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Community Forums > > Public Square > > The Forum > > Malware Protection

Malware Protection
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Evil Vizir-Azem
Evil Vizir-Azem

Joined: Apr 19, 2004
Posts: 229
Location: Lancaster, CA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Malware Protection

Make sure you protect your PC with some good malware protection. Remember, even if you don't keep any prive or personal information on your PC, there is still plenty of reason for criminals to take over your PC, and you should be concerned!

It's not just financial and credit card information criminals are looking for, they are looking for your PC's connectivity and processing power to participate in a botnet attacking other computers and networks. They're looking to install keyloggers to look for passwords and account information for MMO's (or any other online service, 401k's anyone?) - to loot the accounts and resell the items and gold. There's plenty valuable about your computer that has nothing to do with what you keep on it.

There are three general classes of malware that are commonly talked about: virii, spyware, and root kits. Comprehensive protection is generally not packaged together. Rather, separate products address each kind of malware.

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent freeware products out there.

For virus protection, there is avast! 4 Home Edition is free for home use. Also AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is another popular free choice.

For spyware protection, not much is better than Spybot S&D. There's also Ad-Aware 2007 Free. Both products can be run side-by-side.

Be extremely careful when selecting and installing anti-spyware! There are a lot of products and banner ads that decieve you by saying that spyware was detected, and makes you pay for a product that doesn't work, or worse yet, actually installs spyware! Many of these products use deceptive names, logos, and looks to confuse you into thinking you're getting a known good product. Be very careful to get only software right from the manufacturer's site.

Online, Panda ActiveScan will check for both viruses and uses the same heuristics in their Anti-Rootkit product. Also, there's Trend Micro HouseCall.

Online scanners are great, but don't use them if you suspect you're infected with a rootkit or are actively being attacked. Remember, if you're connected to the Internet, so is all the spyware and rootkits on your computer! Some manufacturers offer offline versions of their products, copy those to a non-writable media (such as a CD that you've closed the session on so it's no longer writable), then use them to clean.

Also, be careful about thinking your system is clean once a product is done. Remember the rule of thumb: clean, reboot, and repeat until you get a completely clean report from all of your tools after a reboot! A lot of malware can reinstall itself after being cleaned off. Only once you've got a completely clean system after a reboot should you start considering the job's done.

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Tessil "B." DeMill
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A Skeletal Trooper
A Skeletal Trooper

Joined: Jan 04, 2007
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Malware Protection

Touk, what do you think about this. Backup all essential files to CD/DVD media. Then format your hard drive, reinstall O/S, if Windows get all updates and all the latest new jazzy programs and all the other side programs you use such as AIM and Vent. Configure all of them to your liking, install all relevant plugins for IE or other web browsers and then put all of your backed up music and pictures on, and then GHOST it to a DVD/CD. That way in the event of a virus or malware infection, you can always just go back to that base design with the idea that any new information gathered along the way, you could back up and then make a new GHOST image. Seems quicker and a lot more healthy for the computer if you ask me. It will keep you running in tip top shape without useless files floating around and such. Not to mention you get ALL the virus and malware in one fell swoop, for what 2 hours of your time? which is probably about how long it would take to do all that scan, reboot, scan stuff Smile

I personally run no firewall or anti virus or spyware/malware programs on my main computer because I never get infected due to the fact that I know what is safe and what isnt safe out there on the net. Anything questionable I download to my lame computer next to me.
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Evil Vizir-Azem
Evil Vizir-Azem

Joined: Apr 19, 2004
Posts: 229
Location: Lancaster, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Malware Protection

I do exactly that, although I use a USB hard drive that I just put away, since my disk images usually run a good deal larger than even the size of a DVD. However, that's just what I'd recommend. Save a clean install and keep that image safe in case of a total disaster, at minimum!

Regular backups are best, of course, but are tedious to manage (Microsoft's Windows Home Server is seeking to change that for households though...)

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Tessil "B." DeMill
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