Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

I reveal the search term that leads more people to Ask Leo! than any other, any discuss why it matters.

Listen to the podcast: My Most Popular Search Term


Last week I revealed the most frequent question I get at Ask Leo! and discussed its significance. This week I want to examine the search term that leads more people to Ask Leo! than any other, and why it's significant in a different, yet related way.

More people come to Ask Leo! via Google by looking for information on something called "lsass.exe" than any other search phrase. The article they land on is What are "LSASS", "LSASS.EXE" and "Sasser" and how do I know if I'm infected? What do I do if I am?

Now, LSASS is a component of windows xp, and has the unfortunate distinction of appearing in the error messages that result from some crashes due to the sasser worm and other viruses. Most folks don't know, or really care, what LSASS is, nor should they. But there it is, in an error message they get, often when their system is hosed. In fact, so many people believe that LSASS.exe is the virus, that they often delete it, thus rendering their systems completely unbootable.

So why is this significant?

It's significant because the vulnerability that these viruses exploit was patched close to two years ago. And yet thousands of people every month are still looking for help on the issue today.

The conclusion I draw is this: too many people still aren't keeping their machines up to date. Too many people still aren't using firewalls. Too many still aren't using anti-virus software or keeping their virus signature databases up to date.

The lesson that I take away from all this is basically the same as last week: we have a long, long way to go in keeping the internet safe and secure if so many people are still not taking the right steps to keep themselves safe.

And we still have a lot of education to provide.

Have a comment? Go to, enter 6213 in the go to article number box in the upper right. Add your comments to the discussion, I'd love to hear from you.

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Article C2340 - April 24, 2005 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?


May 6, 2005 10:33 PM

No article to read. WTF?

May 7, 2005 5:35 AM

It's a podcast. Listen to the audio.

Ronald E. Bauer
November 12, 2005 12:46 PM

Leo: I have a Dell 4700 dimension with a DVD andCD rom drive and I wanted to copy a music CD for the car, leaving n=one for te house. One of the icons says record now and the other is called
media player which is drive
E. Record Now is drive D. I wanted to copy from drive E t Drive D, one drawer to another but nohing was "ripped" using their term and I was unable to prepare a duplicate disc; I am told there is some kind of a software conflict. Can you help me out?

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