VIRUS WARS II

canon

In the last newsletter, “Virus Wars I” I talked about some of the more recent “custom threats” and how the enemy is becoming more professional in their approach to infecting our systems . Today I want to identify these threats and see what we can do to protect ourselves. Instead of scattering links through-out the article, I’m including them all at the end for convenient reference. Believe me, protecting against these threats isn’t easy. The changes we’re seeing in malware can be organized into three basic categories.

ENEMY STRATEGIES

Immense volume of the variants being released is what makes it impossible for researchers to keep pace. They are winning because of sheer numbers.

New Compilers prevent detection with outdated, signature based, detection software. An example would be if my DNA changed every time I left the house.

Custom Design or Micro Malware puts the focus on small select groups, thus attracting less attention until it’s too late.

These three strategies are involved with all of the new threats. The names of specific threats change so frequently and the variants morph so quickly that specific names can’t keep pace. Something as simple as Win32 just doesn’t do it anymore. Because of that, I am dividing the threats into 5 groups starting with the most prevelant at the top.

TOP 5 THREATS

1. MalWare 2. is the second generation of product from malware designers and writers. The name indicates that the software is not only still here but is now improved. The StormWorm is a successful recent example. It manifests such variety of behavior and reproduction that Zero-minute exploit, rather than Zero-day exploit, is the term used to describe it.

Malware 2.0 renders signature detection ineffective by the use of new compilers. New compilers change the signature each time it is implemented. There is no commonality remaining to detect.

2.Trojans have for a long time come ahead of the common virus on the list of dangerous enemy weapons. Today we’re seeing a major increase of infections to mobile devices, and not just for windows based systems. Symbian and iPhone are getting their share.

3. RootKits are proliferating and a specific variation is the bootkit. A bootkit activates as soon as a computer is turned on. They are located in the boot section of the hard drive and are almost impossible to find and remove. Remember the outcries when Sony first implemented its anti-copy protection. What made it such a scandal was that they used this very tactic to provide anti-copy protection for CDs and DVDs. They modified this section without the users informed consent.

4. Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace deserve a category unto themselves. Because users trust these sites there is a huge risk of infection. Viruses spread because of the users willingness to view and download anything that is offered. This presents a huge opportunity for malicious code to be embedded and hide until downloaded as requested by the user.

5. Simple Virus infections while slipping in notoriety are still increasing in numbers. Chinese cyber-criminals targeting on-line gamers looks to be one of the year’s hot new targets.

All malware has improved its self-protection. Daily it is becoming more adept at hindering detection and stopping the functionality of security software. It is now capable of protecting itself and attacking our defenses. To combat this progression todays antivirus needs to be as much concerned with protecting itself as protecting your system.

PROTECTING THE FORT

First thing to do is clean up the operating system so it’s ready to accept the software needed to protect you. I suggest going to our OverDrive scan and using the FREE scan to detect any and all settings problems. You can go through them manually or you can use Optimize to perform the corrections for you.

After running OverDrive check the Windows Update site and get the latest. Let me caution XP users and tell you that I’m not giving a blanket OK to install SP3. You will need to determine whether you should install SP3 and whether you think it’s worth the risk. Previous articles are available here and I’ll reference them at the end of this article also.

Firewall

Use a hardware firewall. Nothing is better than a router for preventing inbound intruders. This is true whether you’re using Vista or XP. There are many choices available for under $50.00. You can get them on-line or from your local retail store. For the “Phone Home”, outbound variety, I suggest XP users get a third party firewall like ZoneAlarm (free). XP’s firewall does not prevent outbound connections but Vista users should be good using the included Vista Firewall.

Antivirus

Today there is no getting around the need for an antivirus. The only question is whether you want to purchase, or use free.

The best free variety is, without a doubt, AVAST. It’s not a trial that expires, it’s excellent at detection, and it also has real time, early warning.

The votes for best paid antivirus go to Kaspersky with NOD 32 coming in a close second. The difference between the two seems to center on the frequency of updates and Kaspersky ekes out that win. If you’re looking for a paid antivirus then my recommendation is Kaspersky followed closely by ESET NOD 32. A third option that gets good reviews from our own spyware forum is AVIRA.

