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Different Anti-virus Programs/Different Results


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#1 clayto

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 04:59 PM

My Norton AntiVirus only reported one infection after a deep Scan.  As my computer is behaving very badly I suspect major infection, especially spyware / adware / hijackers, so I downloaded several free trial anti-virus programs that carry out a Scan (but usually do not carry out a fix until you have paid for them).  The results ranged from a handful of infections, to 60 to 100 or so, but one major anti-virus program listed around 2000 infections (with interesting details on each). 

 

Now, do I pay for the one with 2000 results, use free programs which detect (much) less, do I continue with Norton (which I am attached too, having used it for years), do I use two or more programs, or just one?  I have seen conflicting advice on this last point, some of it highlighting the probability of conflict, some of it claiming two or more programs are better. 

 

 

By the way, I have come back to this Forum after several years of absence from my computer / internet due to serious illness (now slightly better) so I apologise if I have forgotten the rules / etiquet, etc. It was nice to find my old login details still work, unlike another Forum where I have been going round in circles for two weeks trying to get my login activated /  accepted.

 

Clayto

 



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#2 clayto

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:07 PM

I am sorry, I think I should have said my OS is Windows XP, although I think the questions apply to any system?

Clayto

Edited by clayto, 01 December 2014 - 06:30 PM.


#3 quietman7

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:14 PM

Welcome back and glad to hear you are doing better.


It would be helpful to know the names of the other anti-virus programs making the detections and specifically what those detections are.

Although Norton (Symantec) is as good as any other well known anti-virus program, it requires numerous services and running processes that consume system resources and often results in complaints of high CPU usage. Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers that load at boot-up and create files/folders/registry entries in various locations.

I have read from other users that Norton has made improvements in newer versions of their software so they are not as resource heavy as past versions...while others still say differently. However, Symantec products can be difficult to remove and remnants are often left behind which require the use of a special removal tool, otherwise you may encounter problems installing a replacement anti-virus. To be fair, other vendors are also recommend using removal tools for the same reason. Those issues plus the cost factor are the primary reason many folks look for a free alternative. IMO, Norton is better utilized in an Enterprise system environment protecting many client computers. With that said, there are a lot of folks who prefer using Norton (especially if it came preinstalled) and there is nothing wrong with staying with a product you are satisfied with.

However, an anti-virus program alone does not provide comprehensive protection and cannot prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time. 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. 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.

Anti-virus software is inherently reactive...meaning it usually finds malware after a computer has been infected. 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. Further, if you're dealing with zero-day malware it's unlikely the anti-virus is going to detect anything.
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#4 buddy215

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:15 PM

Not enough info. Some programs are considered rogues. Some legit.

 

Suggest you start with MBAM and Eset to scan and remove adware and malware.

 

Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from Here

Double-click mbam-setup-2.X.X.XXXX.exe to install the application (X's are the current version number).

  • Make sure a checkmark is placed next to Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
  • Once MBAM opens, when it says Your databases are out of date, click the Fix Now button.
  • Click the Settings tab at the top, and then in the left column, select Detections and Protections, and if not already checked place a checkmark in the selection box for Scan for rootkits.
  • Click the Scan tab at the top of the program window, select Threat Scan and click the Scan Now button.
  • If you receive a message that updates are available, click the Update Now button (the update will be downloaded, installed, and the scan will start).
  • The scan may take some time to finish,so please be patient.
  • If potential threats are detected, ensure that Quarantine is selected as the Action for all the listed items, and click the Apply Actions button.
  • While still on the Scan tab, click the link for View detailed log, and in the window that opens click the Export button, select Text file (*.txt), and save the log to your Desktop.
  • The log is automatically saved by MBAM and can also be viewed by clicking the History tab and then selecting Application Logs.

POST THE LOG FOR REVIEW.

