The perfect security solution for me

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by SourMilk, Aug 8, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Like many others looking for a low memory highly secure computer, I finally settled on this configuration:

    1) Start with a clean, defragged, and malware free computer.
    2) Use TweakUI from Microsoft.
    *****a) Go to the desktop section and add the "My Documents" shortcut to the desktop.
    *****b) Right click on the desktop "My Documents" shortcut and move it to another hard drive or different partition.
    3)Use ShadowSurfer (got mine free during a promotion.)
    *****a) Only protect drive C: (assuming that is the OS drive.)
    4) Only use the ShadowSurfer protected mode until you update the programs in the "Program Files" directory or Windows updates.

    You can use any browser with or without antivirus or firewall as long as you don't type any personal data into purchase forms. With ShadowSurfer, you are completely isolated from drive/partition you are protecting. Everything is reset on reboot to when you started ShadowSurfer.

    Cool, Huh?

    SourMilk out
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
  2. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    There are other ways as wel. Like FDISR that gives u much more liberty.
    BTW, why to put shortcut to my documents on other partition, I did not understand this.
    I want to ask does shadowuser still disables ur Desktop Wallpaper and puts its own walllpaper. I did not like this.
     
  3. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I use FDISR on another computer :)

    I move "My Documents" to another drive so it will accept changes in the documents while my C: drive is protected from changes. For instance, if I play a game and the saves are located in the "My Games" folder in "My Documents", I want to ensure that the saves will still be there when I reboot. The ShadowSurfer protected drive (in my case, C:) will reset everything on drive C: to the point it was started. The good: any malware will disappear. The bad: If not carefully managed, everything including any updates will disappear as well.

    Yeah, the wallpaper is kind of blaring but it is a good reminder that whatever changes are made will disappear when rebooted - sort of a warning wallpaper.
     
  4. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Posts:
    601
    Wallpaper can be changed as far as I know, and I've experimented with shadowuser once inawhile.

    I'd still use a firewall, but that's just me. But rebooting every few days just to roll back changes isn't my kind of thing in the first place.

    Actually, ErikAlbert is one of the members here that came up with this idea wayyyy back when. He's done a lot of research on the topic. Maybe he can add some suggestions.
     
  5. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Great minds must think alike :) I wasn't trying to come up with an original plan just one that works for me and thought I would share it. I am sure there are many other security options but this one uses very little memory and is very easy to use.

    SourMilk out
     
  6. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    I forgot one thing that shadow surfer is free.
     
  7. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Hi, discussion was about SS not SU.
    That is must even with shadowuser/ surfer.
     
  8. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    o_O o_O
     
  9. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    When you use TweakUI as explained in my first post you have the option of physically moving "My Documents" to another hard drive or partition on your computer when you right click the desktop icon you just made. It's very useful if you mess with C: drive a lot like I do :p .
     
  10. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Ok, got it. What,s the link for it and what are its benefits?
     
  11. furballi

    furballi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Posts:
    263
    Do it right the 1st time if you want to protect the OS. Use FF or Opera.


    Move the following items to another extended logical partition:

    -C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data
    -My Documents
    -Outlook Express

    Details can be found on the internet.
     
  12. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    I searched in downloads on microsoft.com for TweakUI and found no results.
     
  13. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Posts:
    5,619
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
  14. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    thanks.
     
  15. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    Seems not for XP.
     
  16. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Posts:
    2,524
    For XP it is part of the PowerTools Suite:
    http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/fi...c,All Downloads/description.html?findid=52676

    Here's an article that may be of interest:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/125730-1/article.html

    Caution is advised if you are going to mess with the Application Data folders.
    Backup first.

    If all you want to do is move My Documents, you don't need TweakUI.


    Here's a couple more articles. You can even move the entire Documents and Settings folder, but it is trickier:
    Cannot move or rename the Documents and Settings folder
    How To Change the Default Location of User Profiles and Program Settings
     
  17. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    You're right about not needing TweakUI to move "My Documents". I used it because I already had it and it was a simple task especially for those who don't know another way.
     
  18. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Indeed wayyyy back and in those days, I had ShadowUser (SU) in mind, not ShadowSurfer.
    Meanwhile, I dropped SU without even using it and now I use FirstDefense-ISR (FDISR), which allows me to work with one frozen snapshot.

    I choosed FDISR, not because it did a better job than SU, but because FDISR has more possibilities than SU :
    1. FDISR can be used as a very fast second backup method.
    2. FDISR can be used for creating unlimited WORK environments.
    3. FDISR can be used for creating unlimited TEST environments.
    4. FDISR allows you to copy, update, archive and restore any snapshot to another snapshot.
    5. FDISR recovers your system inside and outside Windows.
    So I had many very good reasons to use FDISR.