In addition to installing and using an antivirus it’s extremely important to update your definitions regularly. Updating definitions assures you that your antivirus knows what to look for. All antivirus software companies worth their salt will update frequently, some weekly, some daily, and some, like Kaspersky, hourly. Most can be set to do this automatically. This is one of the things I see people forgetting to do. When asked, some of us don’t know if we’re updated or not.

Something new in the mix for AV software is control of applications allowed to open in the background. This feature can reduce some of the overhead responsible for slowing a pc. Most applications try to open when Windows boots, but there’s really no reason for most to be running in the background. NOD 32 is just one of several programs offering this feature.

The biggest mistake I see is users installing multiple antivirus programs. Do Not Use More Than 1 antivirus program. Do not have more than one antivirus program installed on your pc. Doing this will prevent the software from properly protecting you at the very least, and at the very worst it can prevent your pc from operating. Multiple AVs will slow your PC to a crawl. It will cause all sorts of weird and crazy behavior similar to being infected by a virus.

Online Scans

One of the good things about the rapid growth of SaaS is the number of FREE Online virus scans available. Using an online scan won’t prevent you from being infected, but it will detect when you are infected. I’m including some of the best for you here.

Please, be sure to uninstall or turn off your AVs before using the online scans. Using multiple scans can give you an increased measure of protection. *Please note: I’m not advocating the use of multiple antivirus programs. These are virus scans that reside on-line. They install only a small ActiveX utility and not an antivirus program.

Anti-Spyware

Anti-Spyware is the third line of defense. Exterminate heads my list of must have programs to remove spyware gathered from daily surfing. Coupled with programs like Adaware and SpyBot, I know my systems are clean and ready to give performance that is not crippled by the junk clogging today’s Internet. Look for a major change in the way Exterminate handles your spyware. The changes should come soon

In addition to the programs designed to find and remove spyware from your machine, some of the best will even prevent infections. Tops on that list is SpyBot S&D. It comes with a large scan list that is updated frequently. It also has the ability to immunize against infections and stop unauthorized programs from starting with Windows. Updates are frequent and the folks at Spybot are on top of all changes affecting your security. Immediately after the release of Chrome, Spybot got busy and has already completed support for scanning and cleaning Chrome cookies. It is expected to have immunization available, provided Chrome’s structure will allow it. Install these programs and run them frequently for full protection.

Your last line of defense is direct help form sites like PC Pitstop. Our forum is filled with people that want nothing more than to help keep you computer free of malware and running strong. Powerful programs, like HiJack This, require trained advisors to help remove todays malware. Without these advisors you’re likely to do more damage than the threats your fighting.

For easier jobs our “AntiSpyware Brigade” is able to solve most problems and the User To User section is there for any and all problems not centering on malware. Use all these tools and malware will not be a problem for you.

Happy Computing.

FREE FIREWALL
ZoneAlarm

FREE ANTIVIRUS
Avast 4 Home
AVIRA

FREE ON-LINE VIRUS SCANS
Kaspersky

PC Pitstop

NOD32

FREE ANTI SPYWARE
Adaware
SpyBot

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35 thoughts on “VIRUS WARS II

  1. Okay checked in the article, the site is still listed at the top, the author made it not be an active link anymore, so those who want to test their software, they can copy and paste the url and see how they fare. If the site is still as it was, it is nasty.

  2. Never mind on clicking on the link, I see the author did as I asked and removed it, because I didn’t want to have someone inadverdently clicking on it and getting infected. But to any who want to test their software, let me know and I will supply the url to them in an Email so they can go to the site and test away. This is a do at your own risk, and I would suggest using a computer that you use for testing for this purpose. Cause I don’t want anyone to possibly risk damaging their main machine, I have to look and see if Google has taken the site down off their rankings yet too. I reported that site to all the search engines as an infection hazzard and danger to computers.

