Freeware versus commerical

Discussion in 'polls' started by JayK, Jun 23, 2003.

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  1. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    By "secure", I mean as secure as using the top commerical products like TDS , Wormguard,KAV,NOD, Window washer, and whatever firewalls is top right now etc///
     
  2. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hi JayK,

    Interesting question.
    I think it can be done, but it would take a lot of searching, a lot of reading and being very carefull.
    From an economic point of view (time = money) buying good ones would be cheaper IMHO.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  3. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    hta stop
    gav 4
    f protect dos
    dimond regstry protection
    boot disk
    cookie muncher
    all of javah cool applications
    spy bot search and destroy
    adaware 6.0
    and ie 5 newb security settings
    old trojan check 5

    any more qustions lol
     
  4. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    :Dprice for all this 0.00$
     
  5. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    "Blaze"

    Actually even with just freeware products your setup can probably be improved.

    The only weakness in the freeware lineup if there is one is in the anti-trojan area, I think. Since Ants died, there isnt any really good replacement. Unless you count Swatit (which i dont) or bank on the AT capabilities of AV's like GAV.

    But I figure most people here are <gasp> overprotected anyway... I figure if someone really good is gunning for you, you are dead anyway.
     
  6. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    :Dthats true regardless if you have the best payware or not lol.

    Gav is perty good and it only beta.

    so nothing wrong with my line up except one thing free za fire wall lol there is another firewall out there ithink it was kerio or something cant rember but it was all rule based

    as for trojan i belive gav catchs those to

    gav is not a specific antivirus like most falsley would lead you to belive usealy vendors for there owen evill purposes.

    gav is a utlity for a little bit of everything.

    worms.viruses.trojans i belive and spy ware and dialers and malware.


    one other thing all this software i listed has a big ass learning curve,

    comerchial software seems easyer with simple interfaces
     
  7. wizard

    wizard Registered Member

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    The answer to the question is quiet simple: Don't use Windows anymore. :D Switching to another platform like Linux, BSD or MacOS will already dramatically reduce even the probability of being attacked.

    The other answer is: if you reached a certain level of knowledge on computer security you can protect yourself without anykind of commercial tools. And that doesn't mean you have to use free crap (or even worse unfinished beta) av's. :)

    wizard
     
  8. vrf

    vrf Registered Member

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    There are very good free firewalls(Sygate) and anti-spyware programs.Unfortunately there is no very good free antivirus. GAV has great detection but it's still beta. AVG is a danger: its nice interface and functions may make users think it's good but it has terrible detection, it's easy to get infected with it. Antivir is probably the best freeware antivirus, good detection, stable,just that it doesn't scan emails and this is bad, most viruses are received by email. Avast might be also an alternative but it is unstable and it's detection is not so good.
     
  9. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    Vrf,
    I would use Avast rather than Antivir.
    The best Free AV is a matter of opinion, but Avast has done fairly well in some of the latter AV tests !!

    regards,
    bill :)
     
  10. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    I would say viruses are a relatively minor threat.
    For the following reasons

    1) Most of the viruses today are propagated through email, they are really easy to spot, just by eyeballing them. Make sure you sure a good seure email client, and the battle is half won.

    I normally use my AVs just for fun, to scan attachments even though it's obvious they are viruses or other malware. sometimes, even fprot (for example) will fail to detect some malware. But I use my brain and don't run it, just because some software said it was okay.. (I was lying, I actually scan it with KAV and pcilian to confirm, but you know what I mean)

    I could be offbase, but It's amazing, how most people infected nowdays are through email, whatever happened to the old fashioned matter of spreading viruses through floppy disks and downloading software?

    2) If the user is willing to spend time, he can use 2 or 3 or more free AVs to scan other manually downloaded files to cover the rest.

    Examples

    Etrust which works for XP,2003
    AVast
    GAV
    Dos versions of F-port and various other AVs available as dos versions.
    AVG
    Antivir
    Try viruschaser, based on Drweb.

    And there are more. surely a blend of a couple of this, will pick up the rare few that even a blind person could spot a mile away, by looking at the subject and attachments.

    3) The only danger is that the resident freeware AV fails to catch script based viruses that trigger when surfing to exploit browser exploits. AVAST free for example specificly doesnt cover that. As of now, these areant a major threat I think, if you are fully patched.

    In then, something like scriptdefender,scripttrap etc, will help.


    In my view trojans are the main threat. Freeware junkies tend to download a lot of stuff, there's a chance that someday, one of them might be a trojan. Trojans can also be specially targeted for you and since they don't naturally spread, one trojan can remain under the rader for a while if it's restricted to a obscure software tool , so it's unlikely that the basic trojan signatures of most AVS can catch them.

    I can seriously say, that I'm comfortable with not using AVs at all, to scan email.
     
