Are You A Target For Zero Day Attacks?


According to Wikipedia, “A zero-day (or zero-hour or day zero) attack or threat is a computer threat that tries to exploit computer application vulnerabilities unknown to others or undisclosed to the software developer. Zero-day exploits (actual code that can use a security hole to carry out an attack) are used or shared by attackers before the software developer knows the vulnerability exists.”

When a security vulnerability is first discovered, it is usually by hackers and malware developers. The bad guys then write and distribute malware to exploit the vulnerability. Once a security fix is developed and distributed you are at safe….right? Wrong, until you update and install it on your computer, you are at risk

This is why I view all malware as Zero Day attacks. Unless I’ve installed the latest updates it doesn’t matter what program I use. The effectiveness of my software is determined as much by my diligence as it is by developers. Until I update my security software, all attacks and threats are zero day attacks for me.

For several years I’ve written articles on trojans, hijackers, and all forms of security threats. The main theme has been “HOW TO REMOVE” these threats once infected. The majority of those infected do have an antivirus installed but either the user hasn’t updated or their particular program hasn’t written protection yet.

Because of this I’ve always advocated the use of more than one security program for detection and removal. This only increases your chances of successfully removing any and all threats. Please don’t take this as meaning you should run more than one real time antivirus. That is the worst thing you can do. Multiple programs, will give false positives and slow your system to a crawl. I’m talking multiple detect and removal.

Methods Of Defense

Prevention is a must. For years now I’ve used no real time protection and have even suggested that for others. I’ve always been able to get away with it but things are different now. Malware is much more sophisticated than in years past. Today I use realtime protection.

My antivirus is constantly on the lookout for new threats and is fast to implement prevention, detection and removal. All top notch antivirus developers want to be the best but I can only choose one to be the cornerstone of my protection. Only one can be the front line. It must be real time and it must be the best.

Horn Tooting

The PC Pitstop development team has always been at the front of innovative software development. Our latest product, PC Matic has been a huge success, combining cloud computing and the first one click, FIX ALL, to be the most effective tool in the industry. One click gives you faster Internet, registry tweaks, cleaning, system optimizations, defragmentation and drive optimization, driver updates, and malware detection and removal. Dave, Rob, Keith, Mark, Rob, Andy, Sandy, Larry, are the people you never hear about, but they are the cornerstone of PC Pitstop. They are the developers that produce our software, “the coders”. Believe me when I say “the coders” have been very busy lately.

Cliff Hanger

So what is it that’s good enough to finally get me using an antivirus? What has an extremely small foot print but is strong enough to be the real time protection I’ve always wanted? It’s been running on my system for weeks but until it stopped an attack this morning, I forgot it was there.

Stay tuned and find out what I’ve been using.

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31 thoughts on “Are You A Target For Zero Day Attacks?

  1. WOW…..simple solution…..linux router….ipfire has kept
    5 machines protected for 18 months….no per pc scanners…
    no virus…no malware….no problem…and online games are
    NOT a hacker door as indicated by one individual. Protect
    yourself at the entrance and your internal network should be fine. Yes I know nothing is foolproof but I am living proof
    that this kind of paranoia is uncalled for. One other is use
    linux for secure web transactions…banking..bill pay etc.
    I use it for web browsing too. Am on a linux box right now
    and kiss your windows viruses goodbye…

  2. Oh you got slammed on the whole cliff hanger.

    But Agnes appears to have outed you and your encoded secret. A+++ for everyone with a spy ring and secret decoder.

  3. The more you try to sell, the less I’m likely to buy ( I hate hard sells ). I’m starting to question this site credibility!

  4. PCPS has become very commercial since the time that I first found it. Of course they want to sell us stuff. I do not like this aspect, but I sure don’t have any better solutions to offer. People providing a service should get compensated.

    I still get the newsletters and file all, even if I don’t scan thru them. I don’t do much risky stuff on the net. The antimalware software that I use now has functioned well, on the rare occasion that it has functioned at all.

    Who knows? I might try this one day. I have considered it.