  3. To Mark Lytle, I don’t know how much you do know on A/V or Spyware and Malware removal, so won’t say you are a noob, all I can say is I have more than the average IT person as well, and have had good experience with SAS, I also use the Hijack this log system to show and report things that it and other setups remove and don’t, I also have a friend from California, who is a real good IT person too, and he has had issues with SAS as well. We found what was the cause of his issue and he now likes the program as well. It was driver conflicts on his machine, that caused his problems. As per each user, a machine is unique to each person, what I mean is each person sets up their machine in different ways. As per their use habits. Sometimes these setups can conflict with some programs and software, and A/V and Anti spyware and malware programs are no different to this. And if I were in your shoes and had bad luck with the program, I would feel the same, so I am not going to rag on you, because you may have a legitimate issue, something that I and others haven’t come across yet, but on the same note, don’t condemn a program until you test and see what caused the issue, as my friend in Cal. did. We worked together on it for a week until we found the issue he was having. Though his issue wasn’t the same as yours, it was still a valid issue, His install severely slowed down his machine and kept registering his A/V program as a trojan. But once we found the drivers that were in conflict from anothe program he had, and re-adjusted things, he was running fine. I do hope you do find the time to test SAS more, even if you put it on a computer you have just for that purpose, I have more than one computer, and one of the machines is specifically to test new software, and rate it for companies. I try to run them seperately, together and in mixes with other software of the same kind. Purposfully trying to crash that computer. And I only reccomend what I find that works from my tests.

    To Brian, okay you perform real research on these, then you are guilty of what you accused the rest of us of, where is your data and stats to prove this. Like I said to Mark, I only reccomend things that I have severely tested first. Not just because I hear or think it is a good product, I test first, and when the test trials are over, I make my decision on what I would use on my computer, and some of the reccomendations I have gave are from what I have found that have worked from my tests, if you want a good trial of your software, then by all means visit the link I put at the first of this thread, and see how well your programs work, but I would use a computer you don’t normally use, I found that site from a friend looking for info on his line of work and it hit him so hard, that he thought his computer was useless and would have to rebuild from scratch the O/S and his programs. I saved his computer with the very programs listed here and a couple I have that I use. The extra programs I used that aren’t listed here aren’t A/V or anti spyware/malware programs, they are made specifically on accessing computers when they will not respond or start, they also do more. But will not go into that for security reasons. I repair computers and make custom ones for people, and on my computers I make, I put all the bundle packages I personally use on them for my customers. I also post my test work on the A/V and Malware forums and other sites for that info, for others to know what is out there and to protect their computers, this is just an article and if it were a trade paper site or trade site for this subject and had the room for the test results and log files to show things then I would post it. But as the author of this said, it is an article, and it should be kept that way, this isn’t a white paper site, so the info on that should be found there on those sites and other sites of the same issue.

  4. 12 years ago I was asked to recommend a virus protection product for my company. Before I did so, I actually performed REAL research. I examined studies of lab tests that were performed to determine which products side by side were able to handle which threats and to what degree of success. The tests were comprehensive using as many viral threats as they could find in the wild as examples. My recommendation was backed with statistics that demonstrated effectiveness.

    I see nothing like this neither in the article nor in the comments.

    All I read here are folk asserting that one product is good over another with very little back their assumptions. If “XYZ” program is keeping your system clean, how can you know this? There is no real substance to any of the assertations of how effective these programs are. No testing quoted, only anecdotal testimony of how people “feel” the software is doing on their system with no real facts to demonstrate this. Beyond how “user friendly” one product might be over another in terms of interface or performance, I don’t find a single opinion here worth consideration due to the lack of hard facts. I don’t have those facts either I guess as I am too lazy to repeat such research again anytime soon. But then I am not asserting that I magically “know” that one AV program is better than another. Nor have I purported to have written a supposedly useful article on it.

  5. Back @ Chucklin – never heard of your sources – don’t trust your answers. At the same time _ have doing this probably much linger than you – it is what I do. So I don’t have much to say here other than SAS is porbably imperfect and do not use FREE solutions – none of them are perfect. No offense Chucklin brother….

  6. your number 1 threat is wrong! the Number 1 Virus threat is your own behavior , free music , free movies , free cute little cursors , the list goes on and on

  7. I’ve found that Windows Live OneCare v.2 does a fine job of keeping my system clean. Version 2 includes Defender so I don’t have to deal with that any more. Of course I visit generally sites where there’s not likely to be all that much problem. Sure it costs $49.95 per year but I’m never aware of it running and I really don’t think that it slows me down at all. Of course I am running Vista Ultimate SP1 and now IE8 Beta 2, but I’ve never been aware of anything that seems infectious. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but I do have Comcast 12mb/sec service along with digital cable for TV, though I declined the AV that they offer. With both the Vista and the OneCare firewalls it seems that I have a pretty good protective suite, and the nice thing is that in operation it is never noticeable. The IE8 is great, faster than IE7 and better protection.

