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What I think of Malware


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#1 NullPointerException

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 11:58 AM

Malware - 

  1. software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.

Those folks at Oxford think it's simple. Isn't it?
A reverse-engineer defines it as ...
"1. Malicious software that is generally used to hack computers, typically for banking purpose"
A programmer defines it as...
"1. It is a program that is heavily aided by the stupidity of users.
2. Vulnerability sucks"
A debugger defines it as...
"1. Is it my mistake? I hope not"
An end user defines it as...
"1. What is the best antivirus?"
A computer scientist defines it as...
"obfuscated_names.png "
Good-type of hackers define it as...
"1. Hacked
2. Lulz at your security
3. TROLOLOLOL"

You see, friends, that it varies how people see the word, 'malware'. Now, I assume you're an experienced malware-removal-expert. Our voluntary jobs seem difficult to keep up with. The end users are often not too savvy and often we need to re-explain our two-thousand character reply. They do not have the basic understanding of malware, often times they just say "help something went wrong". Sometimes they're infected with adware, and sometimes they're infected with a RAT. It all varies.

In my opinion, malware is too complicated and it is ever-growing. Groups like Annoymous, and LulzSec are rare. And even those two groups are loosely associated, they're too loose-organized. They try to fight the govt, but I don't see a Russian govt site down these days. Those groups possess no harms to us, the end users of the Internet, "The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines".

But, of course, most "black hat" hackers' job is to create destructive software. Their job is to earn as much as stolen BitCoins as possible. Not only BitCoin factually, but our credit cards, our identities, our mobile and even our privacy. You see, antivirus devs are lacking compared to the sheer amount of "black hat" hackers. What is really bad, is that the illiteracy of computer science among users. Most professional non-computer engineers cannot answer any programming, engineering or virtual questions about computer science. And that's what they learnt, until third year...

Many new users install multiple antiviruses without the proper settings. By 'proper settings', I mean proper process exclusions, proper HIPS/BB/Firewall settings. They often face a BSOD. Then they come to computer repair forums, and are taught computer science's technics. That is too slow. Too slow. It takes days and perhaps even weeks to repair their computers (I've experienced trying to help them myself), and they barely read the red text in most cases after their computer is finished repairing.

Norton antivirus is still infamous over YouTube. People still believe that Norton is "slow" and "sluggish", "resource-hogger" as "it was in 2006". That antivirus is really good, but not my type actually. Do I recommend it? I do. But whenever I recommend that over YouTube (by replying comments and correct the original poster's facts, they just scorn me, telling me that I am a "script kiddy". I'd facepalm if I could, but that's hurt my face and my eyes. Even among some computer scientists, Java is considering "dead", it is considered slow. As it was "before Java 5", do they know that Java 8 has already been released?

Their knowledge is not up-to-date. Similar is our knowledge. When we review an AV, we should make sure we test all of its components. Things might not be as they were in previous versions. Or in 2002. In some aspects, it goes for malware also. Assuming you're a reverse-engineer, you already know that new malware in-the-wild means new code to test. But how sure you are that the latest version was released two months ago? What if the new, undetected version was released just a week ago? We should keep our knowledge up to date.

As for the not-so-tech users, be aware of what you install.
No, I am serious. That alone can prevent about sixty-five percent of problems. For example...

Jim wanted to download AVG antivirus. He clicked on the google's first yellow link, assuming a multi-mega corporation like Google wouldn't fail him. He, two hours later, ended up with alots of porn.

Well, not a good example. But that does it, I think. You try for software A, click on link B, get installer C, which in turn installs D, that triggers reaction E...Do not just click "next", do actually read the license agreement. You might not be an advocate and might not enjoy hundreds-of-lines of capitalized "HERE, WE, US, ("WWW.SOMEONE.COM"), but it helps.

I hope that one day, malware will be destroyed. I can hope, can't I?

