VOGONS


First post, by psaez

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Hi

I mean connecting just for reading websites, without installing anything from internet. At least not anything with one or more alerts on virustotal.com

I ask this, because I remember that Windows XP in his last days got a virus that entered the computer just installing it with a connection on. Just after the clean install you already got the virus.

Does that happen also on 95 or 98SE?

Reply 1 of 25, by leonardo

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psaez wrote on 2024-04-10, 20:30:
Hi […]
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Hi

I mean connecting just for reading websites, without installing anything from internet. At least not anything with one or more alerts on virustotal.com

I ask this, because I remember that Windows XP in his last days got a virus that entered the computer just installing it with a connection on. Just after the clean install you already got the virus.

Does that happen also on 95 or 98SE?

The Blaster worm would only get to your Windows XP system if it was directly connected to the internet and not behind a NAT/Firewall. If you use a regular home router, you should be fine.

While Win9x didn't have the vulnerable background services that Win2K/XP had that the Blaster worm exploited, you'll run into other types of issues, like not having a web browser that can negotiate a secure cipher with today's web services. I think there was a work-around for that, but I would still use the Opera web browser (9 or 10 works on Win95/98) because most of the malware and exploits target Internet Explorer.. or targeted anyway.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 2 of 25, by the3dfxdude

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There aren't really any services enabled by default on Win9x, unless you configure with file sharing turned on or turn on the message program -- which you probably shouldn't. I don't remember any remote exploits in the network stack itself.

I think I remember there being issues with IGMP maybe having a DoS or a crash bug. Maybe it was fixed in a patch. But it wouldn't hurt having a firewall to mitigate things. But most of the time you run behind NAT? Right? I can't imagine you are suggesting running naked and plugging directly into your ISP these days.

The real problem is gonna be the browser, just connecting at all to most websites. You could try running lynx with modern ssl lib. Yeah, that would at least be something.

Reply 3 of 25, by Jo22

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Not sure how it's now, but in the 2000s, I've seen how quickly a Windows 98SE PC got infected.

Read my story here: Re: Windows XP how many people still use for it their MAIN OS?

Edit: My recommendation if you really want let Windows 98 go online: Get a physical firewall to protected the vintage PC.
It doesn't have to be fancy. An old DSL or cable router, a Raspberry Pi running PiHole etc.

Edit: Windows Scripting Host (WSH) might be enabled on Windows 9x; disable it if not necessary.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 4 of 25, by psaez

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-11, 01:10:
Not sure how it's now, but in the 2000s, I've seen how quickly a Windows 98SE PC got infected. […]
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Not sure how it's now, but in the 2000s, I've seen how quickly a Windows 98SE PC got infected.

Read my story here: Re: Windows XP how many people still use for it their MAIN OS?

Edit: My recommendation if you really want let Windows 98 go online: Get a physical firewall to protected the vintage PC.
It doesn't have to be fancy. An old DSL or cable router, a Raspberry Pi running PiHole etc.

Edit: Windows Scripting Host (WSH) might be enabled on Windows 9x; disable it if not necessary.

the3dfxdude wrote on 2024-04-11, 00:21:

There aren't really any services enabled by default on Win9x, unless you configure with file sharing turned on or turn on the message program -- which you probably shouldn't. I don't remember any remote exploits in the network stack itself.

I think I remember there being issues with IGMP maybe having a DoS or a crash bug. Maybe it was fixed in a patch. But it wouldn't hurt having a firewall to mitigate things. But most of the time you run behind NAT? Right? I can't imagine you are suggesting running naked and plugging directly into your ISP these days.

The real problem is gonna be the browser, just connecting at all to most websites. You could try running lynx with modern ssl lib. Yeah, that would at least be something.

Hi, I don't know anything about using a NAT, old DSL or cable router, pihole, etc... and even I don't have a raspberry pi. Also, yes, my intention was to connect it directly to my ISP router to have internet.

Then, is not safe to do it? Will it be automatically full of viruses? in that case, I simply will not do it. But other person on this post is telling that it will be safe.

Who is right?

Reply 5 of 25, by Shadzilla

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This topic came up recently, you should be able to find it with a search.

There is no clear cut answer. It's down to your approach to the risks. Your ISP router should mitigate a lot of the issues that were relevant during the hey-day of Windows 98 and XP. But the usefulness of having the systems online today is limited. Maybe working through those limitations is a fun exercise in and of itself though 😀

Reply 6 of 25, by Jo22

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I don't know of a definite answer, either.

One use case for having a Windows 9x system online are multiplayer games, I suppose.
Or old chat programs and media players, maybe.