  8. No AV/AS is used here and I deliberately download and install any and all types of malware then upload the results to antimalware authors for any needed inclusions to their databases.

    Hardware FW, Returnil, Sandboxie, Ghost Images and Virtual Machines are my solutions.

    In my cleanup routines of the many other machines I have worked on and besides manual cleanups I also utilize Malwarebyte’s Antimalware, SuperAntispyware, AVZ and Dr Web’s Cureit.

    @ Mark Lytle, I don’t believe a word you are implying about SAS deleting your pics.

    I would have to ascertain that you actually don’t know what you are doing.

  9. OK – I just let the ‘superantispyware’ installed for two days – its very quiet malicious software. I was working with pictures and all of a sudden this thing – as I have not changed a thing or have been attacked – will delete pictures and folders – and they not infected.

    You have a very sneaky criminal out there that is malicious. And don’t give me ‘any’ ‘well you must be infected with something else or your pics are’

    This software is a ‘bug’ in itself… I am far beyond the average IT guy in this… let alone any typical user.

    So bad news for that product – I just lost a few slides I will have to re-scan and a camping trip of 70+ pics because this things was running… I can recover – but I see a lot of – here – amatuers…. so I’ll say good night and no worries…I will not be back thank you.

  10. To Patrick,
    Through the years it is common practice NOT to use more than one anti-virus. Problems result in one reacting to anothers real-time protection and scans. They may conflict in ways that may generate messages from one or the other and/or you may see your computer get real slow. I have found usually more than one anti-spyware – if they don’t give obvious signs of conflict – to run simultaneously in real-time – is OK. You want to pick ONE good AV and then at least one good AS. For your choices as long as they aren’t complaining and don’t obvious slow wach other or the computer down, ok, but two AVs – I say no. I personally find that Trend as with Norton – may catch the virus but not the other malware. In the end – I say read some reviews and decide for yourself. Try the different trials if available – uninstall one before installing the other, run your scans, and see what really works for you. Another consideration is – is the use of the computer, who is using it – where are they going on the web, messaging, email etc. No offense but kids or teens or even adults using MySpace and other sites designed for entertainment or the POP culture, and other more unwholesome sites – I would recommend you use the strongest products you can find and schedule scans daily – maybe at night after bed time. Again above I mention what I use as I have used pretty much all mentioned in this collection of input here and the stuff I use will find things these others do not and has strong real-time protection without hogging resources or generating numerous redundant pop-ups. Its the best combo I have seen yet. Keep in mind in six months that can all change – the very popular vendors of the past have slipped in their ability to protect against malware – that is just obvious. And maybe in time they will improve again – it is a rollercoaster ride, always has been in this war between protection and those trying to defeat it. So good luck.

  11. +1 for SuperAntispyware. Just works, and removes many things that Spybot and Adaware don’t, and many more that they don’t even find.

  12. I have both Trend Anti-Virus, and the Webroot Spyware which was recently upgraded to an anti-virus itself. Can you tell me if they are compatible?

  13. hi … I have norton from my purchace of this laptop and actually from past experience don’t really like the effect of a constant anti virus program on my computing habits. So I disabled it.
    I will attempt to completely errase it later.
    I use skybot and windows defender and clean my own cookies [don’t always want to delete them all]
    I was always happy with zone alarm free on my windows 98 computer but vista covers that for me now.

    As for the …. Can’t find Server ….
    i got that with an explorer update recently so I had to unupdate … twice now. …. so I don’t accept any internet explorer updates as of late…
    I wrote microsoft about it but the next update did the same thing … so they obviously haven’t fixed the problem.

    My advice to you if you are getting that message when you go onto the net … is to uninstall the last internet explorer upldate that you got … probably the night before the problem happened.

    good luck

  14. Oh and one more question… If we are to go up against ‘bootkits’ then it looks like we’ll need a protection that will offer bootable CD creation with current definitions. Does anyone know of a ‘good’ product that offers such?
    Thanks.

