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Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

bill buckner formulated on Friday :
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Why yes, there definitely is some of that - FUD helps sales.

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Well, you're only going to get opinions anyway, so I don't see anything
wrong with the answers you got from others.

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Understanding how malware has evolved over time gives one better
insight into why scanners are (or were) needed. Basically it was for
"viruses" more than it was for non-replicating malware. The landscape
has changed and it is easy to dismiss scanners as not even being needed
when most malware can be avoided by policy alone. IMO one shouldn't
forget why they were needed in the first place just because most
threats *today* aren't viral.

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I don'tknow about Win7 or Win8, but the Vista firewall has another user
interface that has better granularity of control than the more
user-friendly one that most people use. You might even consider looking
into that idea.



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

FromTheRafters used improper usenet message composition style by
unnecessarily full-quoting:

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Whether or not AV is bullshit has got nothing to do with what I think
about win-98.
 
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How many new or recently-new infectors and exploits have I posted to
this newsgroup, along with their VirusTotal scan results, with those
results showing a pathetically low initial detection rate for those
infectors?

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Because asking for personal recommendations for AV software is
idiosyncratic.

Everyone's use-case is different.

People have different level of OS patching.  People have different
thumb-drive sharing, file-downloading, e-mail reading and web-surfing
habbits.

Viral or exploit exposure is so random and infrequent that the only way
you're going to get any coherent idea about what is better than what is
from controlled lab conditions.

And since we know that new infectors or exploits are tested against
current AV defenses, we can be sure that these new agents will be
successful against some (or many) systems.

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

Virus Guy wrote:
 
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Just to expand on that -

Asking for personal AV recommendations is understandable (I can
understand why people do it) - but it's like asking how many angels can
dance on the head of a pin.  The question only seems rational...

To look at AV software from another side - I would value any AV software
that can competently and completely REMOVE all traces of a detected
mal-agent and RESTORE the system to it's previous known/good state.

Instead, it's my impression that the bulk of the work of removing and
restoring a system falls to the user, and frequently involves tearing a
system apart, looking for info about the agent (which we see here in
this group all the time), re-installing the OS, etc.  If so, then I
question what good did the AV software really do for me.

For any infection that is obvious (with or without the AV software
telling me something is wrong) then what good is the AV software if I
have to end up cleaning the system / re-installing the OS myself?

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

Virus Guy used his keyboard to write :
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I prefer detection and avoidance over identification and removal.
Antimalware on the other hand, I prefer identification and removal over
detection. In fact, I use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware that way (free
version) whereas I was using AntiVir as a hooked scanner.
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IMO, the worth of the AV is in avoiding the ones it knows about. As for
recovery, I don't look to the AV/AM for that - one should have backups.
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It's good for the ones that it knows (or cares) about.



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

Virus Guy brought next idea :
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Quite a few.
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Right, so he gets opinions. What else could one expect from asking in a
group like this.
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Also, some put more importance on detection rates and performance
history than in timely distribution of definition files.
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AV isn't (or wasn't) about exploit exposure - and there just aren't as
many viruses now as there could be.
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Yep, but all of that doesn't mean one should not have a detector.

So, what exactly *is* your recommendation still Norton 2001?



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

bill buckner was thinking very hard :

[...]

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You might find this interesting in that respect.

http://www.itsec.it/2012/09/11/wirenet-the-password-stealing-trojan-lands-on-linux-and-os-x /

[...]



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?


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http://www.itsec.it/2012/09/11/wirenet-the-password-stealing-trojan-lands-on-linux-and-os-x /
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No, I'm not surprised, especially as more people migrated over to the Mac
based systems.  Heck, no one is totally immune are they.

bill


Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

bill buckner wrote:
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No, they're not! ;-)

Methinks you didn't read at the link I provided for you! Shame on you!

Here is the 'Answer' I chose ...............


An iframe or keylogger or any infection on a website makes one
"vulnerable" because first they are either disguised or actived simply
by visiting.  You cannot reasonably check in advance to be absolutely
certain if any of these things are there or what they are or how they
are activated or how to visit the site and avoid them.  If it were
possible, then all the precautions we take (such as those listed above
would either not be needed or could be cut back or this new method would
have been included).  The above response is the best (and virtually
only) way to defend against such things.  There is no special tactic
beyond what was mentioned there to protect against this (or similar
threats) other than using internet options to block so much that you
won't be able to effectively view and work on many if not most normal
sites.