    Jay

  5. Have to agree with all the people who find the “teaser – product plug – cliffhanger” approach singularly unprofessional. If this is, as Mr. Hogan suggests, an extended commercial for a PC Matic feature that will be available Real Soon Now, I will probably cancel my subscription.

  6. Good reminder. – I have a couple kids, preteen and teen, and it’s mighty funny how “girly” sites seem to show up in the deleted internet temp files when my oldest is supposed to be doing homework. Since I have less and less control over which sites are being visited as my son gets older, sneakier and more sophisticated (he and his buddies already know how to get around much of the schools network security). Keeping my security software updated has become my latest hobby. That and I’ve learned the hard way that playing on-line games is the same as putting a red flag up that says “Hack Me Please” I’ve got my “cornerstone” real-time program and keep three other malware detection programs updated almost daily. I also use a couple other online scan programs every couple weeks as a double check. It always amazes me how every single program out there can miss something that another will identify. I’ve also taken to purchasing a couple additional hard drives which I’ve done clean installs on and then cloned to have a clean operating system readily available to fall back on in an emergency. Combined with periodic backups, I’m trying to be ready for the day one of the kids (or wife) downloads something really nasty. No better anti-malware than a periodic drive reformat.

  7. This is so typical that people read the article, but don’t really read the article. If you pay attention, it says “”Our latest product, PC Matic has been a huge success, combining cloud computing and the first one click, FIX ALL”

    I have used PC matic for over a year and it works as promised, it even caught things my antivirus didn’t.

    It’s a great product, you should try it.

  8. Mark is right on target. I’ve also been using PC Matic for a long time now. We have continued to upgrade and improve PC Matic since it’s birth. New features and improved functions are added almost daily. PC Matic has another BIG change coming, and although I’d like to announce it, it’s not quite ready. I expect it to be available very soon. That is why the “Stay Tuned” cliff hanger.

  9. I do not understand why people leave comments with questions when the guy who wrote this article does not seem to show the slightest interest in answering them.
    Avast is #1, it has protected me 100% and will do unless I purposely ignore it and allow something into my system.

    Anti-virus: Avast (Free version is good enough for 90% of home users.
    Cleaners/Malware scannjers: IOBit tools are terrific in conjunction with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware..

    Anything else is akin to a knife welded on a nuclear weapon. It looks pretty but has no useful purpose.

  10. A lot of stating the obvious, scaremongering and a marketing ploy to get you to buy PC Matic. No single anti-spy/malware product is fool proof and you can use several. The rule of thumb is one Software AV & One Software Firewall, ensure your routers firewall is enabled and use as many spyware/malware programs as necessary. However to avoid clashes only enable realtime protection on one of your anti-malware/spyware programs! Update all of them and scan regularly! Also ensure all your microsoft security updates and patches are updated regularly (Ensure automatic updates is turned on).

  11. people, if you read the whole story, he mentions what the product is.
    “Our latest product, PC Matic has been a huge success, combining cloud computing and the first one click, FIX ALL”

    I have used PC matic for over a year and it works as promised, it even caught things my antivirus didn’t.

  12. Classic marketing ploy, tempt the punter then make him/her wait for the answer. Just GIVE the answer and the price!!!!

  13. CLIFF HANGER?
    Great, so while we wait, we get infected?
    Frankly, if it’s good, if it works, it’s a little snotty holding back the information. This is always a great newsletter and it’s been very helpful to me personally but this isn’t a tv mystery show where you wait for the next episode to find out who the killer is.

  14. How about zero-day attacks on the Mac OS? Successful malware attacks on Macs have occurred frequently of late. Sales of the Mac OS X system have directly mirrored development of malware, a phenomenon also demonstrated with other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.

    There is no reason to believe the trend will not continue as Apple continues to increase their market share. The concept of the economy of scale historically meant that malware authors have not previously considered the Mac a viable target. This protection is being well eroded by the increase in size of the Mac user base.

  15. “Stay tuned and find out what I’ve been using.”

    Really! You publish an article about protecting one’s computer and then don’t give us your way of doing it because you want us to keep in suspense? IMO, this is irresponsible.

