Spyware Sucks
“There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs" – Dai Zovi, author of “The Mac Hacker’s Handbook"

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just give up.

November 22nd 2007 in Uncategorized

Check out this URL:

See this quote towards the very end:

“In Australia earlier this month, a majority of Sensis websites including Whitepages, Telstra Bigpond and Yellowpages had to remove advertising on their site after a local security professional and Microsoft MVP discovered malicious malware embedded in the ads.”

For whatever reason, IT NEWS decided to omit my name from that paragraph, despite specifically mentioning that a “local security professional and Microsoft MVP’ were involved, and I am finding it impossible to comprehend why they would do so.

I have been fighting malware for years, long before it became the “cause de célébrité” with the popular press, and I’ve done it all for free – given up my days, my nights, and my weekends – never charging a penny, fighting the good fight, and running up one hell of a personal debt in the process, but when my name is dropped like this, I wonder why I try so damned hard to protect internet users at large from malicious banner advertisements and hacked web sites.

I don’t want to be patted on the back every damned day, I don’t, but if you’re going to mention something I did, and mention what I am, please… don’t leave my name out. It’s unkind and it’s unfair.


14 comments to...
“Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just give up.”


omg. You are on an ego trip for sure.
So you can get more brownie points and more feathers in your cap?
The highest achievers don’t do things for credit. They are the silent achievers. They don’t need their egos fed because they have enough inward strenth.
Get a life, a real job or an education. You are in this for the WRONG reasons.

Peter L

It seems to me she’s got a point. There’s no good reason to leave her name out, and it sure as hell didn’t meet basic journalistic standards.

We all know that anonymous trolls like Buster won’t step up to the plate and do what Sandi does. They’re too busy hiding behind their keyboards and bitching from the safety of a pseudonym.


For that matter, contacting you for a few comments might have improved their story.



It’s probably a silly move on my part to grant the illusion of credence to some anonymous internet troll by responding to his comments, and I probably won’t explain myself at all well, but I’m just in the mood to respond.

This has got nothing to do with ego.  When I deal with reporters I hold them to a standard that does not apply to the world as whole, and this is why.  

I have reporters on my contact list in Windows Live Messenger and Skype; reporters have my personal (unlisted) phone number; they have my private email address, and they can contact me directly, day or night for an informal chat, advice or a full blown interview.

Invariably they are in contact with me because they want my participation, either publicly or behind the scenes, in an article that will earn them some $$$, and they want my help **RIGHT NOW** because they want to be the first to go to press and get the “scoop” – and I have absolutely no problem with that – it’s a win win situation because while they’re getting those benefits, I’m getting the benefit of publicity to help warn and protect as many people as possible.

So yes, I use the power of the Press as much as the Press use me to their advantage – I use the power of the Press to get the word out as far as I can to protect as many people as I can, and all I ask is that they tell the world what is going on, I don’t expect to be credited or named.

But that being said, I will not apologise for expecting professional courtesy from reporters when they deal with my actions or my words.

Before you say it, “courtesy” does not involve giving me credit, but it DOES involve NOT dropping my name in the way it had been done in this instance.

Ironically, if they had not mentioned me at all would have been fine – if the report had said “In Australia earlier this month, a majority of Sensis websites including Whitepages, Telstra Bigpond and Yellowpages had to remove advertising on their site.” and nothing more, that would have been fine.  The problem was that they identified me by role and reputation, but not by name, in circumstances where the other article did so.  I can’t understand that.


Rod Trent

Don’t lose sight of why you do this in the first place — to help people and make the industry better. It’s not about the glory or else none of us would do it.

Also, remember that it was (hopefully) your williness to help people that got you the MVP award in the first place. If your intentions change you might think about stepping down.

John Du Toit

Tell us Rod, how much did you earn from your banner advertisements last year?  Did you have any other sponsorship or support? Do your philanthropic impulses survive harsh reality, or are you only willing to help people for so long as the financial cost is acceptable?

Your “hopefully” qualification is insulting.  What are you insinuating?

Doug Woodall

Sadly, whoever did the reporting did not feel that you were worth mentioning, whatever the reason. Maybe they just forgot. Maybe due to a deadline.
Dont let the setbacks deter you.
Keep up the good fight.

Vlad Mazek


My god, isn’t the thick Microsoft paycheck for the MVP award thanks enough for all that effort?

-Vlad Mazek
Highly Compensated Exchange MVP


Nice to know MVPs can be human, too. Indeed, it seems a piece of poor journalism not to give credit where it’s due. Vincenzo Di Russo [MVP] (hm, name rings a bell) has put matters straight in the comments section.

John Marshall

Sorry Vlad, it is not the thickness or size of the cheque, it is the amount written on the cheque. 😉 For those unfamiliar to the MVP program, the MVPs are NOT on the MS payroll and the perks they do get are not worth the effort. MVPS do what they do because they like helping out.

I’ve known Sandi long enough not to question her sincerity. She deserves to be quoted by name. The only reason I can see for name being omitted is for plausible deniability.

Sandi, keep up the good fight.

John… Visio MVP

Vincenzo Di Russo [MVP]

>Vincenzo Di Russo [MVP] (hm, name rings a bell)…

Yes, rings an italian bell 😀


@ Vincenzo

> Yes, rings an italian bell 😀

Ah, explains it- I thought the comment had a good tone to it 😉

Vlad Mazek


What, all the volunteering is not worth the tshirt, pen and a 256Mb USB drive?



@Buster – Clearly you’re not a Computer or Internet -=Professional=-.  So it would be wise to shut your pie-hole.

Let me tell you a story :

I once spent a week saving a client’s data, their array was failing and soon I wouldn’t have enough of the RAID left to retrieve payroll, inventory, orders, etc, etc.  Through some hard work, threatening vendors, and coordination (not to mention very freely spending the customer’s money on a replacement RAID and drives) I managed to get the new array up and the data migrated over.  I was in that building for 92 hours.

My bill was astounding yet the customer *gladly* issued the check.  Sometimes having a half-year’s salary (for the “average” American) is pretty neat.  The customer also made sure that their friends and colleagues knew that I was the one that pulled a miracle out of thin air and that generated more business for me later and as much as I love computing, I still have bills to pay and I’m really rather fond of good food.

What got me though, was that the CEO, CFO, and CTO took me into one of the meeting rooms with the IT staff (it’s important to say at this time that I was about half-dead) and they *Thanked* me for the work that I had done.  I had blown off my girlfriend for a week, eaten mostly fast food and lived on caffeine because in my work sometimes that’s hat you have to do … and I got paid.  For some people that’s enough.  For many of us (and truly dedicated *Professionals* I may even say “most”) recognition for our time, effort, and sacrifices goes a Lot further than cash in the pocket.

I ended up doing little things here and there for that customer over time afterward and because they said “Thank You” they never saw a bill from me again.

Computer People are in it to get the job done first, but we’re still people (as mere mortals tend too often to forget).

@Sandi – Good job, keep it up.  Now, get back to work.  🙂

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