The standard settings recommended are typically sufficient.  Even if you
were to block far more to the point where you would find browsing
cumbersome if not annoying or virtually impossible, I'm not sure you'd
be absolutely sure to block all such code (but that's just simply too
much and would make browsing a nightmare of access problems, page
rendering problems, constant approval of prompts when you really have no
idea whether or not it's safe to do so without looking at the code,
unreadable pages and non-functioning features, buttons, links, and other
things).


If you don't understand how an iframe itself can ever be dangerous,
meaning you don't understand what an iframe is, try starting here:
http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_iframe.asp and from there to the
tutorial at the bottom http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_iframe.asp .
In essence it is a type and/or method of coding, and if present can,
like all code on the web page, be used for good or evil - it can help
direct you properly or can include malware or send you to another
location to be hacked.


You can't find out in advance if a page contains such coding.  But once
you are there, you can right click on the page and click "View Source"
and, after reading the above articles on iframes, look through the
source to see if any of the methods or coding techniques or terms to
incorporate iframes exist anywhere in the code.  Then you need to see
what it does and how it operates (and by then if it was the type to
activate on opening the page, you've already been attacked and if it is
the type that operates when you do something, then you need to analyze
what it does to see if it's dangerous - and if it sends you to another
page/site, then you need to check out that site since merely sending you
to a site isn't necessarily harmful unless the site is harmful).  I
suspect by now you realize that such effort makes browsing hideous and
even still there's no 100% guarantee because these people live to make
code that gets past all efforts to stop it.


I hope that explains the part I overlooked - not because I meant to
avoid it, but because what I suggested is the only reasonable way to
work regardless of the type or mechanism of infection (I suppose one
could always do more, but then IMHO the burden begins to exceed the
risks).  There's no special tactic for this one - it's just one of the
many ways used to try to get by defenses.


The defenses suggested above aren't perfect, but they've kept me safe
for years and should work for you.  Not 100% of the time (there's no
such thing), but as much as is reasonable.

Good luck!




Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

bill buckner wrote :
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No, but it sure was a hard sell some years ago. Many were under the
impression that malware was a result of an insecure OS. Certainly that
is a factor, but not the biggest one.



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

On Fri, 21 Sep 2012 06:05:28 -0400, "bill buckner"
Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?:

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So why do you think you should upgrade?

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I've not read anything to convince me that Win7 would improve my
computing over WinXP; but it would break a lot of software.

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

CRNG explained on 9/22/2012 :
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If said software had been correctly written for XP, there wouldn't be a
problem. XP was lenient with software compliance, not so much with
later MS OSes.



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?


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How much longer MS will support XP with updates is the question I ask and is
the reason I'm considering the upgrade to Win 7.  So far, I've been running
XP for at least 10 years and it updates regularly from MS, but for how much
longer.  Since Win 8 is already out, there will come a time, maybe even
soon, where support for XP is dropped I would think.

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I agree, but I do have some applications that would benefit from the greater
RAM that 7 offers.  XP, at least the version I have, has a RAM limit of I
believe 2 GB.


bill


Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

bill buckner wrote:
 
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April 2014.

A date far enough out into the future that it should not be the reason
why anyone should be considering abandoning XP *now* and going to Seven.

I have never touched Vista, and have maybe a few hours exposure to
seven, but even though it is not the OS that runs on my own PC's, I have
installed and tweaked many installations of XP over the past 7-8 years,
so from a file-system-navigation and "where things are" pov, XP is
similar enough to win-98 for me (given the "classic", etc) that I could
live with XP (running from a FAT32 volume) if someone put a gun to my
head and said I had to give up win-98.

Now, like I said, I have zero experience with vista, and almost zero
experience with seven, but a couple of years ago I did install Microsoft
Multipoint Server 2010 on a quad-core system with 8 gb of ram, two video
cards (driving a total of 4 monitors) and 4 keyboards and 4 mice.
Multipoint server is basically Server 2008-r2 with the ability to host
many simultaneous users on the same box.  Each user has their own
monitor, desktop, keyboard and mouse, but they all have access to the
same hard drive (same files, etc).

If Server 2008 is in any way similar to windows seven (in terms of the
user desktop and file-system experience) then I would rather slide down
the sharp end of a razor blade than use Windows 7.  The levels of
abstraction that removes the user (even the admin) from the actual
file-system and registry is something I simply will not tolerate.