 

  • Hold down Control and click on this link to open ESET OnlineScan in a new window.
  • Click the esetonlinebtn.png button.
  • For alternate browsers only: (Microsoft Internet Explorer users can skip these steps)
  • Click on esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe to download the ESET Smart Installer. Save it to your desktop.
  • Double click on the esetsmartinstaller_enu.png icon on your desktop.
  • Check "YES, I accept the Terms of Use."
  • Click the Start button.
  • Accept any security warnings from your browser.
  • Under scan settings, check "Scan Archives" and "Remove found threats"
  • Click Advanced settings and select the following:
  • Scan potentially unwanted applications
  • Scan for potentially unsafe applications
  • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
  • ESET will then download updates for itself, install itself, and begin scanning your computer. Please be patient as this can take some time.
  • When the scan completes, click List Threats
  • Click Export, and save the file to your desktop using a unique name, such as ESETScan. Include the contents of this report in your next reply.
  • Click the Back button.
  • Click the Finish button.
  • NOTE:Sometimes if ESET finds no infections it will not create a log.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

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#5 quietman7

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:17 PM

In many cases these issues are the result of unwanted toolbars, add-ons/plug-ins, and browser extensions which come bundled with other free software (often without the knowledge or consent of the user). They can often be the source of various issues and problems to include Adware, pop-up ads browser hijacking which may change your home page and search engine, and user profile corruption.

As such they are generally classified as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and many of them can be removed from within its program group Uninstall shortcut in Start Menu > All Programs or by using Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) in Control Panel, so always check there first. With most adware/junkware it is strongly recommended to deal with it like a legitimate program and uninstall from Programs and Features or Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. In most cases, using the uninstaller of the adware not only removes it more effectively, but it also restores many changed configuration settings.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party utility like Revo Uninstaller Free or Portable and follow these instructions for using it. Revo will do a more thorough job of searching for and removing related registry entries, files and folders.

After uninstallation, then you can run specialized tools like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, AdwCleaner and JRT (Junkware Removal Tool) to fix any remaining entries they may find. These tools typically find and remove related files and folders to include those within the AppData folder and elsewhere.

Remove anything else (newly installed programs) you do not recognize.

The next place to check is your browser extensions and add-ons/plug-ins..
To reset the browser home page if it was changed, please refer to:
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#6 quietman7

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:18 PM


Only after doing the above...continue as follows:

Please download and use the following tools (in the order listed) which will search for and remove many potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), adware, toolbars, browser hijackers, extensions, add-ons and other junkware as well as related registry entries (values, keys) and remnants.

RKill created by Grinler (aka Lawrence Abrams), the site owner of BleepingComputer.
AdwCleaner created by Xplode.
Junkware Removal Tool created by thisisu.

1. Double-click on RKill to launch the tool. A black DOS box will briefly flash and then disappear. This is normal and indicates the tool ran successfully. A log file will be created and saved to the root directory, C:\RKill.log. Copy and paste the contents of RKill.log in your next reply.

Important: Do not reboot your computer until you complete the next step.

2. Double-click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.
Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator.
  • The tool will start to update its database...please wait until complete.
  • Click on the Scan button.
  • AdwCleaner will begin...be patient as the scan may take some time to complete.
  • After the scan has finished, click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[RX].txt) will open in Notepad (where the largest value of # represents the most recent report).
  • After reviewing the log, click on the Clean button.
  • Press OK when asked to close all programs and follow the onscreen prompts.
  • Press OK again to allow AdwCleaner to restart the computer and complete the removal process.
  • After rebooting, a logfile report (AdwCleaner[S#].txt) will open automatically (where the largest value of # represents the most recent report).
  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of all logfiles are saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder which was created when running the tool.
-- Note: The contents of the AdwCleaner log file may be confusing. Unless you see a program name that you recognize and know should not be removed, don't worry about it. If you see an entry you want to keep, return to AdwCleaner before cleaning...all detected items will be listed (and checked) in each tab. Click on and uncheck any items you want to keep.


Close all open programs and shut down any protection/security software to avoid potential conflicts.

3. Double-click on JRT.exe to run the tool.
Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator.
  • The tool will open and start scanning your system.
  • Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.
  • On completion, a log file named JRT.txt will automatically open and be saved to your Desktop.
  • Copy and paste the contents of JRT.txt in your next reply.
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4. As a final step, download, install and perform a THREAT SCAN with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0. Be sure to print out and follow these instructions.

When done, please post the complete results of your Malwarebytes scan for review.

