Is using this many programs overkill?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by guardian34, Jan 16, 2005.

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  1. guardian34

    guardian34 Guest

    Is it overkill to use all these different security programs together (along with my firewall and AV) on a Windows XP SP2 system? Would there be any conflicts? Thanks for any replies.

    Prevx (free)
    Winpatrol
    TeaTimer
    SSM
    Ewido (free)
    SpywareBlaster
    IE-Spyad
    A2 (free)
    X-Cleaner (free)
    Bugoff
    DSOstop
    HTAstop
    WWDC
    WMPscriptfix
    SafeXP
    Security Task Manager
    Pest Patrol
    TDS3
    Bazooka spyware scanner (free)
    Ad-Aware
    Spybot
    Snoopfree antikeylogger (free)
    Firefox (almost never use IE- never use OE)


    Did I miss anything? :D
     
  2. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    In part, it depends on the capabilities of your machine, your usage habits, and how you have each of those applications configured.

    There are as many operating philosophies out there as users, and each is workable is some contexts. My own philosophy is resource light and lean on realtime coverage with heavy on-demand backup. My specific program configuration is listed here.

    What I'd do is break your list into realtime vs. on-demand coverage. Personally, I ignore duplication of coverage in the on-demand arena since, when you get down to it, that's the backup team and duplication is part of the scheme. Focus on the real-time components. Assess where duplication and contention may exist. I view duplication without heavy resource impact as a fairly neutral situation, although sometimes duplication can be a fluid concept. In my own case an example of this could be KAV + BOClean. While a lot of folks would view this as pure duplication, I tend to agree with the sentiments discussed here.

    Since I don't use a number of the applications that you list, I wouldn't be prepared to say your program assembly is overkill. However, by assessing what threats you wish to protect against and how each program fits into achieving that overall objective, you will develop an indication of whether some parts are extra. Again, at least from my perspective, I'd only worry about the realtime components here.

    Blue
     
  3. Ailric

    Ailric Guest

    I will comment on the programs I'm familiar with. Others like SafeXP will not add to the total.

    Browser
    Firefox (almost never use IE- never use OE)
    -wise choice

    Spyware
    SpywareBlaster
    Pest Patrol
    Bazooka spyware scanner (free)
    Ad-Aware
    Spybot
    -I would stick with Spybot, Spywareblaster and Adaware. I would not run Pest Patrol at startup, but it is a powerful anti-malware program good for occasional scanning.

    Behaviour and process control
    Prevx (free)
    Winpatrol
    TeaTimer
    SSM
    -I would choose just one or two of these. A little overkill, I wouldn't run all of these together.

    Anti trojan
    Ewido (free)
    A2 (free)
    TDS3
    -TDS3 is supposed to be the most powerful. You could probably ditch the rest.


    With a good antivirus and firewall, you should be very well protected.
     
  4. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    It looks like you're afraid of getting hit by something. For what other purposes did you ever plan to use your processor power?
    Being security minded is wise, but asking the question is answering it too, don't you think? Since you asked the question: this surely is overkill.

    If you're this afraid of attacks, move away to another platform, with less vulnerabilities, exploits and baddies. There are better ways to spend your gigahertz's.
     
  5. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I fully agree with Blue, having a lot of apps at the ready for on-demand only won't put you in the catagory of overkill in my book either. Better to have them at the ready and not need them than the other way around. I think it would also be helpful to break the list down into what they do, too.

    Behavior blockers:
    Prevx (free)
    Winpatrol
    TeaTimer
    SSM
    Snoopfree antikeylogger (free)
    -
    SSM will cover all the things Winpatrol covers plus more. Unless you don't like SSM's registry monitor, I would probably nix WP.

    Although Prevx doesn't detect specific spyware, I've found it to stop any spyware intallations and cover the same registry areas as TeaTimer, you could probably do without TeaTimer if you wanted to slim down the list some. If you traded SSM for ProcessGuard, you could also drop Snoopfree, sliming this list down to Prevx and ProcessGuard for pretty much the same level of protection, minus registry monitoring. Check out THIS thread for comparisons of registry monitors. :)



    Anti-trojan:
    Ewido (free)
    A2 (free)
    Pest Patrol
    TDS3
    -
    I would only run one of these resident (TDS3 or Ewido would be my choice), but they're all good to keep around. You could schedule a2 to do updates and scans, just run a scan with one of the others once in a while. Be careful of false positives from Pest Patrol, though.


    System hardening tools:
    IE-Spyad
    Bugoff
    DSOstop
    HTAstop
    WWDC
    WMPscriptfix
    SafeXP
    -
    These just change the way Windows is configured, kinda hard to "overkill" on that. You've got a great combo for those, you might also check out SecureIt


    Anti-spyware:
    SpywareBlaster
    Bazooka spyware scanner (free)
    Ad-Aware
    Spybot
    X-Cleaner (free)
    -
    Looks good to me :) Ewido and PestPatrol will also pick up a bit of spyware as well. You might also check out the MS anti-spyware while it's still free.

    Security Task Manager - Good one to have around in case there's any question about a running process, if you've already bought it. There are alternatives, however, some free.

    It's really up to you as to what you keep and what you get rid of. If you're willing to invest some money, you could probably consolidate the list of apps further while keeping the same level of protection. Bottom line, I guess, is to learn what each of these apps do and not have too many things covering the same areas. If you wanted the strongest security with a minimum of apps, you could go for a good AV, firewall, Prevx, ProcessGuard, and keep the freebie scanners around for periodic scans (when you feel the need), and of course use the system hardening tools. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2005
  6. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Notok,

    Nice analysis - and the explicit breakdown by function does a lot to focus the discussion of where trimming might be useful and where gaps could still reside.

    Blue
     
  7. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Blue: Thanks :)

    Ailric: We were posting at the same time, lol :)
     
  8. Ailric

    Ailric Guest

    You know what they say about great minds? ;)
     
  9. guardian34

    guardian34 Guest

    Thanks for all the replies. Some helpful stuff here, and Notok, all I can say is WOW! Thanks for the absolutely fantastic post.
     
  10. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR (USA)
    Glad I could help, guardian.
     
  11. wings

    wings Registered Member

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    Posts:
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    I would never advice this program, not because it's doesn't do what it's supposed to do, but because it crashes other programs. I've used it on two different machines (both XP SP2) and users were complaining about programs (Photoshop and cdrLabel for example) ending without any error message (every 5-10 min or so). Removing Snoopfree solved all the problems.

    If you go through the update history of this program then you'll notice that about every update deals with fixes for crashes, even the latest v1.0.6.
    The programmer was so desperate that he removed the armadillo protection, assuming that this would solve the problems. The fact that he changed the product to a 100% free product makes me also suspicious, as if he's feeling guilty because he can't find the bug that's causing his program crashing other software.

    Of course this could all just be a incidental problem on these 2 computers, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case other users experience the same crashes.
     
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