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Hypothetical Situation


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#1 KittyMouse02

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:29 AM

Ok, so I am very paranoid about viruses...but only because I am starting a photography blog/website and I am concerned about spreading a virus to others.

I have a laptop that is wiped clean. I am using a brand new memory card in my digital camera and only using it with this computer (to prevent viruses) to take photographs for the website.

My main concern now is that of our home wireless network...the router is hooked up to our main desktop computer...and one other laptop connects to and uses the wireless network (family member).

My question is...when I connect my clean laptop to the internet via wireless, can I get a virus from one of the other computers in my household because of sites that they have visited? I have heard that this is possible, and am interested in finding out how to ensure that this does not happen (as I do not want my files/photos that I intend to share on the website to infect others).

I know that this is kind of a complicated hypothetical thing, but I was interested in a little help/input if at all possible.

Thanks :-)

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#2 KittyMouse02

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:36 AM

I have not connected to the internet on the laptop since I have restored the computer to original factory state...I intend to immediately install Microsoft Security Essentials...but I must connect wirelessly to do so...Will this also put me at risk?

#3 KittyMouse02

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:01 AM

Also, is there a way to scan the router for infections?

#4 KittyMouse02

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:17 AM

Am I safe if I use a CAT 5 cable instead of wireless? Or can I still get infected from the computer that the router is hooked up to (desktop)

#5 myrti

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:41 AM

Hi,

there are many many different aspects and details we could discuss with your question. However, I will stick with the general malware and the implied argument that "noone is out there to get you in particular", but rather answer the question "Can I be a victim of a malware wanting to infect as much PCs as possible".
This means that nobody is intent on hacking you and if you make it hard enough for them to get in, they move on. It also means no human is sitting at a PC, trying to hack into your PC, because this just doesn't normally happen.

In such a case it makes no difference whether you use a CAT5 cable or Wifi. The infections don't come through flaws in the data exchange between your router and your PC, but rather in a misconfiguration of the router or your PC.
I am not aware of any program that will scan your router. However you can reset your router and override any changes made to the router if you are worried it might be infected.
This being said, if you use a safe password (not the default one, not an easily guessable one) on your router, the malware should not have been able to get in.

Regarding malware on a different PC infecting your PC over the network: This is possible in 2 different scenarios:
a) your PC is way out of date and the infection uses a known vulnerability in Windows to gain access to your PC. In addition you use no firewall and no anti virus program that could block such attacks. So if you could turn on the windows firewall before you connect to the network, you should already be safer. If you can install the AV offline (and the SP) you should be perfectly safe.
B) you are sharing folders with other people on the network and don't have autorun disabled for network shares. In such a case it would be possible that a malicious file gets launched when explorer enumerates the available network shares. You can avoid this by disabling autorun for network shares.

If neither is the case, you should be fine.

In addition let me say that the network infection vector is not very common anymore and if you have no reason to believe that the other PCs on your network are infected, you will likely be safe to connect to the network.

Let me also say that if you only share documents, videos pictures and files that are not executable, you can not infect your users. The dangerous files are the files you can execute: Screensavers, executables, scripts...
The other danger in setting up a website to share pictures is that your PC gets infected and the infection actually collects your login credentials to your webpage and infects it. This can be avoided by not logging into the side, when you think you may have been infected.

Let me know if you have other questions!

regards myrti

Edited by myrti, 09 July 2012 - 10:41 AM.

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#6 dwomack

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:43 AM

You can breathe a sigh of relief. You're going to be okay. Yes, it is possible to transfer infections across computers on a network but that requires transferring infected files from one computer to another. If you're really worried, you will be safe connecting your clean laptop directly to your modem and downloading your security software. After you've got that installed, run a scan and then you can feel safe connecting wirelessly.

#7 KittyMouse02

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:28 AM

You can breathe a sigh of relief. You're going to be okay. Yes, it is possible to transfer infections across computers on a network but that requires transferring infected files from one computer to another. If you're really worried, you will be safe connecting your clean laptop directly to your modem and downloading your security software. After you've got that installed, run a scan and then you can feel safe connecting wirelessly.



Thank you so much for your assistance! If you don't mind, how would I go about connecting the laptop to the modem? Is there a particular cord that is necessary? Do I connect to the modem or the router?

Edited by KittyMouse02, 10 July 2012 - 11:09 AM.


#8 dwomack

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

Thank you so much for your assistance! If you don't mind, how would I go about connecting the laptop to the modem? Is there a particular cord that is necessary? Do I connect to the modem or the router?


You should be okay simply using your wireless connection BUT if you're worried about something coming through the network, although I can assure you you'll be fine, you can simply use your ethernet cable (looks like a phone cord) to connect the modem directly to your laptop. Most laptops should have ethernet ports for just this purpose. This way, you can connect to the internet to download MSE without having to connect to your home network.

#9 KittyMouse02

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:33 PM


Thank you so much for your assistance! If you don't mind, how would I go about connecting the laptop to the modem? Is there a particular cord that is necessary? Do I connect to the modem or the router?


You should be okay simply using your wireless connection BUT if you're worried about something coming through the network, although I can assure you you'll be fine, you can simply use your ethernet cable (looks like a phone cord) to connect the modem directly to your laptop. Most laptops should have ethernet ports for just this purpose. This way, you can connect to the internet to download MSE without having to connect to your home network.



Thank you very much! I have this modem: Motorola 5b 5100

It is currently hooked up to my desktop computer via ethernet cable...Do I need to unplug the desktop or is it possible to hook up both? I see that there is a usb port (on the modem) that is not currently being utilized...would this work to leave the desktop connected and connect the laptop via usb cable? If I did this, could I get an infection from the desktop? Sorry for all of the questions :-)

Edited by KittyMouse02, 10 July 2012 - 02:04 PM.


#10 dwomack

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:55 PM

Thank you very much! I have this modem: Motorola 5b 5100

It is currently hooked up to my desktop computer via ethernet cable...Do I need to unplug the desktop or is it possible to hook up both? I see that there is a usb port (on the modem) that is not currently being utilized...would this work to leave the desktop connected and connect the laptop via usb cable? If I did this, could I get an infection from the desktop? Sorry for all of the questions :-)


Hmm if you have a wireless connection, it should be the router that's connected to the modem. Either way, you'll want to turn off the desktop computer and unplug the ethernet cable that's currently plugged into the modem. Then plug the laptop into the modem directly via an ethernet cable. Once you're antivirus software is installed, you can then reconnect the modem as it was before and your laptop will be safe to connect wirelessly.

#11 KittyMouse02

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

Thank you kindly for all of your advice! I feel much better!




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