  11. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    I'll refrain from critizing your setup and be content with a question, why IE 5? Didnt they stop support of it? Chances are there are a lot of unplugged security exploits that work with both IE 6 and IE 5, but only patches are available for the former.
     
  12. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    No offense, but I completely disagree.

    1. I would classify Avast! 4 and F-Prot for DOS as "very good antivirus" programs.

    2. "Avast...is unstable and it's detection is not so good." is also untrue, in my opinion. It has garnered 100% at VB in four out of the last 5 submissions--including Linux.

    Stability in w9x was an issue for a while in version 4, but that has been addressed to a large degree. I don't have any problems with it in either w9x or NT environments. It's detection rate is very good, particularly in command-line mode--as is F-Prot for DOS. I have used--and continue to use--both with great success to recover from very bad infections in a professional capacity. I recommend them as freeware solutions to my clients, and they are happy with them.

    My two cents.
     
  13. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    I would say viruses are a very real threat--for reason #1, above. ;)

    Those methods, are alive and well, thanks to CD-R/RW.
    Yes, but some worms can drop trojans, also, and most av's can catch most worms. That's not a good enough reason to forgo a virus scanner, imo.

    A high-wire act, in my opinion! ;)

    Good luck! :D
     
  14. vrf

    vrf Registered Member

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    When I said that Avast is unstable I talked of my own experience. I installed it and tested it with the Eicar file, absolutely nothing popped up. I fiddled with setting many times, tried every setting, reinstalled Avast, still the on access monitor showed nothing .Sure, all scanners detect Eicar and that means Avast is unstable, it doesn't install properly(or the on access monitor is good for nothing). I read in some forums that many people had similar experiences with installing Avast. About virus detection: just look at the virus list inside the program, you'll see that some viruses and trojans detected by Norton, Nod32, KAV and the other commercial scanners are missing. Don't ask me to give examples, that is too obvious, anyone can check it by reading the list inside Avast and comparing it to the one in Norton or KAV.
     
  15. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Sorry to hear you had problems. I've never had any with Avast! Hopefully you were able to get prompt help at their help forum.
    People have similar experiences with every av. That doesn't make them "good for nothing". ;)
    You are comparing apples and oranges. Avast! doesn't claim to have an exhaustive virus "list" "inside" the program. Just because it isn't "listed" in the help files doesn't mean it isn't detected by the scanner. BTW, Avast! Home and Pro have a "commercial" virus scanner. ;)
     
  16. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

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    :Dsay what hey Player dont hate the Player hate the game.

    You know Blazeys set up all that and a bag of chips stop hateing and all that smack about gav haa.

    when gav was alpha it was kicking the hell out of some payware and when it made beta every company and there comp kept banging dowen the door.

    only reason it says beta is cause the programer is one of those perfectionest never happy with his software i think he at times can be his worst critic or enmey.

    but thats ok only means the software gets much better here on out.

    i dont know why they call gav beta

    since im no longher asochiated with the group i can blab everything lol.

    when we were testing gav out in the private forum we found that gav picked up some viruses that nav and another populer expensive software couldnt.

    yes thats right i purposely infected my pc and yes gav found all infections while other populer payware programs didnt.

    so honestly the so call betea only has bugs like the most populer finished payware.

    i think they still calling it beta is a joke

    its just the programer he wants to run it threw hell and back till the day he submits it as finished it kill the heck out of all competiotors.

    so just cause they say it beta it really isnt lol
     
  17. vrf

    vrf Registered Member

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    Maybe I am being a little unfair with Avast. But it's just my opinion. When I install an antivirus I check if it works and does not give error messages. If it doesn't work, I give it up. If it does work, only then I become interested, try to find more, try to solve minor bugs it might have.Avast didn't work, so I simply uninstalled it. Anyways, my quest ended up with Nod32, after being disapointed by all free antivirus scanners. And my opinion remains that Antivir is the best of all free antivirus. Maybe Gladiator, too. But I'm sure when GAV isn't beta anymore, it won't be free, they let it free mostly for testing purposes.
     
  18. Uguel707

    Uguel707 Graphic Artist

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    Some people know a great deal about security. They will be able to find the best match for securing their PC without paying a dime. Most of them never use IE, OE, for they know THESE are constantly targeted by evil programmers Others rely on the latest security patches...and so on

    If it works they should keep rolling that way...

    IMO, there isn't a perfect AV anyway. Most of them are good, just the latest unknown scripts can make them look weak or cheap. It all depends.

    Uguel
     
  19. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    It's very easy to be insecure using commercial software.

    It's not the software that matters, it's the way that you use your system that's all important. And if you choose to run free software, chances are that you can make any system just as secure as by using commercially available stuff.

    And for anti-trojan software: pity that Swat-it is not in the same league as the commercial tools, if there is almost no infection risk (as I stated before, what matters most is the way that you use a computer), why bother?