To retrieve the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0 scan log information (Method 1)
  • Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  • Click the History Tab at the top and select Application Logs.
  • Select (check) the box next to Scan Log. Choose the most current scan.
  • Click the View button.
  • Click Copy to Clipboard at the bottom...come back to this thread, click Add Reply, then right-click and choose Paste.
  • Alternatively, you can click Export and save the log as a .txt file on your Desktop or another location.
To retrieve the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0 scan log information (Method 2)
  • Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  • Click the Scan Tab at the top.
  • Click the View detailed log link on the right.
  • Click Copy to Clipboard at the bottom...come back to this thread, click Add Reply, then right-click and choose Paste.
  • Alternatively, you can click Export and save the log as a .txt file on your Desktop or another location.
-- Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
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#7 clayto

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:14 PM

Thank you all very much, for the very informative and thorough responses.  I can see that to do a proper job several programs need to be used (in contradiction of the advice I have had from vendors --- not surprising, I suppose).  I will have to print out your advice and study it carefully, and be prepared to spend quite a lot of time on it (but see note below).

 

In the meantime I will tell you that the two main programs I tried (apart from some other freebies) were Ad-Aware (twelve infections) and especially Spy Hunter (nearly two thousand infections). It was the latter which caused me to become really concerned.  And I also have in continual use, and always updated, Norton Anti-Virus (only one infection).  Norton does seem good at spotting Malware as it arrives, and quarantening it before it is installed.

 

Note  After I wrote my first post I became alarmed at a report in ComputerActive Magazine about recent discovery of more vulnerability in various editions of Windows, tied to the fact that MS is not now supporting Windows XP (which is what I have) but will be updating later Windows. This accelerated my decision to get a new computer, aTablet, with Windows 8.1 which is due to arrive any day now. I have been advised not to use my XP for banking / buying, etc.  The Tablet will be my main computer but I still hope to make use of my XP to some extent so I will still want to clean it up if I can (it is desperately slow now, probably partly due to the Malware).  But I expect to be spending most of my time getting the Tablet and W8.1 up and running (I am even slower at these things than my computer is).

 

Thanks again.

 

Clayto 



#8 clayto

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 02:30 PM

I was just about to subscribe to Spy Hunter but decided to see if there were any new posts on Bleeping first.  I am glad I did.  As a result I have uninstalled the trial edition of Spy Hunter and have subscribed to Malwarebites, for both my computers, saving me money and probably something worse.

 

Malwarebites just identified fourteen PUPS and fixed them ---- in contrast Spy Hunter's two thousand approx. viruses, etc.  I have also uninstalled Norton Anti-Virus, though I have no complaint about Norton.  My XP seems to be running better  and Malwarebites looks like it will be an effective program.

 

Thanks for all your help.

 

Clayto



#9 quietman7

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 03:28 PM

...I have also uninstalled Norton Anti-Virus, though I have no complaint about Norton.  My XP seems to be running better  and Malwarebites looks like it will be an effective program.

What are you going to replace Norton with?

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is not an anti-virus program nor should it be used as a replacement. Malwarebytes does not act as a real-time protection scanner for every file like anti-virus software so it is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute. The following quote is a statement from the Malwarebytes Team.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is not meant to be a replacement for antivirus software. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a complementary but essential program which detects and removes zero-day malware and "Malware in the Wild". This includes malicious programs and files, such as viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and rogue applications that many antivirus programs do not detect or cannot fully remove. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts. In some rare instances, exclusions may need to be set for your specific antivirus product to achieve the best possible system performance.

Larry Tate
Product Support


A similar statement is in this Malwarebytes HelpDesk Article: Does Malwarebytes Anti-Malware replace antivirus software?
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#10 clayto

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 02:36 PM

I have now added  Avast! to my WXP3 (along with Malwarebites)--- it seems very thorough and was recommended by Computer Active.  My new W 8.1 Tablet has a trial version of Norton (I will see if I can make a comparison between Avast! abd Norton before the trial runs out).  To the Tablet I have also added AdW Cleaner.  The first Scan listed an enormous number of files to be deleted.

 

I mainly suffer now from (a) pop-up promotions of computer repair software and (B) persistent offers from 'technicians' to carry out repairs (for a price).  I have found some but not all of the  software and uninstalled them,but some seem to be invisible.

 

clayto






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