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Value of Antimalware Software


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#1 RetiredAirForce02

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:04 PM

I am new to Bleeping Computer so if I mess this up please bear with me.  I have a simple opening question for general comment.  There are numerous computer security "experts" that advise runnning a separate anti mlware program such as Malawarebytes or HitmanPro.  I am currently runnning Webroot Secure Anywhere, with which I have been extremely happy, which like all security suites has its own antimalware module (which from all reports is one of the best on the market).  Hence my question--is it necessary or desirable to run an additional antimalware program?  And second, if the answer is yes, which is the best?  And third, the free or paid version?  I'm sure there are as many opinions as people to offer them, but hopefully I can get a concensus.

 

Thanks



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#2 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:19 PM

:welcome: to Bleeping Computer.

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.

In simplistic terms, Anti-virus programs generally scan for infectious malware which includes viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkis and bots.
Anti-malware programs generally tend to focus more on adware, spyware, unwanted toolbars, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted programs and potentially unsafe applications.

Therefore, you need both an anti-virus and an anti-malware solution for maximum protection.

Just like with anti-virus programs...there is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone and there is no single best anti-malware solution to supplement your existing security protection. Every vendor's lab and program scanning engine is different. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and they often use a mix of technologies to detect and remove malware.

Here are links to polls about this very subject:

I use the following to supplement my anti-virus for additional security:

See my comments in Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools as to why I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium and Emsisoft Anti-Malware.

 


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#3 RetiredAirForce02

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:31 PM

Quietman7--thanks mucho for the expeditious response.  It is very thorough.  Question--do you use all of the supplemental software you cited at the same time to augment your antivirus?  It seems that might overload your system is it was all running at the same time.  Thanks



#4 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:34 PM

Yes I use all the above with ESET NOD32 and have never had an issue with system performance. Everyone's system is different so sometimes you may need to experiment to see what works best for you.

BTW...An offer of free anti-malware software is essentially a marketing technique...a way of advertising and enticement to get folks to try a product and if they like it, to purchase the full (or Pro) version which typically provides more features. Marketing and promotional strategies are built into the vendor's business model as part of their operating costs. Bottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups or nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version. The primary benefit of paid software is that most of them offer real-time protection while free versions are typically used as stand-alone scanners or to provide some behind the scene protection.
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#5 RetiredAirForce02

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:44 PM

I'm curious as to why you are using Eset NOD32.  A number of years ago it was clearly a superior antivirus engine but has not scored so well in 3rd party testing in recent years (at least in comparison to other vendors).  I assume you run all of the paid versions of the antimalware software except SuperAntispyware.  Thanks again.



#6 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 06:14 PM

I have used ESET for many years and it has served me well.

There are several reputable labs which test the effectiveness of major anti-virus programs and security suites to include AV-Comparatives.org, Virus Bulletin Comparative Tests, AV-Test.org, NSS Labs Consumer Anti-Malware Products Group Test Report, etc.

These kinds of comparative testing results will vary depending on a variety of factors to include but not limited to who conducted the testing, what they were testing for (type of threats, attack vectors, exploits), what versions of anti-virus software was tested, what type of scanning engine was used, and the ability to clean or repair. There are no universally predefined set of standards or criteria for testing which means each test will yield different results. As such, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results.

Some of the testing criteria and standards may even be misleading.

...for some unknown reason...the renowned German test lab AV-TEST has quietly (there was no warning) modified its certification process. The changes mean that the certificates produced by the new rules are, to put it mildly, pretty useless for evaluating the merits of different AV products...With AV-TEST’s new certification standards, the onus is on the user to carefully investigate the actual results of each individual test…they may find that a product that blocked 99.9% of attacks has the same “certification” as a product that only blocked 55%.

Comparative testing: A bit of background for the uninitiated

I use the free versions of...
SUPERAntiSpyware
SpywareBlaster
CryptoPrevent - CryptoPrevent FAQs
HitmanPro.Alert with CryptoGuard - HitmanPro.Alert Features
Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit (MBAE)
Symantec's NoScript tool
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#7 RetiredAirForce02

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 07:06 PM

Your points are well taken--thanks for the info and the time--much appreciated.

 

Any other thoughts from members?



#8 quietman7

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:09 PM

You're welcome (from a Retired USCG).
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#9 titan1

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 08:29 AM

I am also a happy ESET user. Antivirus and antimalware tools can not detect anything and everything. They are much like those tripwire mines. If the enemy puts his legs on the wires,he is gone. But sometimes the enemies are smart enough to not put his legs on the wires. I keep MBAM free for occassional on-demand scanning. And I also prefer using sandboxie just for the peace of mind. But as our moderator Quietman7 always says, using caution and staying up to date is the key. Av and AM are just the part of the game.

#10 quietman7

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 05:54 PM

Eaxctly...the user is the first and last line of defense.
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#11 1PW

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:18 PM

https://threatcenter.crdf.fr/?Stats

Even the longtime top AV/AM/AS providers have their periods of poor performance or troubles. The good ones will bounce back from adversity.


Edited by 1PW, 14 August 2015 - 03:20 PM.

All viruses are malware but not all malware are viruses and if the malware doesn't self replicate it just isn't a virus.


#12 quietman7

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:29 PM

And some seldom have very far to bounce back from.
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