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Question About Prevention


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#1 dacop

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:42 PM

I know there are many topics here about removing viruses such as Windows XP Scan 2012 and other Web viruses, but my question is how does one prevent them? I see many people out there getting these Web viruses while simply browsing the Web and their installed AntiVirus program did nothing to prevent it.

Is there software out there to prevent these types of viruses from attacking in the first place?

Thanks!

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 09:41 PM

Common sense, safe computing and safe surfing habits is essential to protecting yourself from malware infection. No amount of security software is going to defend against today's sophisticated malware writers for those who do not practice these principles and stay informed. Knowledge and the ability to use it is the best defensive tool anyone could have. This includes educating yourself as to the most common ways malware is contracted and spread.


Tips to protect yourself against malware infection:

Keep Windows and Internet Explorer current with all security updates from Microsoft which will patch many of the security holes through which attackers can gain access to your computer. When necessary, Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month and publishes Security update bulletins to announce and describe the update. If you're not sure how to install updates, please refer to Updating your computer. Microsoft also recommends Internet 6 and 7 users to upgrade their browsers due to security vulnerabilities which can be exploited by hackers.

Avoid gaming sites, porn sites, pirated software (warez), cracking tools, and keygens. They are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, exposure of personal information, and identity theft. In some instances an infection may cause so much damage to your system that recovery is not possible and the only option is to wipe your drive, reformat and reinstall the OS.

Avoid peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs (i.e. Limewire, eMule, Kontiki, BitTorrent, BitComet, uTorrent, BitLord, BearShare). They too are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to malware infections. File sharing networks are thoroughly infected and infested with malware according to Senior Virus Analyst, Norman ASA. Malicious worms, backdoor Trojans IRCBots, and rootkits spread across P2P file sharing networks, gaming, porn and underground sites. Users visiting such pages may see innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads and malicious Flash ads that install viruses, Trojans, and spyware. Ads are a target for hackers because they offer a stealthy way to distribute malware to a wide range of Internet users. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid these types of web sites and not use any P2P applications.
Beware of Rogue Security software as they are one of the most common sources of malware infection. They infect machines by using social engineering and scams to trick a user into spending money to buy a an application which claims to remove malware. For more specific information on how these types of rogue programs install themselves and spread infections, read How Malware Spreads - How did I get infected.

Keeping Autorun enabled on flash drives has become a significant security risk as they are one of the most common infection vectors for malware which can transfer the infection to your computer. One in every eight malware attacks occurs via a USB device. Many security experts recommend you disable Autorun as a method of prevention. Microsoft recommends doing the same.Note: If using Windows 7, be aware that in order to help prevent malware from spreading, the Windows 7 engineering team made important changes and improvements to AutoPlay so that it will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media.

Always update vulnerable software like browsers, Adobe Reader and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with the latest security patches. Older versions of these programs have vulnerabilities that malicious sites can use to exploit and infect your system.
Use strong passwords and change them anytime you encounter a malware infection, especially if the computer was used for online banking, paying bills, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it. This would include any used for taxes, email, eBay, paypal and other online activities. You should consider them to be compromised and change all passwords immediately as a precaution in case an attacker was able to steal your information when the computer was infected. If using a router, you need to reset it with a strong logon/password so the malware cannot gain control before connecting again.

Security Resources from Microsoft:Other Security Resources:Browser Security Resources:Simple Ways To Secure Your Privacy:

Edited by quietman7, 01 July 2011 - 05:51 AM.

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#3 Andrew

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:01 PM

Worth a read: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic2520.html

The best ways to prevent infections are defensive web use and limiting your attack surface.

Defensive web use is being smart about what websites you visit and what files you download as well as keeping your antimalware software, browser, and operating system up-to-date.

Limiting your attack surface means that you should reduce the number of ways someone could use to attack your computer. The #1 window into your computer is your web browser and any plugins your browser has installed plus Javascript. Whenever a website launches a plugin (Flash, Java, Silverlight, etc.) or runs some Javascript what is happening is that you are allowing whoever wrote the web page to run a program on your computer. Regardless of security measures, sandboxes, etc. your browser may put in place to keep these mini programs from escaping or accessing things they shouldn't, the fact remains that you are allowing unknown and untrusted persons to execute programs on your computer.

By default, no browser gives preferential treatment to any particular website: Google.com, Microsoft.com and BleepingComputer.com are given the same level of trust as MalwareWarehouse.ru. A reasonable person would accept that Google, Microsoft and BC are fairly trustworthy but who in their right mind would allow Malware Warehouse to run programs on their computer? One huge way to reduce your attack surface is to disallow any website from running these programs or selectively enabling only websites you trust using an addon like Firefox's NoScript.

Another way of reducing your attack surface is by setting your e-mail client (if you have one) to never render HTML in your mail (and certainly never run Javascript!) Doing so may make your mom's daily e-mail of 500 cat pictures less easy to read, but it will also prevent anything malicious from running too (and piss off privacy snooping services like ReadNotify too :devil: )

There are more proactive steps you can take to secure your computer but they all basically boil down to one core premise: any files or data arriving at your computer from a source which is outside of your control (which means the entire internet, a friend's flash drive, etc.) should be treated as guilty (malicious) until proven innocent.

#4 Union_Thug

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:28 AM

"MalwareWarehouse.ru" ....Posted Image

I'd just like to add Kudos to quietman7, Andrew & Grinler for the outstanding write ups in the preceding two posts.

Job well done, guys.

#5 Winterland

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:16 AM

I'd like to throw a big "Thank You" as well to Andrew, quietman and Grinler (and many others here at BC) for all the information provided.

I suspect most folks doing a drive-by this website might think it's a lot of reading upon first glance but taken in small steps, it all starts to make sense as you work your way through the WWW.

And, as you noted, some folks get infected/attacked/what-have-you while "simply browsing the Web" but if you dig a little deeper, ask them what they were doing & where they were doing it, you may find out they simply weren't safe surfing.

In the past several months, both my spiffy e-machine :whistle: as well as my wife very nice laptop have become very secure thanks to a great deal of the links & information provided here.

Among the most recent apps that I've used with great success has been the Secunia PSI.

Want to talk prevention? Let that app scan your machine and see how Out of Date so many things are. It one of many steps in the right direction.

As for the MalwareWarehouse website, let me tell you about my wife looking for recipes online and clicking her way through several .ru websites...oh boy, was that a mess.

Hope that helps some.

Enjoy the day.

Winterland

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#6 tos226

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

And here's another sobering, and somewhat frightening think piece, as to where we stand now and where we're going - post #92
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=300003&page=4

I fear we're near the point that the typical user will have to use a read-only system that they can't modify or add to in order to be reasonably sure of remaining malware free, and even this won't prevent the theft of personal info via social engineering. The problem here is that most users won't accept such a system. They want to be able to add to it as they please and expect someone else to clean up the mess. We've built a monster and made ourselves dependent on it, one designed with absolutely no security in mind. The system is too big to replace without causing economic chaos. IPv6 won't fix it, and introduces problems of its own.

I've grown tired of this everlasting arms race and trying to patch/update to a slightly lower state of insecure. IMO, all of the internet is untrustable and should be treated as such. I'll stay with a compact OS, stripped of unnecessary components, and protected by a default-deny policy with automated integrity checking. For me, setting it up was less hassle than trying to keep up with a losing battle. Beyond that, it doesn't matter where that malicious code came from or how many there are.






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