  16. Why are you making us wait to find out what you’ve been using? Why let us be at continued risk if what you’re using is the best, and we can beat the rush by getting it now or as soon as it’s available?

  17. This is all well and good…….but if pc was as good as they themselves proclaim then they would have allowed for tool bars I WANTED to keep. A bar that was labeled as spyware but contained so it could not publish was removed even after I said put it to exception list. Now after I removed PC from my PC I still can not recover the DLL file I need to restore the tool bar. PC Pit stop is more PC S__T stop and not worth the time for free as it used to be. NOW I would not even think of purchasing it.

  18. “Stayed tuned to find out what I’ve been using.”

    Now that sounds like a teaser on a TV show or something. If you have found something that you think is that good, why wait to share it??????

  19. Thanks for dangling the carrot in front of us and then taking it away. We’d all like to be protected. Not have head games played with us. You going to send us an email when you decide to tell us what you’re using?

  20. Must have been using a Linux LiveCD to surf the web safely in his computer with a Microsoft operating system to avoid being a target for Zero Day Attacks…

    JR

  21. “Once a security fix is developed and distributed you are at safe….right? Wrong, until you update and install it on your computer, you are at risk.”

    Really? Nothing like stating the blindingly obvious, is there?

    If anyone is so dumb that they think the mere issuing of a security patch removes the risk, then maybe they’re not the best people to be online.

  22. Cliffhangers were great for LOST, but not for subjects as critical as protecting your computers against the scumbags out there. I believe that there are a very few people who actually know what they are doing when it comes to anti-virus and anti-malware. The rest of us are just guessing, believing product hype, and causing more problems than solutions by using a “belt and suspenders” approach. For those of us who are clueless (this includes me), we don’t need “tune in next week…” we need solid advise and guidance. As a long time user of pcpitstop.com, I expected more.

  23. I have met a few folks who were told not to use an antivirus program. Told it would slow down their computer. 1 out of 5 computers was not infected. Why? Because that person is an advanced user and could recognize the trojan when it popped up. The other 4? Well, 2 had to be reloaded to factory specs. The other 2 were rescued by detecting and cleaning. Yes, nowadays the “Scareware” is rampant and unless you are an advanced user I would never recommend you not use a good antivirus software. I use Avast, works great! Have for years. I agree that all attacks can be a zero day attack. Zero meaning, you can’t do anything on your computer because its infected. Zero! YES! Protection/Provention is a must! Can’t wait to see what you all have developed….

  24. Good article. I use a different anti virus solution (Vipre). I have first hand knowledge of what you described, an attack and infection that was unknown to Vipre, but their team was able to feret it out and kill it on my machine. Since that day, I have had numerous virus attacks which were caught and eliminated. I know that one day another will make it through, and I feel good about having a good company and competent specialists there to take care of my needs. If I weren’t completely satisfied with my virus protection, I would give yours a try. Keep up the good work on helping us stay informed.

  25. I’ve always wondered what threats and Malware isn’t realized/detected yet. Kind of makes one wonder if perfect protection is ever possible!
    I develop some code so am somewhat aware of what can be done through these threats. In this thought process, do your developers have a ‘compare’ method to determine ‘what has changed’ from the original configurations? Is that how you are finding these threats? Must be a massive task indeed!
    Thank you!
    -DEREK GERRY-

  26. Cliffhangers are for entertainment! Not for serious articles. If it’s important then do not delay giving out information, otherwise I’m very pleased with PC Pitstop. Keep up the good work.

  27. I gotta say I’m more concerned about the government “blocking access” to the internet or “attacking” my machine than anything else. Here lately, the PTB have been talking about “shutting down” the internet as a matter of national security. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about other things you have suggested. Call me a crazy old man, but in this day and time, the government has become as much a priority to be protected against as anything else. Does PC Matic do that as well?

  28. Would like to know what you’re using…just out of curiosity. I’ve been using Avast! for the last 9 or 10 years and it’s caught/blocked everything! Haven’t had a single instance of virus/malware/etc that got past it. Doubt if I’ll ever change but you never know.
    Thanks

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