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Virus, Malware security, what makes sense?


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#1 flingwing67

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 12:58 PM

Years ago I learned on another site that one needs to layer your security levels, or in other words, have more than one "anti-malware" product installed.  OK, fair enough, but which ones?  I have been with Avast Pro for a couple of years and have been very satisfied.  I have that coupled with the free version of Malwarebytes, and had thought I was fairly secure.  Now, I'm not so sure. 
 
I currently am running the free version of Advanced System Care 9 (it came packaged with some drivers I wanted, along with IObit malware).  Do all these play well together, or have I opened a pandora's box?  Computer is running really slow, and default pages have disappeared.  
 
HELP!

Edit: Moved topic from General Chat to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 MoxieMomma

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 01:34 PM

Hello and welcome, @flingwing67:

 

Until others more expert than I weigh in, a couple of observations:

 

First: MBAM Free does NOT provide any real-time protection to help PREVENT infection.  It is only a manual, on-demand scanner to help detect/remove infection that has already made it past your AV and other defenses onto the system.  If you want to add the complementary, layered, real-time protection of MBAM Premium to help prevent infection, you'll need a paid license.

 

Next: YES, a layered approach is important. Each component fills a different niche in the security strategy, rather than overlapping or duplicating other applications (IOW, one wants to have only ONE AV, ONE anti-malware, ONE anti-exploit, etc.).  But no program or programs can protect 100% of computers from 100% of malware 100% of the time -- safe computing practices by the computer user are the most critical defense.

 

Next, as for IOBit.  That company and its products are not highly-regarded in the security community.  This stems in part from their having stolen proprietary intellectual property from other security software vendors and from other questionable practices.  If forum rules permit, I'd be happy to provide several references substantiating what I report.

And the use of ANY "tune-up" or "cleanup" or "optimizing" software (IOBit or other) is likewise discouraged these days -- such programs can cause far more harm than good.

 

@quietman7 has crafted several authoritative, comprehensive, detailed forum "stickies" about personal computer safety. 

I suggest starting here: Answers to common security questions - Best Practices

 

Others will, I'm sure, have additional advice for you.

 

Cheers,

MM



#3 flingwing67

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 03:31 PM

MoxieMomma

 

Thanks for your reply.  As a result of your reply and a friend that is in the IT business, I have removed all of the software in question, leaving both my Avast Premier and (I was in error earlier) Malware Home Premium in place.  Ran all the checks they have after deleting the aforementioned programs.

 

I will read quietman7's article "forthwith"

 

Thanks,

FW67



#4 quietman7

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 07:59 PM

Advanced SystemCareFree is a suite of protection, performance and privacy tools by IObit. It provides basic protection from security threats, basic system optimization and auto clean for privacy security when logging on. Optimization includes a registry cleaner that purports to improve performance, make repairs and tune up a computer.

Advanced SystemCare PRO is a more comprehensive optimization suite by IObit with additonal features to include enhanced malware protection, system tuneup, deep registry cleaning, an Internet booster and an assortment of "Smart Tools" for computer maintenance.

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate incorporates the same comprehensive optimization suite with additional security protection which includes BitDefender antivirus technology and the IObit anti-malware engine.

The optimization and performance improvement claims made by such software vendors are borderline scams. There is no statistical evidence to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are a marketing ploy intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product. I would not trust any results such programs detect as problematic or needing repair nor recommend using the options to fix them. For other user comments...read iOBit Advanced System Care, Good or Bad.

Further, these types of junk optimization programs are often considered Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) so they may be detected or even removed by some security scanners which specifically look for PUPs and adware. IOBIT was placed into the Installers Hall of Shame for bundling toolbars.

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons.

Why you should not use Registry Cleaners and Optimization Tools


Be sure to read Microsoft's support policy for the use of registry cleaning utilities in that topic...Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners.

Full system scanning anti-spyware programs like Emsisoft Anti-Malware and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware will remove the registry entries as well as the related files which results in a more complete removal process.

As for Advanced SystemCare's security and malware protection...many folks are unaware of their past dubious history of stealing from Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Although, the Malwarebytes team no longer has an issue with IObit, the vendor's past history and dubious methods would not warrant a recommendation from me to use or trust their software.
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#5 flingwing67

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 08:45 PM

Quietman7,

 

Thanks for your input.  Actually, I had read your "thesis" at the recommendation of MoxieMomma yesterday and removed all IObit software from my computers.  At this moment, here's whats protecting me.  Avast Premier, Malwarebytes Premium, Malwarebytes Anti Rootskit (Beta, from here), and Rkill.  Please let me know if any of those conflict or should otherwise be removed.