  15. I try to sort through the reviews primarily the anti-spyware reviews often to see what products are in the top 3. Reviews usually differ. So I spend some money and will download and run these on my computers or on client systems with their knowledge. I use ESET and CA and tried Kapersky. As for a stand-alone anti-spyware product, (have tried Spybot, Adware and some of the other mentioned), I use one that doesn’t get into the reviews that I feel works best and better than those mentioned. Its published by Maxpcsecure, called Spyware Detector. I did some research a year ago or so and found this to be a favorite of some high tech bunch so I gave it a try. I use it in combo with ESET Smart Security and nothing gets past these two together. It seems necessary to use more than one protection today. Spyware Detector will find and eradicate the nasty little buggers that your other software will not. And it does a lot of monitoring – I believe moreso than others. And it doesn’t throw pop-ups at the user like Kapersky – that are too technical for them to understand. Anyway its an ongoing battle and sometimes I don’t care what people use – these infections get around their protection. I have seen spyware certainly get around Norton and AVG and McAfee and to some extent CA… so I prefer to offer customers CA or ESET along with Spyware Detector. The only problems I have had with Spyware Detector is their tech support is useless, and on some of the really cheap computers – I believe it may conflict with certain drivers and cause BSOD but that is rare. Maxpcsecure also has a really nice registry cleaner and protector that does regular registry backups. I just cleaned a computer where a trojan was destructive and took out a lot of registry and effectively almost made Windows impossible to use. It also changed ALL of the System Restore points to the now defunct registry as I could see this in the system volume information folders. This registry protection had backups which I could restore where the bug wasn’t looking…. fixed. Otherwise – it was rebuild time. So the keep up the good fight.

  16. Hi all I would like to say that some antivirus software does slow down the PC IMO. I say this because its what I read on some forums and some also advise people to remove these antivirus programs and replace them with faster alternatives ie Avast, AVG,NOD 32 antivirus(paid) or Kapersky(paid). However, sometimes removal of AV programs is not complete, this I have seen. As far as the Norton 360 version 2 question from Tony I say google the name and add review to the search. Your will find all sorts of opinions on the subject. The only important question is does it do what you want it to do, without slowing you down noticably. As far as Firewalls there is a review site at Matousec.com ->> http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/ The firewalls are tested on how they resist penetration in many different ways and they are rated. The high rated firewalls resist penetration the best and are recomended at the top of the ratings page here->> http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php
    One note about Comodo firewall Pro is its free BUT you will need to learn much on configureing its firewall. My advice either use a hardware firewall or find a good firewall that is easy to use if you are a beginner (noob).
    My two cents – Matt

  17. rhemaangel, I would suggest any of the anti-spyware and malware products listed here, and also would suggest defragging your hard drive, and performing disk clean up regularly on the hard drive, and using the disk checkup and maintenance tools in windows to check for hard drive bad sectors as well. Sometimes these can slow down your computer even if you don’t have any spyware or malware. Consistant maintenance and checkups are essential to keeping the computer running smoothly. This is something I do regularly on my own puters, as well as regular runs of my anti-spyware and malware programs, as well as my anti-virus program. I like the AVG and Avast anti-virus programs the best, and have Nortons on one of my computers, and have to say that the Avast, and AVG do remove more things and check for more things than Nortons, or McAfee.

  18. I Highly recommend the new Norton Internet Security 2009. It is honestly a vast improvement on previous versions, and includes a host of new features that increase its efficiency by a huge amount… it is easily the fastest AV at the moment. You can check out a review at http://www.pcmag.com, type in Norton and select reviews, then find the NIS 2009 version. It is expensive, yes, but it is 3 licenses and extremely worth it.

  19. So what works well anti-spyware-wise with McAfee Internet Security Suite??? (I don’t have parental controls on — no kids at home, or Site Advisor — slowed surfing down to a crawl).

  20. Oh just in case lawrence, if you have a router, you may want to reset the modem, and router, usually you just have to unplug them both from power for about 2 to 3 minutes, then plug the power cords back in, but if your modem has a phone line in it, you have to hit the reset button in the back, you will need an ink pen to do that or a pin. Sometimes the routers spaz out and cause no connectivity, also sometimes the routers die, and you may have to get a new one, if the reset doesn’t work with the router, then connect your computer directly to the modem. And run the connection wizard to let it know you are going to connect directly to the internet, and see if you get online, if you have just the modem connected, it may be bad, though the ISP’s tell you that can’t happen, I know it does happen, I have had that to happen to me first hand, and told my cable ISP I had a bad modem, they didn’t believe me till I bought a modem myself and installed it. When it worked I physically took their modem back to them and said you can have this trash, I have a better one on my line now. When they tested it and found I was right and it was bad, they actually paid me back for what I had to pay for my modem, and apologized. Small wonder, being my cable ISP is Comcast. But small miracles do happen.

