OT - Malware experience

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Adrienne Boswell, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. I have a good friend who asked me to come out and take a look at her
    daughter's computer because it was really slow. Spybot Search and Destroy
    came up with 1,401 malware programs and/or tracking cookies. The anti-
    virus came up with 89 viruses and trojans. I got everything cleaned up,
    installed a Hosts manager, Firefox and Opera (default). Then I told them
    that IE was off limits.

    Three days to fix this. Scarey.
     
    Adrienne Boswell, Jul 11, 2007
    #1
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  2. Adrienne Boswell

    SAZ Guest

    IE is partially to blame, but the viruses are the fault of a missing or
    outdated anti-virus program.
     
    SAZ, Jul 11, 2007
    #2
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  3. Adrienne Boswell

    Arne Guest

    And how many other computers was infected by the daughter's computer?

    There should be a law against unprotected computers and computers who
    infect others! ;)
     
    Arne, Jul 11, 2007
    #3
  4. You could have installed GNU/Linux in a couple of hours or less.
     
    Chris F.A. Johnson, Jul 11, 2007
    #4
  5. Adrienne Boswell

    cwdjrxyz Guest


    To many, a computer is now just another home appliance. It is expected
    to work properly as delivered. Many do not know much about how it
    works and do not care to know. A new major brand name computer usually
    comes with some sort of trial virus protection these days. However
    many likely do not pay for it after the trial period ends. In a few
    years the computer then often becomes very slow and those, who do not
    have a friend such as you, assume it is worn out or outmoded and buy a
    new computer. If you have to hire someone to spend the required time
    to evict all of the bugs, you often would pay about as much as many
    used PCs are worth. However the hackers have become better and more
    numerous in recent years, and the computer gets infected and slows
    down much faster than often was the case in the past. Many would balk
    at replacing a computer only 1 or 2 years old. This may force some
    people to reconsider how they use a computer and paying for virus
    protection software. Actually there is free virus protection software
    that works fairly well. Some of the broadband isps are now pushing and
    providing such software. For example ATT/Yahoo DHL does and makes
    users of their service aware of it from time to time. Also Yahoo Mail
    has fairly good virus scan software included in their free e-mail
    service, and they scan all attachments before opening. This likely
    prevents many virus and other problems from getting downloaded to less-
    than-careful computer owners.
     
    cwdjrxyz, Jul 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Adrienne Boswell

    andrew Guest

    Another good reason to leave Windows behind? The Operating System /
    Default browser should never be that insecure.

    Andrew
     
    andrew, Jul 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Adrienne Boswell

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Wed, 11 Jul 2007 20:11:27
    GMT Adrienne Boswell scribed:
    I have good and current anti-virus software, but what are these 1401
    malware programs you're talking about? Will using something like Ad-Aware
    regularly prevent such things? Firefox is my favorite browser, but at
    times I have to use ie (6) for various reasons.
     
    Neredbojias, Jul 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Gazing into my crystal ball I observed Neredbojias
    I use AVG Free from Grisoft - been using it for years, IIRC, I heard
    about it here in alt.html many, many moons ago. It runs a complete check
    every night.

    As far as malware, I use Spybot Search and Destroy. It seems to do
    better than Lavasoft. It runs a bot/ware check every Saturday night.

    Here are some of the preventative measures I use:
    1. Hosts file with DNS Client disabled - there's no place like 127.0.0.1.
    I don't get to see a lot of adverts, I miss a lot of third party cookies,
    and I don't get to go to a lot of sites (gambling, porn, etc.) that I
    don't care about anyway. Of course, I could edit the hosts file, or
    disable it if I _want_ to go somewhere strange. I just got Hosts Manager
    from <http://www.abelhadigital.com/> . Very nice program.
    2. I use Spyware Blaster
    <http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html>, and I keep it up
    to date.
    3. I use Sunbelt Personal firewall (used to be Kerio). I like it much
    more than others because it's not memory hungry, and it also alerts me if
    one program is trying to start another.
    4. StartUp Monitor and StartUp Control Panel from Mike Lin
    <http://www.mlin.net/>. Startup Monitor sits nicely waiting to stop
    anything the wants to change the startup options (Adobe, Quicktime, etc
    all try to have themselves loaded at startup). Startup Control Panel is
    great for managing what happens on startup.

    All of the programs I use have little footprints. I don't usually like
    using suites, and I stear very clear from Norton - it's a PITA to try to
    remove and uses waaaaayyyy too much memory.

    Well, those are my recommendations. I've been doing things like this for
    a long time, and I've never had a virus or malware problem. I hope my
    list will help someone else.
     
    Adrienne Boswell, Jul 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Adrienne Boswell

    John Hosking Guest

    Well, she said "1,401 malware programs and/or tracking cookies." To me,
    this is like saying, "New York Police arrested 1,401 rapists and
    litterers." A distinction between the two would have been useful.

