Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Is there one generally-accepted solution to malware?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore

  • Members
  • 286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:08:50 PM

Posted 01 August 2014 - 01:23 PM

I've fiddled around with various malware products, but have never had a total solution. I've talked to several local "tech support" companies, but each one recommends a different solution. When I question them about the rationale, I get a strong sense that it is largely emotional.

 

I'm new here, but this group seems to have considerable collective expertise. Has the group taken the time to document a total malware solution complete with specific products and detailed (step by step) instructions for installation and ongoing maintenance?

 

I think this would be a great service. I would love to have a tested procedure to follow with a place to post questions or problems. Over time, it would become a valuable tool.

 

If something like this already exists, please direct me. I did read the pinned articles in this section.

 

Cheers


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

To answer your topic title question...No.

The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear and it takes time for them to be reported, samples collected, analyzed, and tested by anti-virus researchers before they can add a new threat to database definitions.

Anti-virus and anti-malware programs each perform different tasks as it relates to computer security and threat detection. Essentially, they look for and remove different types of malicious threats. In simplistic terms, Anti-virus programs generally scan for infectious malware which includes viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkis and bots. Anti-virus software is inherently reactive...meaning it usually finds malware after a computer has been infected. Further, if you're dealing with zero-day malware it's unlikely the anti-virus is going to detect anything.

Anti-malware programs generally tend to focus more on spyware, adware and PUPS (potentially unwanted programs). However, there can be some overlap in functionality and detection features depending on the program's scanning engine, how the vendor defines a specific threat and what Naming Standards are used.

Keep in mind that no amount of security software is going to defend against today's sophisticated malware writers for those who do not practice safe computing and stay informed. It has been proven time and again that the user is a more substantial factor in security than the architecture of the operating system or installed protection software. Therefore, security begins with personal responsibility and following Best Practices for Safe Computing.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#3 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:08:50 PM

Posted 02 August 2014 - 01:05 PM

To answer your topic title question...No.

 

Dear Mr. Tracy,

 

I agree with everything you said. Here’s the problem from the perspective of a responsible, reasonably knowledgeable user who is not an expert in malware and who has neither the time nor the interest in becoming one. I’ve read quite a few reviews of malware (I use that term generically in the widest possible sense) software. It’s frankly daunting. The claims of the vendors have to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. And many of the reviewers have personal agendas. As you say, the subject is complicated.

 

How am I to know what software to install and how to make the best use of it with the minimum impact on my life?

 

I have had paid advice from several different “tech support” guys. They all have a different approach. Some of them made things worse. Some failed to include appropriate instructions for ensuring that the databases were kept up to date. One guy installed a second virus scanner when I already had one running. The two clashed with each other and made the machine unusable at random times of the day. Another guy came in and replaced them both with something else. These were all so-called “experts”.

 

I understand that there is no one “perfect” solution and I realize that this can be a bit of a religious debate. But we (the user community) need help sorting out the myriad of options. I would love to have a vetted plan that includes:

 

  • Which tools to buy / install.
  • How to make the best use of them.
  • What routine maintenance procedures to do (weekly, monthly, etc.).

 

I think many others would also benefit.

 

Perhaps one (or more) experts could propose a plan and let the other critique it. Users could then respond with questions and problems. Over time, we’d get a couple of plans that had been checked out and shown to work.

 

Maybe we need a “Free Plan” (for those who believe in free lunches) and a “Paid Plan” that advocates the best tools regardless of cost.

 

I’ve read many of the “tutorials” here and elsewhere. The Startup List is looks like a tremendous resource. I plan to get to work on it as soon as I can. Then I’ll look at the Uninstall List. It would be helpful if there were a tool that would scan my system and locate the threats in these lists.

 

I have something similar in mind with “The Plan”. It would describe a comprehensive Security Plan and have a Security Plan Forum for discussion.

 

Left to my own devices, I’ll spend hours and hours investigating different tools and end up installing, configuring, and uninstalling various tools and probably not getting the job done optimally.

 

Cheers


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#4 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 02 August 2014 - 04:52 PM

I generally recommend ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small footprint...meaning it is not intrusive and does not utilize a lot of system resources. Emsisoft Anti-Malware is also a good choice if looking for a paid for program. If you don't want to pay then I recommend avast! Free Antivirus.

I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) and taking advantage of the Protection Module in the full version...see my comments in Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools as to why.

I recommend using SUPERAntiSpyware Free as a separate stand-alone on-demand scanner. The free version does not provide real-time protection or scheduled scanning so there is no need for it to run at startup and waste system resources. This gives you another tool to use as a second opinion or in the event of malware infection where some of your tools may be disabled.

