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My unpatched PC running Windows is connected to a network which contains other "infected" computers, can I get infected by viruses without any interaction on my part?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted


All the other infected PC(s) have to do is find a vulnerability in an unpatched application visible on the network on your PC and exploit it with vulnerabilities they know about.

This doesn't just apply to Windows either. Any OS that is network facing and has exploitable vulnerabilities can be attacked this way.

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What if I close all ports except HTTP(S)? How is the infection going to get to me? –  Pacerier Dec 20 '14 at 14:56

Yes you can, these type of virusses are known as Worm virusses and may try to exploit vulnerabilities in services you are running which are network facing.

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Sure... if some of the services running on the pc are vulnerable, it's quite possible a virus could exploit this vulnerability and infect it.

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There is a tool called labrea (http://labrea.sourceforge.net/) that might help you for worm propagating on LAN networks.

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How would it help? <looks at what Labrea is> Labrea is a tar pit — a program that sucks bots in in an attempt to make them waste resources attempting to attack a non-vulnerable machine. While it might hurt some worms, it does nothing to protect other machines. Not only does this not answer the question of whether the OP's machine might get infected, it won't help against infections either. –  Gilles Nov 7 '13 at 19:30
Hi Gilles, Labrea helps to reduce the time of the propagation, and also to inform about programs that scan IP addresses on Lan networks. May be this solution, don't fix with your requirements, but labrea helps to reduce the gap between the spread of the worm and the time the administrator have to take countermeasures. –  camp0 Nov 9 '13 at 20:41

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