It doesn't matter if you're a totally noob when it comes to computers, following simple statements provided by end users can save you millions of dollars. Literally.



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#2 quietman7

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:30 PM

Glossary of Malware Related Terms
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#3 NickAu

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:12 PM

 

I hope that one day, malware will be destroyed. I can hope, can't I?

I doubt that it ever can be eliminated, There is BIG money in cyber crime, It is a lot easier to steal $1000 000 bucks online and get away with it, than to storm into a bank with a gun, No chance of getting shot, No chance of going to Jail for life ( Well in Australia anyway), Do it all from the comfort of your air conditioned home if you like.



#4 quietman7

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:22 PM

I doubt that it ever can be eliminated, There is BIG money in cyber crime...

I agree. From the bottom of my previous link...


Who Writes Malicious Programs and Why? Hackers and malware writers come from differnet age groups, backgrounds, countries, education and skill levels...with varying motivations and intents. Below are a few articles which attempt to explain who these individuals are and why they do what they do.
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#5 Angoid

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 08:00 AM

Quietman, can you review and update your links please?

 

"What goes through the mind of hackers" - page doesn't exist any more

"What makes Johnny (and Janey) write viruses" - takes you to a page with that title, and lets you make comments against an article that doesn't exist.

 

Unfortunately, malware is here to stay.  Even with the best AV in the world, vigilance is key.

 

On another forum I use, someone was concerned that ccleaner was bundling malware.  Ccleaner!!  I checked it out, and found that he was downlaoding from something called Software Watcher.  What that outfit does is to take installers, bundle their own partners' software with it, and then offer it for download.

 

Result: Perfectly good software bundling lousy toolbars and other unwanted (not even potentially unwanted) garbageware.

 

A colleague at work recently got hit by Ask when installing the latest JRE, and Ask puts down services that are designed to prevent you from changing your home page away from Ask and basically cripple your browsing experience.

 

Why on *earth* is Oracle in bed with Ask?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

NickAU1 - Bleepin' Defenestraphobic - that means you have a fear of throwing things out of the window, right?  Or is it a fear of things that have been thrown out of the window?  Or a fear of someone defenestrating you?


Edited by Angoid, 21 November 2014 - 08:03 AM.

Helping a loved one through a mental health issue?  Remember ALGEE...

Assess the risk | Listen nonjudgementally | Give reassurance and info | Encourage professional help | Encourage self-help and support network

#6 NullPointerException

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 08:10 AM

Yes, but that's what I can hope...And after all, it will be really scary when we will have machines in our body and there will be malware in them...Really. Certain things like the TV (at least yet) will not get infected.



#7 mainer21

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:18 AM

"But the most prolific vector for malware innovation will likely reside in social engineering. After all, while it's getting harder to crack Windows programs, it's as easy as ever to attack the weakest link, the one between users' ears. Look for more cons, more fake "Windows tech support" calls, and more bewildered users who will gladly give out sensitive information to anyone who claims they can help fix things.
Windows malware has changed a lot in the past 20 years. People haven't."
http://www.infoworld...re-021?page=0,0



#8 quietman7

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:47 AM

Quietman, can you review and update your links please?

Fixed one, replace the other and added a new one.
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#9 quietman7

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:03 AM


The bundling of software is a common practice by legitimate vendors (and some folks actually like the bundled offers). Even Anti-virus and security vendors bundle toolbars and other software with their products as a cost recoup measure. When a vendor includes an add-on such as a toolbar, they do so as a way to "pay per install" and recoup associated business costs. This practice is now the most common revenue generator for free downloads and is typically the reason for the pre-checked option. Calendar Of Updates Installers Hall of Shame maintains a list of the most common offenders.

I have never condoned bundling of software but this is what we have to live with now as more and more legitimate vendors are doing this to recoup business expenses. Folks need to take some personal responsibility and educate themselves about the practice of bundling software.
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#10 quietman7

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:26 AM

"But the most prolific vector for malware innovation will likely reside in social engineering. After all, while it's getting harder to crack Windows programs, it's as easy as ever to attack the weakest link, the one between users' ears.