 

I'm still not convinced I've gotten all the adware out of my laptop, but I can't find anything.  I know there is a tracker of some kind cause the ads pretty much correspond to what I have looked up.

 

Thanks again to each of you for all your help!



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 09:14 PM

If you mean you're being tracked within your browsers, there are many very good add-ons, plug-ins, extensions, that will greatly shield you from trackers and other "spies." uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus & associated addons, Ghostery, WOT, just to name but a few of many.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

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#7 MoxieMomma

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 12:58 AM

Hi, @flingwing67:

 

Quietman7,

 

Thanks for your input.  Actually, I had read your "thesis" at the recommendation of MoxieMomma yesterday and removed all IObit software from my computers.  At this moment, here's whats protecting me.  Avast Premier, Malwarebytes Premium, Malwarebytes Anti Rootskit (Beta, from here), and Rkill.  Please let me know if any of those conflict or should otherwise be removed.

 

I'm still not convinced I've gotten all the adware out of my laptop, but I can't find anything.  I know there is a tracker of some kind cause the ads pretty much correspond to what I have looked up.

 

Thanks again to each of you for all your help!

 

Yes, those links from @quietman7 are the references to IOBit to which I was referring.

 

As for MBAR-BETA, a few observations.  First, as explained on the product website, MBAR-BETA (Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit BETA) is just that, a BETA software application.  It is not really designed for regular use by home computer users without expert guidance.  Moreover, most of the core technology has been incorporated into MBAM.  So, unless one suspects a deep, hidden rootkit infection, it's neither necessary nor advisable to be running MBAR-BETA on a regular basis.

 

If you refer instead to MBARW-BETA (Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware-BETA), it, too, is a BETA software application.  The development team advises against running it in a production environment.  The core technology will eventually be incorporated into MBAM.

 

You might be better off with either the Free or the paid, Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit (MBAE).  Unlike MBAM and your AV, which protect against the "what" of malware, MBAE protects against the "how" of malware. It is designed to run alongside your AV and alongside MBAM.

(There are other, similar, anti-exploit products from other software publishers, as well.)

 

>>If you think you might be infected, then you might want to start with the pinned topics and then a new, separate post here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

Someone will assist you with checking the system.

 

 

Cheers,


Edited by MoxieMomma, 23 May 2016 - 12:59 AM.


#8 quietman7

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 05:59 AM

...I'm still not convinced I've gotten all the adware out of my laptop, but I can't find anything.  I know there is a tracker of some kind cause the ads pretty much correspond to what I have looked up.

If you need individual assistance with malware infection, you should start a new topic in the Am I infected? What do I do? forum

OR follow the instructions provided in the Malware Removal and Log Section Preparation Guide starting at Step 6.
  • If you cannot complete a step, then skip it and continue with the next.
  • In Step 6 there are instructions for downloading and running FRST which will create two logs.
When you have done that, post your logs in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum, NOT here, for assistance by the Malware Response Team.

If you choose to post a log...after doing that, please reply back in this thread with a link to the new topic so we can closed this one.
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#9 flingwing67

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 11:53 AM

Wow, glad to hear from each of you.  Sounds like I have quite a team working with me here.

 

Let me make sure I have sorted out each of your recommendations, without, I hope, violating the rules of this room.

 

1.  MoxieMomma - Looks like you are recommending I do away with the Beta test stuff (I know about Beta test stuff as I worked in electronics and avionics manufacturing).  Got it!  Since I also downloaded Rkill and ran it (it came up clean), should I also delete that?  BTW, Avast Premium has an anti-rootskit package in it.  Is it duplication to have another?  Also, can it become compromised like some anti-virus packages?

 

2.  RolandJS - Thanks for your suggestions and I will try these to pick off these ad trackers.  Given that I am running Windows 10 on a Dell Latitude, with Avast Premier, Malwarebytes Premium, do you have any preferences on which to use?

 

3.  Quietman7 - Thanks and I will go to that site as well.  I am hoping that a "canned" software can clean my machines up, and I don't have to resort to individual work, posting logs and such.  That gets to be a pain for all concerned.

 

To All - a few years ago someone on another forum had come up with a cure.  Because malware had gotten to the point where it was disabling the anti-virus stuff, he had said to uninstall your antivirus and install another brand (the free version if available) and run it (with the appropriate precautions).  Then, once you had cleaned up the machine, you could reinstall a clean version of your (paid for) system of choice and resume business that way.  I used it once and it worked but it was a lot of work to do it.  Is that still a valid attack method?