Another reason might be nostalgia/reliving the past.
Browsing vintage websites on a vintage PC is priceless.

Wayback Machine seems to support this, I believe.
It can be accessed in a way that the site's history frame is being hidden.

In the browser's URL bar, merely the basic URL is being visible (no Wayback).

Sorry, can't put this into words right now.
That's what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OB1g8CUdbA

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 7 of 25, by Jo22

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Update. Just recently, there had been a little controversy about XP and its vulnerability to internet malware. It's because of a YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSVVCmOH5w

https://www.derstandard.de/story/300000022073 … lware-infiziert

https://www.golem.de/news/youtuber-demonstrie … 405-185239.html

However, the test done by that YouTuber has some flaws, maybe.
The XP in question was SP2 (?) with its firewall being disabled (just like Windows 98) and no hardware router between PC and internet connection.

In terms of Windows 98SE, the first one is still a problem (98SE has no firewall) but the second one shouldn't. We're no longer using 56k modems.

In our modern days, most people have a DSL router, cable router or fibre router.
Which by default hide the PC between a NAT (98SE/XP use IPv4) and do block certain ports.

Plain modems without router capability are no longer around (like 56k modems or DSL modems).
At least not here in my home country, I think. Not sure how it's elsewhere.
We're merely reducing a DSL/Cable router to a plain modem if we're using a dedicated router that we own by ourselves.

(Background story: there were legal issues about replacing the default routers,
because DSL/cable companies had something to say about which hardware could be interfaced to THEIR network.
So users left the poor router in place and reconfigured it as a dumb modem.
All network devices were instead being connected to an attached router w/ firewall .)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 8 of 25, by jakethompson1

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It's not "safe" but ultimately the only difference is if someone reports to MS a vulnerability in Windows 10, they will patch it, whereas if someone discovers something in Windows 98, they won't.

Firewalls, routers, etc. aren't necessarily relevant either. See pp. 15-16 for a demo of what could happen if you connected from Win 3.x to an untrusted FTP server using ancient WS_FTP: https://github.com/jakethompson1/16buffer/blo … ster/buffer.pdf

Reply 9 of 25, by chinny22

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-05-19, 21:03:

Update. Just recently, there had been a little controversy about XP and its vulnerability to internet malware. It's because of a YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSVVCmOH5w

Saw this video and was disappointed. I thought it would be good for the old "how safe is " question that comes up every year or so here.
but as soon as he mentioned it was a direct connection to the internet the whole experiment was no longer relevant to 99% of us.

You could do the same thing with a fully patched Win11 PC, if you turned its firewall off and put it direct on the internet it may take a bit longer, but it'll still get infected.

Reply 10 of 25, by Jo22

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chinny22 wrote on 2024-05-20, 01:55:
Saw this video and was disappointed. I thought it would be good for the old "how safe is " question that comes up every year or […]
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Jo22 wrote on 2024-05-19, 21:03:

Update. Just recently, there had been a little controversy about XP and its vulnerability to internet malware. It's because of a YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSVVCmOH5w

Saw this video and was disappointed. I thought it would be good for the old "how safe is " question that comes up every year or so here.
but as soon as he mentioned it was a direct connection to the internet the whole experiment was no longer relevant to 99% of us.

You could do the same thing with a fully patched Win11 PC, if you turned its firewall off and put it direct on the internet it may take a bit longer, but it'll still get infected.

I think the same. About the only scenario I can imagine here is an old-style satellite link,
which uses a dial-up connection for the uplink.
That's were no router might be involved yet, maybe.

But otherwise, most internet connections use a router which has NAT for IPv4 and an IP Block List for IPv6, at least.

Speaking of IPv6, Windows XP is a bit special.
It has experimental support for it, but certain things like Windows firewall or the GUI settings have no effect on it (has to be configured via command line).

Also, both IPv4 and IPv6 in XP are separate protocols. If IPv6 is being activated, but not configured, a so-called "shadow network" can come to be.

Which can undermine all the security concepts in a network (were only IPv4 is being actively controlled/filtered).

https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-shadow-network

Windows 98SE can be retro-fitted with IPv6, too, but it's not available by default. So it's safe in this regard.
(There's Trumpet Winsock 5.0 rev. C, which has limited IPv6 support, or so I heard. Hitachi TOOLNET 6 exists, too.)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 25, by gerry

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another thing to consider - you can use a firewall etc, all good practice, and the risk is then fairly low

but

  • if you *never* connect that 9x machine to anything else,
  • never take data from it on floppy, usb or otherwise
  • and the machine's particular set up isnt precious to you (or you have a pristine image ready to re-load)
  • and there is no data on the machine that might compromise you
  • and you are willing to take the tiny risk that in some improbably scenario your machine somehow becomes embroiled in some criminal activity

then you can use it ok.....