    I don't trust others, so I don't share or copy their files and problems. Saves lots of trouble ;)
     
  20. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    Some thoughts, whether the "blended threat" you receive through email drops trojans is irrelevant. If you are not crazy enough to open a attachment , it's won't work.

    Only an idiot gets infected through email attachments I tell you regardless of whether it is a malware with virus,worm,trojan characteristics. Particularly an idiot who trusts his AV program to be 100% perfect, rather then using his brain.

    Just for fun, I scanned the latest unrequested attachment I received (heck even attachments from friends have virus written all over it sometimes). Out of 5 I tried, 3 indicated it was okay. You think I should run it :) ?

    Of course not, it's a program that will install a porno dialer. Yes, technically not a virus so some don't catch it, but as i said, don't trust your proggies so much. grow a brain!

    Ah as I write this yet another one comes in.

    Subject: Movie.

    Please see attached files.

    The file is a zip file, your_details.zip..

    You think this is a virus? Let's start scanning.

    AVG : says no
    F prot Dos : says no
    KAV : says yes
    Pcilian : says yes
    Avast: says no
    Drweb: says yes

    Hmm, okay maybe it's because the last update was done a few days ago, on Monday.
    Updated it.

    F-prot : yes
    Avast: yes
    AVG : yes..

    Ah.. That did the trick. But wouldn't be easier to just use your brain?

    PS it's the new sobig-e strain... released just this week.

    You still need to scan other files of ccourse, but after all these years of scanning and downloading of quite a lot of freeware (being using computers since the late 70s and on the net fairly recently in 95) over the years, still nothing.
     
  21. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    JayK said:
    You're preaching to the choir. I don't disagree with that at all.

    What I was saying is that it's better to have an antivirus scanning your e-mail, than not to have one "just because" the av is not so good at catching trojans.
    Again, I don't disagree. However, if you are helping your elderly aunt who wants to set up her computer for e-mail, and who has no computer/internet experience or savvy, do you:

    1. Just tell her not to open e-mail attachments she might receive because it's a bad idea and might contain a virus, or

    2. Do you set up her e-mail to be scanned by an av (let's say a freeware one for grins) "just in case"?

    Surely you don't advocate the former. If so, when she becomes infected, do you call her an "idiot", and wash your hands of the whole affair? ;)

    Let's say it's a second machine on your home network that your 16 year old daughter uses. Do you tell her not to open "suspicious" e-mail attachments and forgo an av, secure in the knowledge that you "raised her right" and won't have NIMDA or some other baddie rampaging through your drives? :D

    Maybe you're speaking of protecting a computer only "you" have access to. In that case, forgo the av and surf away. Knock yourself out. ;)

    Sure it would. But can you use someone else's for them? :D
     
  22. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    And i'm saying most of the malware designed to be massed email to everyone with trojan characteristics are easily caught be eyeballing them.

    Well I was obviously referring to a computer in the control of only the knowledgable members of this forum.
    If you want to argue that people with no knowledge and common sense can benefit from AV , sure knock yourself out.

    If you had taken this stand in the first place instead of talking about trojan droppers, I wouldn't have disagreed.

    As for people, you perhaps underestimate them. My Dad, is hardly what you would call computer savy (he has problems with using Word for example), and every week I scan his computer for the last few years , dreading the worse, and so far nothing. Nadda.

    The worse he got was so spyware/adware that exploited a browser hole, so I tightened the comp up to handle such threats.
     
  23. JimIT

    JimIT Registered Member

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    Again, I agree. "Most" are. Kak isn't, but as long as you're patched...I would prefer not to assume the risk, personally.
    Ah. Okay. I was not, since that's not the only kind of member that can read this thread. Sorry for the confusion.
    I won't argue. I'll go out on a limb and declare it as a fact! :D

    Hang on. I thought that's what I was doing. I wasn't "talking about trojan droppers" in my previous postings, just giving an example of a "reason" to have an av that could scan e-mail instead of relying on brain cells, judgement, or an at.

    Perhaps I underestimate their security knowledge. ;) I would rather err on the side of caution, however.
    That's great! Sounds like you have him up to date on patches, etc. Cool!
     
  24. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    Perhaps I underestimate their security knowledge. ;) I would rather err on the side of caution, however.
    That's great! Sounds like you have him up to date on patches, etc. Cool!
     
  25. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    A reason for an inexperienced user yes.
    Otherwise trojan droppers are a non-starter as a reason. A trojan app sent over email ON PURPOSE by a malicious sender
    is another matter.
    What security knowledge? common sense... attachments from unknown senders, do not open. attachments from friends, do not open unless you are expecting some. If you want to risk open the attachments, at least make sure the email comes with a pretty lengthy and specific text line addressed to you, etc..

    Not something stupid short and non-specfic like "here is the file attached" or... "here's a interesting link" But even then, i don't recommend it.
     
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