#10 RolandJS

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 12:36 PM

"...2.  RolandJS - Thanks for your suggestions and I will try these to pick off these ad trackers.  Given that I am running Windows 10 on a Dell Latitude, with Avast Premier, Malwarebytes Premium, do you have any preferences on which to use?..."  --flingwing67

 

Presently I'm using [NoScript for Firefox] uBlock Origin and Ghostery [with the pulldown listing turned off], have used several in the past:  Adblock Plus, Ghostery, WOT.  Moving from Firefox to Google Chrome because all the schools in my area are using Chrome.  Not all ad-blocking utilities work with all browsers.

 

Addendum, following Quietman7's next post:  I gave up Avast AV [and Comodo IS] even before my license was to run out.  Avast's too-often "missing dll" finally clinched it for me.  I'm using Avira AV now.


Edited by RolandJS, 24 May 2016 - 08:21 AM.

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#11 quietman7

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 06:13 PM

I forgot to mention that avast has been becoming more of a disappointment for the past several years.
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#12 cat1092

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:51 AM

Back in the old days, just before the release of Windows 7 (& MSE's stunning rise), I was running Avast Free as my main protection, when it had the popular auto stereo theme. Back then was great to have, protection was among the best for free and Avast had a feature that no other (free or paid) option in a 'boot time scan'. Which on my now long gone XP Pro systems, found & quarantined items what couldn't be while running Windows. 

 

That's why to this day, I'll remove a suspected drive, place in my docking station & scan with Emsisoft Anti Malware (dual engine AV+AM scanner in one). Usually if there's anything to be found, this will clean it, though will also repeat the same action with MBAM (Lifetime Premium), may also find items. Will continue to scan the drive until clean, sometimes will perform a custom scan using the issued monthly Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (mrt.exe in Start Menu) on the drive as a last measure. 

 

When Windows isn't actively running on the drive, AV/AM apps can do a better job of finding any threats, and I use only one 'testbed' computer for this job. Would never plug it into any of my 'important' computers, it's one that on occasion that I may allow company to use when a notebook is needed.......beggars can't be choosers. :P

 

Though in all honesty, still do my best in keeping it clean, as the rest of my computers. As maintenance items, will reboot both my modem & router, which usually restores any lost speed, and will run AdwCleaner, downloaded from our site monthly. This gets rid of many items, including unwanted search engines or hijacked browser settings by these. Plus weekly, will perform a scan of all of the drives in my computers with Emsisoft Anti Malware & MBAM Premium, by schedule. 

 

Yet I'm sorry to read the links above in regard to Avast's demise, have bookmarked the 2nd link posted by quietman7 above, it's too many pages long to participate here & read also. :)

 

Avast was once a highly regarded security corporation, just as Yahoo & AOL were once highly regarded email providers, and the common demominator between the three which led to demise were ads, ads & more ads. Only with Yahoo & AOL we seen it coming, in the 'Am I Infected' line. With Avast, the fall was swift & hard, just 2-3 years back was constantly flirting with AVG for the #1 slot of free AV's, haven't looked at where they're ranked now & don't care. Because the last time I used it, every day, bombarded with pop-up ads, and by the lessons learned by members here & on other forums, don't auto-subscribe to any of these. Rather I purchase my security (ESET Smart Security or NOD32) when on promo on the Newegg site (3-5 PC's/1 year), a direct sale mailed to me & throughout the year, will pick up one now & then to stay stocked up. 

 

The boxed editions may say '2014' or '2015', unfit for store display & Newegg buys up at low pricing & resells at killer deals (75% off of retail at $19.99-24.99), though one can then download the latest version & activate with enclosed key, and will be emailed the key for the rest of the activations. The savings is because of the package. One time, got an unlimited install deal on Bitdefender Sphere for an unheard of $19.99, which I've never again seen. 

 

And loaded up on MBAM Premium back when known as MBAM Pro (Lifetime) for $12-15 per boxed package & a couple of times, received a USB Flash drive, so should never have to purchase again. :)

 

quietman7 has posted some great links in regards to responsible computing, I recommend for members to take their time to read these. And yes, I was one who recalled the IObit deal when it took place, can't recall the exact date, but in the general timeframe of the Windows 7 release, and was a big deal. While the folks at Malwarebytes were eventually forgiving, that & forgetting are two different things, I don't recommend any of their software to anyone. 