I also recommend using SpywareBlaster and WinPatrol.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#5 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:08:50 PM

Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:52 PM

I generally recommend ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small footprint...meaning it is not intrusive and does not utilize a lot of system resources. Emsisoft Anti-Malware is also a good choice if looking for a paid for program. If you don't want to pay then I recommend avast! Free Antivirus.

I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) and taking advantage of the Protection Module in the full version...see my comments in Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools as to why.

I recommend using SUPERAntiSpyware Free as a separate stand-alone on-demand scanner. The free version does not provide real-time protection or scheduled scanning so there is no need for it to run at startup and waste system resources. This gives you another tool to use as a second opinion or in the event of malware infection where some of your tools may be disabled.

I also recommend using SpywareBlaster and WinPatrol.

Thank you very much for these recommendations.

 

A couple of questions:

  1. It seems like it makes sense to start clean. I have a bunch of junk left over from too many people tinkering with the machines. Should I remove/uninstall all of that before I start? As best I can tell, here's the list of software that appears either in the Start | Programs list or in the Add and Remove Programs applet:
    1. Spybot Search & Destroy
    2. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Premium) 2.0.2.1.1012. Is this different that "Pro"?
    3. CCleaner
    4. Astra32
    5. Driver Tool
    6. Driver Max
    7. Lavalys
    8. Lavasoft Adaware
    9. Lavasoft Adaware 6
    10. NirSoft BlueScreenView
    11. Unknown Device Identifier 8.00
  2. I'd like to implement this one step at a time so I have time to get familiar with each tool. Should I start with ESET?

Thanks


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#6 guit30

guit30

  • Members
  • 244 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Abington, Pa.
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:16 AM

I decided to try SuperAntispyware next, and installed it on a free trial for 2 weeks like I had done for MBAM. My first scan caught 49 cookies basically, but it was something, that I had wanted out of my system for awhile. It had realtime activated, but I never found anything when it was on realtime. You can schedule scans for when you want. While I was still on my freetrial, I noticed my computer doing strange things, a popup on my desktop that said Norton Android was attacking my computer, since I have NIS for virus protection, I got in touch with them, and they told me that I did not need malware protection because they cover a lot of it. I told them that I was finding a lot of it with anti malware programs. I like NIS, because it does an excellent job of virus protection and it does pick up viruses in realtime very efficiently. It is getting expensive though. Back to Superantispyware, there is no way to get support. They just released version 6, and many on their forum are complaining of freezeups and strange behavior. To me, the interface looks cheap, updates are questionable, the forum is loaded with unanswered complaints, this is a paid service. I think I will try Emisoft antimalware next, it claims to do virus and malware protection, plus a free trial month.

Eset Nod32 vs 8

Super Anti Spyware

Secunia 2.0


#7 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

The PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware was renamed to Premium in version 2.0 to avoid confusion for home users. The current version is what you have so I would leave it.

mvps.org is no longer recommending Spybot S&D (or Ad-Aware) due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products). Further, most people don't understand how to use Spybot's TeaTimer and that feature can cause more problems than it's worth. TeaTimer monitors changes to certain critical keys in Windows registry but does not indicate if the change is normal or a modification made by a malware infection. The user must have an understanding of the registry and how TeaTimer works in order to make informed decisions to allow or deny the detected changes. If you don't have understanding how a particular security tool works, then you probably should not be using it. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and in some cases it will even prevent disinfection of malware by those tools.

To be fair, there are now new versions of Spybot such as Spybot 2 + AV (Home & Pro) and Spybot 2 Free but I have not used them, nor read any reviews as to how well they perform.

As for Ad-Aware.

Ad-Aware...have gone into a downhill spiral over the past five years and recently sold the company to Solaria... Majorgeeks stopped listing Ad-Aware as a “pick” some years ago as we watched the quality of the company slip over the years...it can’t stand up to the new generation of anti-spyware applications...

What does the future hold for Ad-Aware?
Lavasoft Controversies

Also read Lavasoft Turning to the Dark Side? written by a former volunteer (now a MVP) who provided support for Ad-Aware but no longer uses the program.

With that said, the newer version of Ad-Aware Pro Security 10.4 has earned Certificates & Awards from AV-Test and did well in Virus Bulletin August 2013 Testing results.

IMO, more effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware Free so I would remove both Ad-Aware & Spybot.