Social engineering describes any act by cyber criminals that influences or entices a person to take an action which often results in compromising normal security procedures and malware infection. The attacker relies heavily on human interaction (the weakest iink in security) and often involves tricking people in order to achieve the attacker's desired result. Social engineering has become on of the most prolific tactics for distribution of malware.
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#11 MelonBird

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:45 AM

Most people don't even realize how much they don't understand about computers. And why would they? Originally, computers were for geeks. You had to educate yourself to even use one. Then companies saw the profits to be made by marketing them as "user-friendly". On came the slick GUIs (I still miss my DOS command prompt) and the "wizards" to help the un-tech-savvy navigate this strange new technology.

 

But even more importantly, now everyone had a computer at the office. Why wouldn't they think they knew enough to keep one at home? Stores don't want to tell you there's a steep learning curve. They just tell you, "This one comes with Norton" or whatever, as if that's all you need. The first step in overcoming your ignorance is realizing you have it, but the only way most people find that out is when a virus comes along and wrecks their computer, and possibly their cherished digital memories or even their small business. And then the computer industry makes even more money off them by supposedly cleaning up their viruses - which are treated as the end user's fault for being so stupid - for a big chunk of money not covered by the warranty. And they don't always do a great job of it.

So the computer industry is doing people a disservice by refusing to scare people with the truth so they can protect themselves from the start. They'd rather charge for virus cleaning on the other end. It's very nearly a scam.

In case any of you don't work directly with people who aren't tech-savvy, some of the stuff they don't know includes: how to configure an AV, that AVs miss stuff, that Malwarebytes is a different kind of thing to be used differently, that Crypo-Prevent (which I just installed for my mom) is yet another entirely different thing, that you can have a virus and not know it. My mom doesn't even understand the difference between a file attachment sitting in Gmail (which she only uses via the browser) and a file saved on her hard drive. She doesn't want or need to. I find there's a lot I can do to help her help herself without bogging her down with all that. I send her screenshots of fake emails and fake Adobe update popups, highlighting the differences between the fakes and the real thing. I've told her everything I've learned about Cryptowall in the past week!

But because the computer industry doesn't tell people there even IS this stuff to know, they don't realize they don't know it until they get a big problem - which makes more money for the computer industry. Which tells them it's their own darn fault for not magically knowing they should have been trolling something like BleepingComputer to understand all this. Granted, some are too lazy to bother, but right now no one's even attempting to educate them until something goes wrong.

If a huge percentage of people buying toasters got second degree burns, you can bet instead of saying, "Well, it's your own fault for not realizing you didn't know how to use it and should have written to an obscure agency in Taiwan to get the owner manual", there would be industry safety regulations passed and toaster manufacturers being held responsible. I see no difference with computer security. Cybercrime can potentially destabilize entire economies or infrastructures, so it's really in the public's best interest to do better than this.



#12 quietman7

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 09:10 PM

Unfortunately some folks don't want to bother learning...they are too wrapped up in their own little fantasy world on FaceBook and Smart Phones.
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#13 NickAu

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 10:17 PM

Angoid

 

Im a Linux user so....

 

Defenestraphobia: the fear of windows. I fear things coming into  window's I fear being near or going through windows. Yes I am afraid of anything to do with Windows. :hysterical:

 

 

 

Some of the signals of Defenestraphobia will be similar to many other phobias, but there may be a few that are unique.

 

Signs of Fear

 

  • Constantly looking at windows with a sense of anxiety
  • A sense of no privacy if  window's is not heavily draped................. The NSA sees everything.
  • Sweating............ Most likley from overheating processor
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Panic   ............ Because Xp is not supported any more
  • Screaming or crying ...... Because Windows 8 just sux.
  • Nausea ..........................when you find out phone tech support just scamed you out of 400 bucks for stuff you didnt need
  • A pronounced sense of dread when near windows.
  • You run to a corner and cringe at the mention of BSOD
  • You run to a corner and cringe at the mention Windows updates.