  21. My advice to lawrence Kaiser, is find the sites that has the programs we are discussing on another computer, and download them and burn them to a disc, On the Anti Malware Toolkit, you need to also copy and paste the instructions on what to use and do with the programs to be the most effective, to a notepad file. and put it on the disc too, when you run that whole list of programs the way the instructions tell you, you will wipe out anything that redirects your web browser, or says you are infected with a virus, and the message supposedly comes from Windows AntiVirus 2008, which is an outright phony, because Microsoft doesn’t have an antivirus program. And they will remove other spyware and malware, and trojans as well. My motto is the better armed you are against these threats, the better you are. Also look up a little tool called Dial a Fix, it is a little automated program that resets things on your windows update, in case any of the malware messes that up, and you can start keeping your computer updates again. That is one handy tool, it beats manually going through the regestry and setting things again, and is much faster.

    I hope this information helps you lawrence Kaiser, let me know when you get your computer salvaged and working proper again.

  22. I have a treo 800w with windows mobile 6.1 is there a virus software that can protect it ? any other things that can protect from other hazards. thanks keep up the good work guys

  23. Hay, now I’m reading this:

    “…product from malware designers and writers…”

    Shouldn’t those bastards just be sued and taken down?
    Because after all, they’re damaging and intruding people’s properties!
    If I knew a person like that, I would sure smack them head-on in the face.
    “GET A PROPER JOB!” lol

  24. It’s me commenting on my own comments. In the paragraph beginning with;

    “With respect to Antivirus programs, frankly,I’m not in the least surprised”. It should read as:

    With respect to Antivirus programs, frankly,I’m not in the least surprised that AVG8 free isn’t mentioned here as the free version is a disaster when it comes to hogging CPU especially at bootup but also routinely.

    Sorry aout that omission folks.

  25. Well folks, what is obvious is this. Were this subject about fly-fishing instead of Antivirus programs or firewalls, you can bet your bottom dollar there would be a hundred different flies mentioned up there which is the democratic way of letting everyone have their say. Fair enough I say. However, as Alexander Gieg rightly points out, Zone Alarm free can no longer be relied upon to cope with today’s increasingly sophisticated threats, and in my humble opinion, should not be recommended as it has been by digg.

    COMODO is an excellent choice for anyone wishing to stay with a free firewall. On the Paid version front however, there are numerous contenders here too. I use Zone Alarm Pro and to date, it has never let me down. I also greatly appreciate its alerts with regard to requests from software which often try to gain access to privileged files and access to the internet, even though you may not currently be running those programs. Without this much needed feature, many programs would slip by quietly under the nose of the unsuspecting user infiltrating privileged files and resources and the internet, and of course reporting back to from whence they came.

    With respect to Antivirus programs, frankly,I’m not in the least surprised it isn’t mentioned here as the free version is a disaster when it comes to hogging CPU especially at bootup but also routinely.

    If in any doubt, google the subject and you’ll see what I mean. If you genuinely don’t suffer from this problem, then you’re either extremely fortunate, or you’re not paying enough attention to what’s going on with your machine. Finally, I would have expected to see Vipre given a mention, and though it’s a newbie from senbelt software, it equips itself admirably, and I would wholeheartedley recommend anyone to try the 15 day free trial which is a fully functional version.

    Having ran Trojan Hunter, uninstalled it then installed and ran SuperAntiSpyware, both of these otherwise excellent programs found nothing on my machine. Similarly uninstalling SAS and then installing and running Vipre revealed 6 items found one of which was a false positive. You’ve nothing to lose by trying it for 15 days and then if you’re not suitably impressed you can go back to your previous Antivirus program. My guess is though, you won’t, unless of course you blatantly refuse to paid for a Pro program.

    I’m not here to plug any particular program, only the ones which work for me, and let me finish with this, the “new” isn’t necessarily better than the “old”, it’s only better, “if” it’s actually better, not because is new. Vipre I know has been built from the ground upwards, it’s not a copy of anything. Try it, and convince yourself, you don’t need to listen to me.