The remaining programs are utilities not related to malware protection so it's up to you whether or not to keep them. A simple Google search will explain what they are. For other programs you don't recognize or know whether they are worthwhile to keep or be removed, you can use Should I Remove It?.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#8 Scoop8

Scoop8

  • Members
  • 326 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dallas TX
  • Local time:10:50 PM

Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

Cynthia

 

As mentioned, this topic is diverse.  As a non-expert, I'll offer my 2¢ about it.

 

I'm running Norton AV (N360 2014 version) simultaneously with MBAM Pro.  I switched to Norton in December '12 after using 2 previous mainline AV's.

 

I like to evaluate an AV's performance after the 2nd year of installation/use on my PC's to see how it performed, if anything penetrated its shields, etc.

 

So far, Norton's been the best choice for me but as mentioned, it's one topic where there's a lot of diverse point of views about the best protective plan to use on one's PC.

 

I'll mention that, regarding MBAM Pro/Premium, there tends to be considerable mis-information about running the real-time product simultaneously with mainline AV products.

 

As quietman7 has mentioned in this thread and elsewhere at this forum, MBAM is designed to work in conjunction with the mainline AV products. 

 

Occasionally, mostly elsewhere at particular AV forums, you'll read posts where it's stated that you must not run any 2 real-time products simultaneously since that will cause conflicts, thus increasing the chance for an infectious object to penetrate into the PC.  This statement isn't substantiated by lab test data, nor AV user testimonials that I have found thus far in reading about this topic.

 

There are a lot of experts that recommend a dual-layer protection approach with a mainline AV product with an antimalware-specific product.  That's the reason I've been running both products on my 2 PC's. 

 

You'll be on the right track with quietman7's posts with this topic and elsewhere on the forum.  He may not be Dick Tracy but it's A-1 advice :).

 

I'd add the benefits of maintaining an overall backup plan in addition to the advice of product selection for malicious protection.

 

It's hard to beat the "peace of mind" benefit of having several full-HDD backups available in the event that malicious intrusions penetrate the AV and malware-protective products' front-line defense mechanisms.

 

I've recovered twice during the last several years from malicious intrusions by installing a cloned HDD (or one can restore the HDD from an Image file).  I was running the PC normally within a few minutes after both malicious intrusions.

 

From what I've read about this topic the past 3 years, the best protective strategy is to utilize several methods, including safe PC habits and practices, keeping protective software, plug-in's, add-on's updated, things along those lines.

 

The last one's just my opinion, but backups are my priority for recovering from numerous undesirable situations, malicious infections, HDD failures, bad downloads or corrupt OS updates, and user mistakes.

 



#9 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:22 PM

Scoop8 is absolutely spot on in regards to backups....backing up your data and disk imaging are among the most important maintenance tasks users should perform on a regularly, yet it's one of the most neglected areas.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#10 Rayezilla

Rayezilla

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:10:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:16 AM

Hi, first post!

 

I usually recommend ESET, it's a high quality anti virus/malware combination. The repair shop I manage sees very few virus recurrences when people spend the $50 a year on it.  


Edited by Rayezilla, 04 August 2014 - 09:24 AM.


#11 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:41 PM

I have been using ESET and EAM for years. They work great together and I've never had a problem.
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#12 King_Yoshi

King_Yoshi

  • Malware Study Hall Senior
  • 1,349 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:50 PM

Since we are on the topic of various Anti-virus and anti-malware programs, do you have any suggestions for stand-alone programs. (Both Paid for and Free)
Meaning ones that are "just a anti-virus/malware scanner", and nothing else. (Meaning no live protection, no additional addons etc.)


Edited by King_Yoshi, 04 August 2014 - 06:51 PM.


#13 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:32 PM

List of Free Scan & Disinfection Tools which can be used to supplement your anti-virus and anti-spyware or get a second opinion:


Note: Many of these tools are stand-alone applications contained within zipped files...meaning they require no installation so after extraction, they can be copied to and run from usb drives.

 


.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#14 quietman7

quietman7

    Bleepin' Janitor


  • Global Moderator
  • 51,482 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia, USA
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:32 PM


Other Free Malware Removal Tools by Anti-virus vendors:
.
.
Windows Insider MVP 2017-2018
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015 kO7xOZh.gif
Member of UNITE, Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators

If I have been helpful & you'd like to consider a donation, click 38WxTfO.gif

#15 King_Yoshi

King_Yoshi

  • Malware Study Hall Senior
  • 1,349 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:50 PM

Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:43 PM

Thank you for the lists quietman7!






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users