How to fight spyware

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Oleg, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

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    1. Use firefox or Opera browser
    2. Always do research on program you want to Install (If it's unknown to you)
    3. Have anti-virus Installed (recommend KAV or NOD32) just to be on the safe side

    For those who won't let go of IE make sure you have Installed at least one anti-spyware product.
     
  2. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    What about a software personal firewall, other than the Windows XP firewall (which is inbound protection only and thus doesn't really cut it for complete protection these days) which is absolutely essential these days?

    And also it's imperative to have all available Windows updates installed as soon as possible to minimise the risk of known exploits being used.

    Not to mention other useful system hardening/security apps, of course.

    Or just ditch Windows and get Linux, or a Mac...
     
  3. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

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    Windows XP firewall and router works just fine for me as I watch what programs I install.
     
  4. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    If you look at secunia.com, all operating systems have some problems.
    As long as the internet uses packets to communicate, there will an opportunity for mischief. :)
     
  5. Brian N

    Brian N Registered Member

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    After I switched from IE to Opera and later on Firefox, I have gotten no spyware at all - Only a few cookies, but they will just join my list of websites that can't write cookies to my pc. I just think it's only a matter of time before those spyware writers figure out how to 'infect' you if you use Opera or Firefox, or any other browser for that matter.

    Also I never install Java as I can't see what it's good for, except playing small java games but I never do that so..
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Brian_N,
    Since you are familiar with Opera and Firefox, I have a question.
    It's about the function "Find in This Page" in Firefox.

    IE works with a popup screen to find words on a webpage.
    Firefox works with a search bar at the bottom to find words on a webpage.

    My question : what about OPERA ?
     
  7. Brian N

    Brian N Registered Member

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    If I could remember I would tell ya, but sadly my memory sucks :)
    But I think it works the same way as IE does, although I haven't used Opera since 7.5x so I'm not really sure about it.
     
  8. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Opera has a popup screen also. As does Mozilla.
     
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Ronjor,
    Thanks for confirming what Brian_N had already in mind.
    Brian_N don't you worry, your memory works fine. :cool:

    I love the search bar of Firefox too much, I use it too often and it has a brilliant design compared with the popup screen.
    I'm quite surprised that other gecko based browsers don't do it the same way as Firefox.
    So I keep my Firefox and I think that MSIE7 will use a popup screen too.
     
  10. Kegel

    Kegel Registered Member

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    Where do you people surf?!?! I am a compulsive pr0n user and even download cracks for burned games (astalavista). I have NEVER got spyware. I use XP's firewall, a Linksys router, BoCLean (has never caught a thing), McAfee AV, RegDefend and Webroot Spysweeper. Nada, nothing. To be honest, I think all I really need is McAfee AV, Webroot and the router.
     
  11. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hi,
    The major difference between Firefox or Opera and IE is that the other two browsers are not a part of your operating system. You can access practically anything through your IE, change dlls, inject, infect, blah blah, not so with Firefox or Opera. Another important thing is the frequency of updates. MS come up with monthly updates. Mozilla guys do it far more frequently. I'll stick with Firefox, because I'm not too knwoledgeable with Opera. Then, there's the issue of ActiveX. And finally, Firefox has 127 official extensions, including about 40 security extensions, which can make the browser even more secure. Of course, nothing is invincible or unbreachable. But it all comes down to the end user.
    If you run a total honesty poll among people who visit forums asking for help with hijack this logs, you will discover that about 90% of them installed things knowingly, diregarding the threat. It begins with clicking yes on adverts in porn sites, thinking someone will really let you see premium movies and premium rates and highest DVD quality without paying. Then, it comes down to people who wanna play games without buying them. So they download them and download cracks, and of course they never even bother to scan the files they download for trojans. Then, there's people who use pirated windows and do not update to service pack 2. I have a guy at my work place, who's running SP1 with latest patch about 18 months ago. And no firewall. Now, do you find it surprising that I cleaned more than 1,500 entries of crap from his machine? Totally nasty attacks with the state-of-art exploits that instantly compromise your machine, in spite of firewall, anti-virus and full windows updates, are rather rare. You'd have to be very imaginative to find a site like that.
    I like to be prosaic, so here's another metaphor:
    Computer, with best software and best patches is like OICW, the new rifle combining grenade launcher, rifle, scope with camera and computer corrected sights. Give that rifle to a soldier with only the basic knowledge of simple guns. He won't use the best technology to its fullest. Same goes with computers.
    First step in the fight: good education. People should not be allowed to drive their computers without obtaining computer driving licence, just like cars.
    Second step: safe driving.
    Third step: total war, but that has to be waged by companies, not users. And in my opinion, would-be reputable firms that buy adware companies or use their services for promotion of their products are even worse than spyware makers themselves. It all comes down to money . . . If the creator of cws paid US$ 10 billion to Microsoft in return for a "service", we'd all be running "Cool" web searches in the next release of Windows.
    Cheers
    Mrk

    The only way we can be free - open source - communism.
     
  12. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

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    Well also I have been told by numerous people that service computers that there best advise is to limit or restrict yourself from downloading too many programs. and only download and run programs that you really need and know what they are . If one would only listen and abide to this advise It should greatly reduce or stop alot of the Everyday problems of today. also I noticed that if you do download alot of different programs it alters or changes your original windows... I ruined my computer numerous times and had to completely format everything and start fresh because im stupid downloading everything.