While the windows serve's many noble purposes the fear that many experience should not be dismissed as something they can just ‘get over’.

 

http://www.fearofstuff.com/objects/fear-of-windows/

 

Ok so I edited some of that to suit me......  sue me.


Edited by NickAu1, 21 November 2014 - 10:34 PM.


#14 MelonBird

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 12:19 AM

Quietman, that misses the entire point I was making, which is that they have to actually know they are ignorant before they can make a choice whether to bother correcting the ignorance or just play on Facebook. Who exactly do you think is informing all computer owners of the risks and the steps they should take to avoid them? We all know using your credit card at stores exposes you to hacking risks, but I've never seen a mainstream news outlet run a story that contains the basic advice you guys give out: always run an AV, don't clcik email links, avoid porn sites, etc.

I've informed all my acquaintances about Cryptowall, and several didn't take it seriously because they've got Microsoft Essentials running, and the Microsoft store employees insist - I've heard this for myself - it's practically bulletproof. I cannot get through to them that ME isn't even the best free AV and that more than AV is needed anyway, because it's unfathomable to them that Microsoft would neglect to tell them all they need to know, let alone totally mislead them about the effectiveness of ME.

Of course some end users won't pay attention. But the more immediate question is: pay attention to what? Even Geek Squad doesn't have nearly the knowledge this forum has - and they tell me they've never heard of you and I shouldn't trust a web forum. Where is the ordinary consumer supposed to get the idea they should distrust the alleged professionals and dig deeper?

Edited by MelonBird, 22 November 2014 - 12:21 AM.


#15 Racket_Man

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 04:49 AM

The current state of things scare the *&%%$&^^ outta me.  From the background I come from/my experience I have still have experienced drive-by downloads, unwanted PUPs, PUMs etc, even by being VERY careful on how I install even straight-from-the-box programs/software purchased legit at a regular retail outlet.

 

I used to be in the IT field years ago.  I left for a variety of reasons personal and professional.  I was a programmer, Sys-admin, and lastly did over-the-phone tech support for IBM AS/400 (hard and software) equipment.  In my various positions security was even back then was a bit paranoid.  Heck I remember back in like 1999 the I Love You Virus that spread across the world like wildfire.  Then at another company, they got hit with some other virus and one of the way to combat it was to boot the machines from a CD with Sophos cleaner on it and THEN boot the machine into MS-DOS from a MS-DOS floppy boot disk and manually delete all of the crap the virus left behind.  I was the ONLY one with MS-DOS knowledge  and this was in 2001!!!!!

 

When I got into tech support I was literally shocked at WHO some of the organizations put in charge of the computer equipment.  NOT computer professionals but accountants, non-computer teachers, etc.  Heck at one place I think the Janitor was the SYs-Admin :)  At least some had the "brains" to KNOW what they did not KNOW and turn to my company for LOTS of help.

 

 

BUT as a home PC user the paranoia about regular backups, being careful to only load disks that were from known or good sources are still there. I have several up-and-running layers of defense but with the complexity of the modern computer environment  there is only so much one can do these days to even come close to being "safe" unless one want to totally disconnect for ALL connections and run a single user PC with NO outside world connections.

 

Years ago it was the stereo-typical teenage male who played around with (bad side) hacking, NOW it is a multi-billion dollar industry on both sides of the coin.

 

AND with the general lack of knowledge and understanding of the general public of computers, operating systems, the internet in general, AND the lazy fare attitude of said general public these days, it is NO wonder there is the proliferation of malware, viruses, scareware, etc.


Edited by Racket_Man, 22 November 2014 - 04:57 AM.





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