    SU taught me one very good thing :
    I separated Windows from my personal data, emails and address-book.
    1. System partition [C:] = winXPproSP2 + Applications
    2. Data partition [D:] = personal data, emails, email-address-books.
    which was one of the recommendations of SU. Later on I discovered that this separation was also very convenient, it simplified my backup and it also gave me the opportunity to fool around with my system partition without being worried about losing my personal data, emails or address-book.

    A frozen snapshot or using SchadowUser REMOVES indeed all bad changes after the next reboot, which is even better than running all existing AV/AS/AT/AK-scanners.
    In theory we are talking about a foolproof REMOVAL of bad changes.

    Unfortunately we are NOT talking about a foolproof PROTECTION, because between two reboots your system partition is vulnerable for any kind of infection and that's a problem.
    A frozen snapshot or ShadowUser won't prevent installing malwares on your harddisk and won't stop malwares from doing their evil job, once they are triggered BEFORE the next reboot.
    Another serious problem is that DOWNLOADED files can be infected.
    It isn't easy to live without scanners. :)
     
  19. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Do you mean that malware does not infect frozen FDISR snapshots? I thought that ShadowSurfer (not ShadowUser) would not allow such infections because, according to their website, the protected partition is a virtual sandbox and any changes will not touch the hard drive. I use FDISR on another computer and am very happy with it but ShadowSurfer has no disk footprint and I believe it to be very secure. All of my downloads are scanned and I do a nightly malware scan. No baddies yet, but I'm looking to find one.
     
  20. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Posts:
    601
    I was under the impression that the only difference between SU and SS was that SS allowed you to commit changes while SU did not.

    Depending on where your computer is located, [for example, behind a NAT], a firewall may not necessarily be needed. I haven't had an incoming scan on my firewall log in about a year.

    And I thought frozen images could not be infected regardless of what program is used.
     
  21. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    My personal problem with virtualization softwares is that I don't know how good they are.
    There is only one way to find out and that is what members at Wilders call the torture test.
    1. you create an unprotected environment without any security software.
    2. you use only MS Applications
    3. you install ShadowUser or ShadowSurfer as protection
    After that
    1. you start visiting every possible dangerous websites on purpose
    2. you open all your spam-emails and email-attachments on purpose
    3. you install and try downloaded files and softwares from an unknown source on your computer, as many as possible.
    4. you don't even keep Windows up-to-date, because it isn't necessary.
    Will your computer still be healthy after doing this for six months ?
    After all ShadowUser/Surfer doesn't allow any change on your harddisk, so it doesn't matter what you do on the internet and on your computer. No change is no change. Period.
    Do you trust ShadowUser/Surfer that far ? That's my point.

    I don't think that any user, including me, tested SU/SS in such environment, because they are still using firewalls, scanners, HIPS, safer browsers, safer email-softwares, have discipline on the internet, etc.
    That's because they don't trust SU/SS and use SU/SS only as an additional layer of protection.

    No changes on your harddisk is one thing. Another thing is stopping the execution of malwares during two reboots. Is virtualization that strong to stop any malware execution, even keyloggers.
    Until now I never saw an objective report, where security experts tell me how good virtualization really is.
    I don't even think that security experts take virtualization seriously and who wants to test a virtualization software so thoroughly, that it might be the end of other security softwares.
     
  22. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Posts:
    630
    Location:
    Hawaii
    [snip]
    I don't even think that security experts take virtualization seriously and who wants to test a virtualization software so thoroughly, that it might be the end of other security softwares.[/QUOTE]

    I see what you mean. I recently heard of a malware that attacks while using a virtual drive (by some antivirus vendor . Doggone it. Well, I guess it's back to protection wares and safe hex.

    Thanks

    SourMilk out
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I see what you mean. I recently heard of a malware that attacks while using a virtual drive (by some antivirus vendor . Doggone it. Well, I guess it's back to protection wares and safe hex.

    Thanks

    SourMilk out[/QUOTE]
    Nevertheless, I think that "go back to a healthy state" is still the best way to keep your computer clean and it requires only a reboot to do it.
    The days of simple malwares are over, so will need a better and above all a faster cleaning method than scanners.
    If you reboot each 4 or 8 hours, you have a clean computer and the possible malwares have only 4 or 8 hours time to do their evil job. Not all malwares are immediately active, some of them are waiting for a trigger.
    You have to find a few softwares or some method that protect you enough during those 4 or 8 hours.
     
  24. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Nevertheless, I think that "go back to a healthy state" is still the best way to keep your computer clean and it requires only a reboot to do it.
    The days of simple malwares are over, so you will need better and above all faster cleaning methods than scanners.
    If you reboot each 4 or 8 hours, you have a clean computer and the possible malwares have only 4 or 8 hours time to do their evil job. Not all malwares are immediately active, some of them are waiting for a trigger.
    You have to find a few softwares or some method that protect you enough during those 4 or 8 hours.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.