Reply 12 of 25, by chinny22

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gerry wrote on 2024-05-20, 08:27:
another thing to consider - you can use a firewall etc, all good practice, and the risk is then fairly low […]
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another thing to consider - you can use a firewall etc, all good practice, and the risk is then fairly low

but

  • if you *never* connect that 9x machine to anything else,
  • never take data from it on floppy, usb or otherwise
  • and the machine's particular set up isnt precious to you (or you have a pristine image ready to re-load)
  • and there is no data on the machine that might compromise you
  • and you are willing to take the tiny risk that in some improbably scenario your machine somehow becomes embroiled in some criminal activity

then you can use it ok.....

You mean situation like this 😉

Mission-Impossible-Feature-Header.jpg

Reply 13 of 25, by Trashbytes

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As long as you have a good firewall or hardware based firewall that has been updated for any exploits you should be fine using 9x on the internet, XP too. you should take other precautions if you intend to visit sites of questionable nature looking for obscure drivers and such, I would recommend a good AV that isn't one of the trash free ones.

The videos going around have been setup on purpose to make old windows versions as easy as possible to infect, but Muta ran his XP install for hours behind a firewall with no issues and no infections. I personally wouldn't use 9x or XP on the internet but that's simply because getting a working browser that can load modern web pages is near impossible or requires far too much work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBDGCDtIWoU&t=547s

If there is one guy I trust enough to believe here its Muta.

Rule is Hardware Firewall patched and updated and dont be stupid, if you want to do risky stuff then do its best to do it under a sandbox VM on a modern OS where if you do get a ITD it cant do much damage.

Reply 14 of 25, by Bruninho

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I would say that today it is safe....

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.
READ: Right to Repair sucks and is illegal!

Reply 15 of 25, by rmay635703

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Bruninho wrote on 2024-05-21, 03:33:

I would say that today it is safe....

I used Windows 98se up until 2016 as a main home system nothing much affected 98 after about 2008 or so as it ceased being a real target. It was only connected by dial up though which does make it less of a target due to exploits not being able to run real time.

Reply 16 of 25, by Jo22

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rmay635703 wrote on 2024-05-21, 14:08:
Bruninho wrote on 2024-05-21, 03:33:

I would say that today it is safe....

I used Windows 98se up until 2016 as a main home system nothing much affected 98 after about 2008 or so as it ceased being a real target. It was only connected by dial up though which does make it less of a target due to exploits not being able to run real time.

Personally, I had a different experience back then. Maybe it was country or ISP specific situation, not sure.

In mid/late 2000s, Windows 98SE got infected within less than a minute after dialup connection was established.

Kerio Personal Firewall was being installed, as well as latest Avira Antivir of the time (last 9x build). And latest Firefox, too.
The Avira Background Guard had been triggered within less than ~15 seconds after dial-up phase was being completed.

(Edit: Background story: It wasn't my PC. An acquaintance, a technophobic person and a cheapskate, asked to get his 586 PC on the net.
So he could vist the website of his club and check e-mails.
The system was running Windows 95C or something. He got the PC years ago.
I told him it's a bad idea, but you know how stubborn some boomers can be. They never listen. Sigh.
So I did best I could and upgraded the PC to Windows 98SE and latest software.
I've also installed enough RAM, because websites were already turning into bloatware at the time.)

So my experience is that a Windows 9x/XP system shouldn't be exposed directly to the internet, if it can be avoided somehow.

(Shortly before XP SP2 was out, in early 2000s, at home, we always got Sasser worm on Windows XP after using dial-up connection via T-Online+Elsa MicroLink 56k. It did infect the system within seconds, like it was with 98SE years later.)

A simple network router (say outdated Fritzbox DSL router or something) does hide the PC behind a NAT, making it invisible for direct attacks.

A software firewall is a nice addition, but I think Kerio has proved that they won't work so reliable on 9x.
So a dedicated hardware firewall might be a better alternative. Can be another PC, as well.

Edit: There's something else that comes to mind. Windows 98SE with KernelEx is very close to Windows XP in terms of sofware compatibility.
This enhanced compatibility might also be relevant for running modern malware.
Of course, its merely user application compatibility. System services and kernel in Windows 9x are different to the NT line.
Though there are some interfaces (ntkern.vxd).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 17 of 25, by rmay635703

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My experience is that 98 and XP are very different beasts when it comes to infection, XP yes was always infected. 98 you could physically tell if it was, I used specific web browsers that lacked support for many of the common ways of getting infected, many sites rendered semi broken but without proper java and other support a lot of bad stuff simply crashed.