So the way I see it, going from XP to 7 is way more than just being
concerned with "will this or that app work on 7".  The question should
be "will I be happy with the additional layers of crap inserted between
me and the real file system" not to mention the many unnecessary changes
to configuration menus.

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

Now I'll find out for sure.  To test the waters, I used Virtualbox to
install 7 as a guest on this host XP system.  I tried to place Vbox into
Sandboxie, but it didn't work, so I'll just have to risk running it as-is
as, so far, I haven't found any helpful info to allow Vbox to work inside
Sandboxie.  I can always install Sandboxie on the guest system and go from
there if I have to.

Bill

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Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

Per Virus Guy:
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What would the alternative be?

I'm no virus expert, but I have had to deal with two PCs that
became infected.

One was because the operator was just to macho to follow the AV
popup's recommendation to not open a file.  The other, I dunno...
my guess was that they visited the wrong site with no virus
protection installed.

The first one was so nasty that the system had to be rebuilt from
scratch.   The second one I managed to get rid of.

But either way, what would the alternative be?  

Without AV, why wouldn't we all be running StuxNet variants by
now.
--
Pete Cresswell

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

"(PeteCresswell)" wrote:
 
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I have no easy answer.

I get ridiculed when I point out that my own extensive history with
win-98 usage (and used by 1/2 dozen others in a corporate setting
currently and for the past 10 years) is that those systems seem to never
become infected with anything.  So I have my solution that works in my
computing universe.

When it comes to NT-based machines, one "hunch" I have as to how to
better protect them is to be very agressive at including mainstream
advertising and web-metrics domains in the system HOSTS file (ie -
blocking your computer from accessing those sites).

The owners/operators of those companies would raise a stink if their
domains were blocked en-mass by hosts-file entries put there by AV/AM
software, but I think that some fraction of web-based exploitation
happens when those servers (or downstream affiliates) are hacked.

The increasing complexity of website construction and linkage to other
companies (and their servers) I believe is the source of a great deal of
browser-based system infections, something that gets very little
attention in the press - and for good reason.  Their current economic
model of how they monentize the web depends on these relationships.

Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

(PeteCresswell) expressed precisely :
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An umbrella manufacturer suggests that his product helps keep you dry
in the rain. His salesperson claims that these umbrellas are
unsurpassed in their ability to keep you dry in the rain. Rain Guy
comes along and says well ... you still end up stepping in puddles and
cars still go by and splash you and the wind comes up and gets you wet
anyway - so what's the point, you *still* get wet. Besides, most of the
time it's not raining and the damned thing's useless.

The thing with malware is, the more people get wet, the more it rains
on others.



Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

FromTheRafters wrote:
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@FTR

I'd very much appreciate a comment from you with regard the Microsoft
Answers detail which I posted in this thread.

Perhaps you'll need to read it first! ;-)


Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?

David_B wrote :
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I read it when you mentioned adding the jsquery spoofing link. I only
mentioned that as a way of showing you that finding malcode on a
webpage involves knowing what you are looking for. Generally, you can
visit pages with a tool that doesn't render the page but only displays
it as text. Sometimes you will find "obfuscation" which can be a clue
that someone is trying to hide something. That being said, sometimes
programmers try at an ill-fated attempt at obfuscation and encryption
to hide legitimate code from those who would 'steal' that code and use
it for themselves (like Chris) so finding something that seems to be
trying to hide is not always an indication that malcode is present.

It looks like you had a good discussion there, and I believe any
misinformation would be removed by the moderator or at least objected
to by other participants.

Was there something in particular that you wanted me to comment on?



Tool - identify it please! (was Re: recommendations for free anti-virus and firewall?)

FromTheRafters wrote:
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[....]
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http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/forum/protect_other-protect_scanning/is-it-really-possible-to-be-safe-on-line/75d688e5-d09a-4d4d-8758-6715053dea0d

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I appreciate the comments you have /already/ made - *thank you*! :-)

You said "Generally, you can visit pages with a tool that doesn't render
the page but only displays it as text."

I'd be grateful if you would share the name of such a tool and, perhaps,
where it may be obtained. Other folk might like to experiment with it too!

Note:  Cross-posted to Alt.2600 to access addition expertise!




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