 

Please take the time to learn how to stay safe on today's Internet! :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#13 MajesticFailure

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 06:42 PM

I used to run Windows 2000 and be my own antivirus. With zero knowledge of PCs (other than typing a dissertation once, on a computer at college), I would often dive into the C: directory and delete any files that had suspicious (?) names. I'd quarantine them in the wastebin, in case they were actually safe.

 

I ended up in Yahoo chat, with somebody altering my profile so that it displayed links [ostensibly] about dead bodies, no idea how long the links had been there either. So eh, moral of the story is, get an antivirus or something :d



#14 cat1092

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 01:21 AM

I used to run Windows 2000 and be my own antivirus. With zero knowledge of PCs (other than typing a dissertation once, on a computer at college), I would often dive into the C: directory and delete any files that had suspicious (?) names. I'd quarantine them in the wastebin, in case they were actually safe.

 

 

I meant to say that I also ran W2K for a year after support, until Firefox, then Opera drooped support for the OS, then let it rest in peace. Was a great OS, much better than XP in some ways, some software that was installable on XP would only draw a warning on W2K. Maybe because it was an OS more oriented towards business users, some of these were restricted on W2K. 

 

Also ran Avast on it the whole I time that I ran it, because at the time, Avast was good, and the other being that both Windows Defender (the spyware app that XP through Windows 7 has) wasn't available, nor was MSE, validation required for both. Actually looking back, ran W2K longer than XP Pro, didn't become an XP user until sometime in the middle of 2006, when I purchased a notebook with it preinstalled. 

 

 

I ended up in Yahoo chat, with somebody altering my profile so that it displayed links [ostensibly] about dead bodies, no idea how long the links had been there either. So eh, moral of the story is, get an antivirus or something :d

 

 

Yes, good idea, unless the issue was on the site itself, was on your computer, back in the days when more infections were viruses. Today is quite the opposite with viruses being less than 10% of threats combined, the term 'AV' is in name only, nasty Malware are the threats of today, along with Rootkits, PUP's & Adware, and why some products (such as Emsisoft) calls their dual engine scanner (AV+AM) Anti-Malware or AM instead. 

 

They were also around years back, known as A-Squared, though less known & scans took forever (or maybe we were running slower drives :P), a fellow forum member turned me onto the brand years ago, which I use on some of my OS's today. :)

 

Fortunately, since I run Linux Mint for most of my computing needs, only need security to scan files that may be moved to either one of my Windows installs using a USB stick, or copying to my Google Drive folder, so let NOD32 for Linux handle this task. Normally if there's a threat, these are picked up & quarantined as soon as lands on the drive. :thumbup2:

 

Plus if one wants to use their Linux OS as a Mail server, then some type of installed security is a must have. While any infections normally will be harmless to the Linux OS, if transferred to Windows, some may have embedded Malware, and then if not adequately protected, the heat is on. Can be one of those nasty 'crypto' variants, which as likely known by many these days, can cripple the Windows OS by locking all of the important files down with 2048 bit encryption, and w/out the creation of regular system images, and all of one's important files are on the OS (bad idea) and no extra copies, can be forced to pay a ransom for (hopefully) their safe return. Of which some says that they don't get all of their files back after payment. 

 

So that's where we stand today, and thankfully this forum helps in the fight against these criminals, by the posting of free tools for decryption if available, on the main page of the site, where one can find tools & news. 

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/

 

Plus we have our own Malware team, of which some of the members also works for others, there's a lot of combined hours of work in the fight against Malware put in each & every week here, and I salute those on the front line who does, as we're in an active war with these criminals & winning every week. :thumbsup:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#15 flingwing67

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 07:16 PM

Dang!  I started this with the idea to find out, like the title said, "What makes sense" in the security arena. I was hoping for a checklist of half a dozen items or so to accomplish, like I have with my aircraft. Got a lot more than I bargained for.  All of it good stuff, but a bit overwhelming.  Remember my post in the introductions, about my first computer language being Fortran IV .  I learned touch typing on a manual typewriter, a skill I've always been happy to have.  Windows is doing fine for me.

 

 I was sorry to read of the fall of Avast, but to be honest, I had noticed a real decline in the customer service arena (read: no response).  Been a little busy with life outside of my laptop, so will start paying a bit more attention to the security issues. 

 

OK, given all that, and that Avast has gone from Golden Haired Boy to "You're Ugly and Your Mother Dresses You Funny" (I just renewed a couple of months ago), it seems like you all are still ok with Malwarebytes.  So pair that with what, AVG (when my subscription runs out)?  And (I'm almost afraid to ask) a cleaner, such as Ccleaner?

 

Thanks for all your input.  






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