    I presume the majority of the 1401 items Adrienne found were cookies.
    Malware needs careful removal but cookies can be deleted by even my
    least-technical supportees, even in IE. It's nice that Spybot S&D finds
    the "tracking cookies," but I don't believe they belong in the same
    category as malware. Otherwise the terrorists have won. ;-)
     
    John Hosking, Jul 12, 2007
    #9
  10. Gazing into my crystal ball I observed John Hosking
    There were about 20 malware programs, 20 BHOs, a few browser hijackers,
    and the rest were cookies.

    One of the malware programs was a virus/spyware remover/firewall program
    that my friend paid for. She's disputing it with the bank, and they are
    issuing her a new card. I told her to watch her credit report for signs
    of identity theft.
    Actually, I don't mind _some_ tracking cookies. I like the ones at
    Amazon that seem to follow me all over the place, reminding me that I
    really need that thing that I can't afford, like gadgets for my Kitchen
    Aid, or toys for my Weber.
     
    Adrienne Boswell, Jul 12, 2007
    #10
  11. Adrienne Boswell

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Thu, 12 Jul 2007 05:30:16
    GMT Adrienne Boswell scribed:
    Well, I _thought_ I was familiar with the host file, but what do you mean
    by DNS client disabled? -Putting 127.0.0.1 after (mis)appropriate links?
    Yep. A month after I got my new 'puter, I took it off both I own and
    used Kasperskys to replace it. Kas seems quite good.
    I've never had a problem (of that nature) either, but I like to keep
    aware of all the possibilities.

    Thanks for the list/recommendations. I've captured and saved it and will
    investigate as time permits.
     
    Neredbojias, Jul 12, 2007
    #11
  12. Adrienne Boswell

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Thu, 12 Jul 2007 06:00:56 GMT
    John Hosking scribed:
    Yes, I can handle cookies. It's the malware I'm concerned about and
    Adrienne's reference to it and ie didn't make me any more comfortable.
     
    Neredbojias, Jul 12, 2007
    #12
  13. Adrienne Boswell

    JH Guest

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is to update all windows service
    packs, security updates etc. before going on the net without a router
    with built-in firewall. A lot of people re-install Windows (without
    service packs) and as soon as they plug in their unprotected usb or
    cable modem, within a few minutes the computer is infected.
     
    JH, Jul 12, 2007
    #13
  14. if the computer was that infected, are you sure you have no rootkits
    sitting on it? I know that most spyware-removal-tools and scanners are
    not able to detected sophisticated rootkits (such as the infamous
    BMG-sony-rootkit). Sometimes it's just best practice to wipe the HD and
    make a clean install when you have encountered such a 'victim'.

    cheers
    bernhard
     
    Bernhard Sturm, Jul 12, 2007
    #14
  15. As soon as another browser becomes the most popular you will be saying
    "Then I told them that [browser name] is off limits." Being #1 has
    its bad side too.
     
    Travis Newbury, Jul 12, 2007
    #15
  16. Adrienne Boswell

    SpaceGirl Guest

    Have you even the slightest clue of how kids actually use machines? A
    linux machine would be pretty much the least ideal platform, given the
    lack of proper flash, games etc. I think the very first time she
    realises she can no longer use her bebo or myspace or youtube pages
    she'd be back on Windows.
     
    SpaceGirl, Jul 12, 2007
    #16
  17. Ahhhh reality. Good to see that someone else understands that "best
    way" and "right way" are not the same. So your daugher will not use
    it because it can not do the kinds of things she wants a computer to
    do. My parents won't use it because it is way to hard and don't want
    to deal with something new. and most businesses won't use it because
    the business world runs on windows.

    Is windows the best way? Nope. Is it the right way? Yep

    *Disclaimer: Nothing is best or right 100% of the time
     
    Travis Newbury, Jul 12, 2007
    #17
  18. Adrienne Boswell

    Chaddy2222 Guest

    This is all very true, getting a Mac would have been a better
    suggestion, as they can run most Windows applications, such as Flash
    and others. Also have you read about the URL Handler bug in FF, it
    users JS and maeans that external applications can be launched in IE.
     
    Chaddy2222, Jul 12, 2007
    #18
  19. Adrienne Boswell

    Ben C Guest

    Just to squash a couple of rumours right here, Flash runs perfectly well
    on Linux (but is also fortunately quite easy to disable) and so do
    websites like MySpace and YouTube.

    You install it by putting a CD in the drive and clicking on a few
    buttons labelled things like "Yes" and off you go. Just as easy to use
    as Windows, but you get a lot more software with the default
    installation.
     
    Ben C, Jul 12, 2007
    #19
  20. Adrienne Boswell

    mbstevens Guest

    I actually had to go get a cup of coffee while some non-FOSS goodies
    downloaded, since mine was not on CD.

    But I will second that: Flash works perfectly, MySpace and YouTube also
    work perfectly. I also have a nice free Flash authoring tool. With
    whom *do* these rumors get started?
     
    mbstevens, Jul 12, 2007
    #20
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