On Buying Another Computer, Or A Mother Board And Harddrive

Bar Meshiaka bar_meshiaka at yahoo.com
Sun May 4 21:48:31 UTC 2008

       I was asked not to use the HTML format in writing posts here, but I do not know how to change our computer settings, so please forgive me for writing this post in the way it is written.
  A few days ago, we bought a copy of Ubuntu 7.04 and a copy of Hardy Heron 8.10 OS off of the internet.  
  We have a 2-1/2-year-old HP Media Center PC and as it turns out, it's got a rootkit in the BIOS of the computer.  
  I first put Ubuntu 7.04 OS on it thinking that it might ignore the rootkit in the BIOS, as it was written for a Windows computer (by the hacker who wrote it).  
  Ubuntu 7.04 got through about 95% of the loading process, but in the last 5%, it would not load the security items that are in the OS.  I thought this very strange.  
  A couple of days later, I then tried installing Hardy Heron 8.10 OS and immediately it told me that there was a bug in the BIOS.  There was some more information that was on the screen, but it went too fast for me to write it down.  
  I have been in a war with a pretty sophisticated hacker for 5 years.  He has killed off 8 computers so far, this HP included.  All of them were PCs, except for one MacIntosh.  
  It took him 9 months to understand the MacIntosh system well enough to hack it.  I had Tiger 10.4 OS on an I-Mac G5.  
  Now here is the dilemma.  We could buy a new motherboard and a new hard drive and install it on our HP.  I'm thinking that the cost of doing this and having it installed might be somewhere in the $500 range, perhaps more.  
  Now on the other hand, I'm seriously considering purchasing a computer made especially for Ubuntu OS from System 76 in Denver, CO.  
  I guess my questions would be why patch up an older PC that was not made for Ubuntu OS in the beginning (but was made for using Windows) when I could purchase a computer that comes with Ubuntu OS already installed?  
  I'm thinking that if he got through MacIntosh once, even if it took 9 months, that he could get through it again.  That seems to rule out spending a lot of money to buy another Mac.  
  I understand that Ubuntu OS is not a "silver bullet" of protection, but I've been trying to read all that I can about hardening Linux computers and Ubuntu OS, in particular.  
  Is there some way to keep the BIOS from being hacked again?  I hear that putting a password on your BIOS is not a very efficient way to protect it.  Is there another way to harden and protect the BIOS of which I might not be aware?  
  I have chosen to work with Ubuntu OS because I think it's probably the most secure OS that's out there, even more secure than a MacIntosh.  
  Mac fans brag constantly that MacIntosh cannot be hacked, but I have stone cold proof that this is simply not true.  
  I'm also wondering has anybody on this list ever purchased a computer from System 76 or Zareason (Berkely, CA)?  If you have, I would like to hear your experiences about working with either company, and especially their customer support.  
  I'm a "newbie" at working with Ubuntu and, in fact, just saw how it looks a few days ago, but if it's a more secure OS, which it seems to be, then I'm sure willing to give it a shot.  
  On the other hand, we could repair our old HP with a new motherboard and hard drive, but I wonder why do this when we could replace it with a brand new clean and secure computer.  
  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I hope that I didn't ask any stupid questions, and I appreciate all your answers.  

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