I did use a software firewall not that it made much difference but it was there.

Reply 18 of 25, by Trashbytes

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rmay635703 wrote on 2024-05-22, 14:57:

My experience is that 98 and XP are very different beasts when it comes to infection, XP yes was always infected. 98 you could physically tell if it was, I used specific web browsers that lacked support for many of the common ways of getting infected, many sites rendered semi broken but without proper java and other support a lot of bad stuff simply crashed.

I did use a software firewall not that it made much difference but it was there.

Im not sure why people want 9x on the internet, aside from a few exceptions most fo the internet itself will be all but unusable via 9x and any browser that may run on it. Win XP fares better here but you will still find a good many web sites wont load or will only partially load and as soon as it uses any protocol XP doesn't have support for well it'll just 404/503 the page or throw an error page.

Only use case I can think or would be an intranet or something local that requires web access and is built for XP.

ftp should work on 9x/XP so thats another use case along with IRC and other older net based comms.

Reply 19 of 25, by Jo22

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Trashbytes wrote on 2024-05-24, 04:21:

Im not sure why people want 9x on the internet, aside from a few exceptions most fo the internet itself will be all but unusable via 9x and any browser that may run on it. Win XP fares better here but you will still find a good many web sites wont load or will only partially load and as soon as it uses any protocol XP doesn't have support for well it'll just 404/503 the page or throw an error page.
[..]

I often ask myself that question, since I'm not immune against that phenomenon, too.
Back then, I switched to Windows XP ASAP, even convinced my father to do same.

It was clearly the better choice and I didn't mind tossing Windows 98. XP was such a stress relief (Sasser worm being the exception).
However, as time went on and things had changed, I often found myself thinking about the internet of the late 90s and early 2000s.
Thinking about those funny looking HTML sites on free web hosters, about Winamp or using Real Player (yikes) or my first times tinkering with VB6. Things like this.

I never thought I would miss 98SE, since my nostalgia was clearly being devoted to Windows 3.1 era and the early 90s.
But as usual in life, things will be different than expected.
So I still kept the original Windows 98SE CD-ROM that my father had gotten along with his Pentium III PC in ~2000.

So yeah, I think it's a lot about nostalgia, but not only.
Using Windows 98SE is a bit surreal, like experiencing a different reality. Or watching episodes of Sliders. ;)
A world in which CRT monitors, weird pop art, raytraced images, beige PCs and HTML websites exist.

That Windows 98SE is able to run many Windows games and applications (IrfanView, Winamp, Firefox etc) might intensify this experience.:

It has that feeling of a world gone by, like the airport in Langoliers, maybe.
It's *there* and real, but there's a weird feel to it.

To me, using Windows 98SE is like experiencing things from another life.
Probably because it was, in some way (I stopped using Windows 98SE when I was still quite young, which was a different part of my life).

Beyond this, there are also practical reasons for using Windows 98SE, of course:

Windows 98SE can run games that support multi-player mode.
It can also run similar DOS ganes that might via IPX protocol,
so network connectivity as such makes sense (IPX can be tunneled).

Windows 98SE does support direct port access (or rather, barely prevents it),
so it used to be very popular among radio amateurs and electronic hobbyists,
which loved to tinker with homebrew circuits on parallel port or custom ISA cards.
(On NT/XP, Port.dll or PortTalk must be used as a walkaround.)

Windows 98SE has sort of a soothing GUI with image of clouds, unicorns (?)
and 16 color icons (some icons are also available in 256c and more, but you guys get the idea).

The old Windows Explorer and the gradient in the title bar of each window are also an nostalgic feature.
The Windows Plus themes, as well. Screen savers, too.

It's a bit like using Windows 2000, maybe, which not many of us had worked with at the time, though.
Windows 2000 also had some of the old Windows 95/NT 4 GUI elements being modernized, unlike Windows 98SE yet.
So Windows 98SE retains that mid-90s look even more so, perhaps.

These are just sone thoughts, of course. I'm not certain if I'm pro or contra using Windows 98SE on the internet.
I'm just certain that I think it shouldn't be left online unsupervised for a longer time.
An anti-virus guard, a firewall and router with a NAT are nice to have, too, just in case.

PS: Btw, is it just me or is the nostalgia for 98SE general ly a bit stronger than that of Win95?
I remember Windows 95 from when it was new, I've even used it on my father's PC early on.
But for some reason, to me, merely Hover and the Win95 Setup wallpaper (setup.bmp) are causing strong emotions. Hm. Weird. 🤷‍♂️

Edit: Formatting fixed (on PC).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//