    Hope this helps somebody out. best advise. Only download what you need AV, Firewall, Antivirus, spyware scanners. and IF IT AINT BROKE DONT FIX IT.
     
  13. Carver

    Carver Guest

    You have to know what you are downloading is disigned for your OS, you can't just put a bunch of programs on your computer. It might cause conflicts. You can almost always correct problems without resorting to a reformat. You can prevent a lot of problems just by knowing what processes are running on your computer and deny access to those that are not supposed to be on your computer.
     
  14. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    The State of Spyware report already notes attempts to exploit Firefox, and predicts that we'll see the first true widespread Firefox compromise by the end of the year.

    There are some pretty bold comments made in this thread so far.. I immediatly thought of the opening to chapter one of "The Tao of Network Security" which contains the quote: "security is a process, not an end state.",

    Then goes on to state: "If your manager asks "Are we secure?", you should answer "Let me check." If he or she asks "Will we be secure tomorrow?" you should answer "I don't know" Such honesty will not be popular, but this mindset will produce greater success for the organization in the longrun."

    The point is that you can't just build one set routine or setup and figure it's what everyone needs. There are as many different circumstances as there are households and offices in this world. It's also not realistic to say that everyone just needs to learn about computers. There are plenty of people out there that honestly have better things to do. Personally I would rather my doctor be studying up on the real virii than spending as much time as we do on computer virii.. and those people need no less protection. Everyone has to start somewhere. There are lots of ways that people can adequately protect their computers, but stating that 'everyone should just do as I do' doesn't sit well with me. I"m a big fan of hardening, it can go a very long way, but I also realize that it's not feasible for everyone.

    You also need to be prepared for the worst, whether that's an infection that can't be fixed or hardware failure. When it comes to formatting, sometimes it's really just the easiest way to go. Eventually the system will get to the point that it's just no longer worth trying to patch up. I'm also of the opinion that it's well worth familiarizing yourself with the process. Unless you have lots of money to burn, you're going to need to know how to do it at some point, because your hardware will fail, and if you're not prepared then you will lose data. I don't advocate formatting for all problems, as it won't fix things like conflicts, but if you have a good backup strategy then it's really not that bad. If you wait a couple years in between you'll find it fixes a lot of small issues you just learned to work around and forgot about, along with a good performance increase (no matter how well you keep it maintained in the meantime).

    Last thing that I will state is that I will never let malware writers dictate how I use my computer. I use my computer for playing with apps and games, to state that I shouldn't do so may as well be stating that I not own a computer. That is good advice for a machine that needs to stay running as smoothly as possible all the time (such as a work machine, or a home machine used for family finances, etc), but nobody (but the law) will tell me I can't install as many programs as I choose. Perhaps this will come as a shock, but I haven't had an infection (that I didn't intend) since I stopped taking security for granted. There are always ways to stay secure with the way that you use your computer. The more you do with your computer, the more complex that becomes.. but there is always another way for 'you' to secure your computer besides how 'I' use mine.
     
  15. ct3n

    ct3n Guest

    Perhaps its comes as a shock to you, but you are not alone.
     
  16. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    As far as security of your browser Opera 8.02 is probably the safest but it takes a little while to customize it like you want and to learn all of it's settings but it is well worth it.
    And fortunatly it is very secure with it's default settings. Even before you set it up the way you want. I also have firefox but don't like it near as well as Opera.
     
  17. Brian N

    Brian N Registered Member

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    Opera is an excellent browser, one of my first browsers besides IE.
    However I mus admit I'm a freebie in the browser area, so I chose Firefox.
    With a few extensions, this baby is very nice ;)
     
  18. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Ctrl-F will bring up a search dialog in Opera - you can also add a "Find in Page" search section to a toolbar by right-clicking on it, selecting Customize/Buttons/Search and dragging the "Find in page search" entry to that toolbar.
     
  19. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    This is rather like saying: "I wear body armour, carry a machine-gun, have a black-belt in 3 martial arts and drive around in an armoured personnel carrier and you know what? I've never been mugged!"
    You could likely dispense with Webroot if you secure your browser since McAfee should detect anything serious, but a decent software firewall would be a useful addition to monitor/control outgoing traffic.
     
  20. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    :D :D
     
  21. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    That's funny now, but the way things are going, even that may not be enough protection this time next year. Sobering thought...
     
  22. Why do you say that? I don't feel any more threatened than last year, what's so special about next year?
     
  23. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    Well, I don't personally feel any more threatened either, but I have dealt with far more malware infestations this year than last and the nature of those infestations has become far nastier. The things that are out there are definitely more criminally-inclined and sinister than previously and the malware is getting more and more tenacious and even more sneaky in its attempts to get on as many PCs as possible. If that doesn't indicate a trend towards even nastier malware, than I don't know what it does indicate.

    Unless you took my metaphor at face value and thought I was talking about the real world and not the Internet? In which case, I live in London and definitely feel more threatened than this time last year thanks to the antics of some mad extremist fanatics in this city last month.
     
  24. lupus

    lupus Registered Member

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    Of course, given that this comes from a spyware-fighting company that is likely to drum up the threat for business purposes and spread FUD on a major competitor (firefox that is, best anti spy tool and free). I just do not subscribe to the "eventually it will get exploited as more people use it" school of thought.
     
  25. Trekk

    Trekk Registered Member

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    Thats not going to keep you from getting Spyware....
     
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