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Exploitable unupdated programs

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#1 C. Fraser

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:12 PM



This is just a question out of curiosity, about how a computer with one or more programs that aren't fully updated (such as Windows, or Adobe I think) is still vulnerable to exploitation, even with a solid maleware/firewall protection.


How are these exploits accessed? If I understand things correctly, a good firewall basically makes your computer invisible to hackers, and anti-maleware programs protect you while surfing, with the understanding that there is no infallible protection. So, if you have reasonably solid protection on your computer, is it possible to still have protection against these exploits?

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#2 KingdomSeeker


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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:25 PM

Programs are full of hidden flaws that aren't known. That's why there are constant updates. It seems hackers know more about the flaws then the techs who design the programs do and take advantage of them. Also new viruses and exploits are being invented faster than you protection software can protect against them. I hope this makes sense.

#3 quietman7


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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:13 AM

Older versions of of popular software such as Adobe (Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave Player), Java, Windows Media Player, Web Browsers are vulnerable to exploits and should be kept updated. There are serious security issues with older versions which can increase the risk of system infection. Infections spread by malware writers and attackers exploiting unpatched security holes or vulnerabilities in older versions. Software applications are a favored target of malware writers who continue to exploit coding and design vulnerabilities with increasing aggressiveness.

The majority of computers get infected from visiting a specially crafted webpage that exploits one or multiple software vulnerabilities. It could be by clicking a link within an email or simply browsing the net, and it happens silently without any user interaction whatsoever.

Web Exploits

Exploit kits are a type of malicious toolkit used to exploit security holes found in software applications...for the purpose of spreading malware. These kits come with pre-written exploit code and target users running insecure or outdated software applications on their computers.

Exploit Kits - Anatomy of an exploit kit


Using unpatched and unsupported Windows systems on the Internet is a security risk to everyone as they are prone to attack from hackers, Botnets, zombie computers and malware infection. The longer malware remains on your system, the more time it has to download additional malicious files and cause further damage which in turn makes disinfection more problematic. When there are compromised computers connected connected to the Internet, malware spreads faster and more extensively, distributed denial-of-service attacks are easier to launch, spammers have more platforms from which to send e-mail and more zombies are created to perpetuate the cycle. Without installing all supported service packs first, you are wide open to infection and other high security risks which are prone to an unpatched system.

Answers to common security questions - Best Practices for Safe Computing
How Malware Spreads - How did I get infected

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