that is unlikely to happen since malware keeps evolving...  However, there are other forums which will probably outlive SWI where people can still get help, even if they are not as busy as we all used to be...


Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"

#11 scorpiotiger

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:57 AM

how long does the course take if you already have IT experience - but more mainframe experience?  is it an online training course?



#12 Budfred

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 12:22 PM

It is much more informal than I think you are thinking...  When people enter based on an application, they are given a Quiz and many people don't make it past that...  Once the Quiz is passed, they move on to do Practice Logs which are geared for at least 3 different levels of difficulty...  If they work their way through those, they are asked to work on live issues under close supervision...  As they show competence, the level of supervision decreases and eventually they are given a second Quiz...  Once all of those hoops have been jumped through, we graduate them to Helper...  We have had some people, a long time ago, go through in a matter of weeks...  Our most recent graduate took at least a couple of years...  We don't have a time frame for people to complete training and we have a lot of people who are inactive, but who could return at any time to continue...  If someone is inactive for a few years, we may remove their Trainee status, but they can easily get back in and resume...  If they have been several years, we might ask them to start over since things will have changed so much...  At first it is more about reading the materials and learning how to think about the problems, later it becomes much more practical...  We also emphasize communication skills more than most of the other schools and that inhibits some Trainees...  It is all done here with volunteer teachers and no one ever pays (unless they choose to donate)...

 

As for mainframe experience transferring to this realm - that depends...  If the experience is programming, it might transfer pretty well - a lot of the tools we have were developed by programmers who saw a problem and decided to fix it...  Again, that is how MalwareBytes started...  Back when I used a mainframe, it was with IBM cards and (rarely) connected terminals that were mostly teletype, so I don't even know what modern mainframes use to function - I am assuming that they are probably not much different from PCs now...  One of the biggest problems I have seen with IT pros is that malware fighting (and training) can be very tedious, so they get impatient and want to skip through some of the training... 

 

To be honest, even though I have been here since the Boot Camp began, it has been so long since we have had an active Trainee that I have kind of lost track of how it all works...  If you or anyone else started, we would probably be doing a lot of updating as we go... :hi:


Budfred

Helpful link: SpywareBlaster...

MS MVP 2006 and ASAP Member since 2004

Please read the Instructions for posting requested logs and the article "So how did I get infected in the first place?"




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