  26. I thorougly agree with what you way about Avast free Anti-virus. It runs quietly in the background most of the time, so quiet in fact that you begin to wonder if it is doing anything at all apart from updating, when you are told it has updated and shown the details.
    But it isn’t so quiet if a virus appears, it suddenley comes to life, you get a loud sound and a a box suddenley appears on your screen telling you what it has found and gives you a choice of things to do, I always choose ‘move to chest’, then I can check it later. After this the box dissapears and you carry on with what you were doing knowing that the virus is in isolation and can do no more harm.

  27. What about a Symanted Endpoint? My girlfriend’s dad has an unlimited license and let me use it on my own box, and he told me it was the absolute best you could get anywhere. No doubt Endpoint is expensive, but if Kaspersky is better I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  28. An alternative to combat the ever growing threat of malware, is to use an alternative operating system, BSD,openSolaris and Linux are good examples.

    There are NO linux viruses in the wild, and the ones (very few) that are about are either very specifically designed for a particular target to be effective or they are actually proof of concept.

    Spyware is not a major issue beyond the use of cookies in the browser.

    Rootkits do exist, although due to the design of Linux it would need ‘roots’ permission to install.

    in fact for any system wide settings to be altered a correctly configured Linux install requires roots password for it to work.

    the same applies in *BSD and openSolaris based operating systems.

    Give a LiveCD a go in your machine, you may be pleasantly surprised.

  29. Hi, I’m writing to you from a college computer because i can’t acc ess the computer from home since yesterday. I get “cannot find server” page. A few year’s back I had a trojan called “about:blank”. Some people sent me programs that somehow got it quaranteed and I’ve had the computer running ever since. last few months when I’d log on I’d see the words ‘about blank’ for an instant before they were replaced by my MSN home page. Now when i get the “cannot find server” page i see “dsn error” for a flash on bottom taskbar and when I close the “cannot find” page i see for an instant “about:blank” on bottom taskbar/address. Any suggestions? Help??

  30. Great list of programs here…although I was surprised I didn’t see AVG on the list. I’ve found it to be of excellent use in the past, and I highly recommend it. It’s up there with Avast, in my opinion. Also, for a free firewall, COMODO is excellent.

  31. Concur completely with the use of MBAM and Superantispyware. These have a recent excellent reputation regarding detection and removal of some rather prevalent current rogue programs, where often it seems programs like AdAware don’t cut it.
    For more experienced users, a rootkit scanner could be useful, where this is suspected. Sophos, Trend Micro, and System internals (Rootkit revealer) have these available.

  32. Also to chime in on some great anti spyware programs there are also SuperAntiSpyware, and Malware Bytes Anti Malware, CCleaner, all are free, and can be downloaded, also there is a package, that will download them and SpyBot S&D,and Hackthis, it is called, Anti-Malware Tookit, and when you download it and use the directions that you can get at the website on using the components you can download through the Toolkit, you can remove your infections. And all programs that come in it are free, and are updated regularly, Also believe it or not, there is a decient antispyware program in comcasts toolbar, made by pest patrol and another anti spyware program from Microsoft themselves is Windows Defender, though the program was made by a company outside of Microsoft, Microsoft bought them for the program. It is really a great program too.

    I give these as add on’s for what you already gave, so people are well armed for the fight against malware, spyware, and viri. I do this as a for my friends, neighbors and others, to rid their systems from the infections they get. I have a couple of suites to combat this in my area, and should charge to remove the crap from the makers from their computers, but as I said these people here are friends, family, and neighbors, and I personally feel it is my duty as the only computer tech, that lives here to help keep them safe, so I offer some of what I use to your readers to use too.

    Best thing I can advise them is this, be careful of sites you visit, some of them will barrage and upload viri into your computer soon as you visit the site, I give a prime example: a friend of mine who does tattoo’s went to a site that was supposed to be a legit site for a company he dealt with over the phone, and he saw the site that used to be theirs, when he visited it he got infected so bad, it shut down his computer, I have reported this site to google, where he found the site, I since have removed his infections, after hours of work, and he is grateful, and I got a free $300 plus tattoo for it. If this site is still up, for anyone looking for anything and it pops up DO NOT click on the link, it will mean instant infection. I have verified it with my test computer:www . artistic-ventures.com/ or the variant:www . artistic-venturesonline.com, these are what infected him, hopefully google will remove them from the list.

    By reporting these sites to you I hope to help to keep some of the customers to you out of harms way too. Thanks for letting me rant.

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