Computer security (1 Viewer)

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,575
#1
In a recent study, researchers found that more than 80% of all computers on the internet are infected with something or other. They found that people generally don't understand how their computer is at risk, the magnitude of that risk, or how to protect their computer.

This is an effort to correct that here at Juventuz.

Viruses
A virus is a malicious piece of software. They damage your computer by destroying files. How do you stop them? Use an anti-virus programme. A good free one is AVG.

Adware
Adware is, in my opinion, disgusting. People who write and spread viruses are just malicious, but adware is a cynnical attempt to make money. It can change your browser's homepage to some odd search engine (they make money from the links in them). It can make pop-ups appear to advertise something, no matter what website you're on. They are invasive, and an unwelcome drain on your computer's processing power. You can fight them with anti-adware stuff. Ad-aware would be my recommendation.

Please note that popular choice, Spybot has recently done rather badly in some benchmarking tests, so I have to advise against it.

Trojans
Not just the guys who lost the ten year war, but programmes that appear desirable but actually contain something harmful; "the contents of a trojan can be a virus or a worm".
Most virus scanners are not very good at detecting these. One decent attempt to keep them at bay is http://www.ewido.net/en/.

A really useful extra is a firewall. A firewall is a security scheme that prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer and monitors transfers of information to and from the internet. Zonealarm is a very good free one, comparable to a lot of commercial ones. Zonealarm pro (their non-free one) gives much the same protection, but with more features. The great thing about a firewall is that it prevents remote access of your pc by hackers, making it much harder to place stuff you don't want on your computer.



Please remember that no single product, free or commercial, is completely secure. At the very least, you should have an anti-virus programme, a firewall and an anti-spyware programme.

++ [ originally posted by Elnur_E65 ] ++
Is there any "5 in 1" thingies? One soft that would do everything? (milk a cow, clean the house, prepare food and do laundry)
Yes and no. Yes they exist, no they're not any good.

Two other measures you can try:
1. Use Mozilla/Firefox. Internet explorer is hugely popular (by default, as it comes with all Windows-equipped computers), which means it is targeted by the kind of people you don't want targeting you (other than snipers, that is - though if I was a sniper, IE would certainly count as a deserving target in my book ;)). It also happens to be pretty insecure at the moment, and not in the way that makes shy people blush. No, more in the way that a small cottage painted a luminous yellow and placed in no-man's-land is insecure.

2. Switch to Linux. This is more secure than Windows for the popularity reason, and the crap security reason. I'm noticing a Microsoft-related pattern here... Linux may be a step too far for a lot of you, but the rest of that stuff is just a matter of downloading some stuff and clicking on the self-installer.


Some general advice from http://www.staysafeonline.info/
TOP TEN CYBER SECURITY TIPS
1. Use "anti-virus software" and keep it up to date.

2. Don't open emails or attachments from unknown sources. Be suspicious of any unexpected email attachments even if it appears to be from someone you know.

3. Protect your computer from Internet intruders – use "firewalls."

4. Regularly download security updates and “patches” for operating systems and other software.

5. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Mix upper case, lower case, numbers, or other characters not easy to find in a dictionary, and make sure they are at least eight characters long.

6. Back-up your computer data on disks or CDs regularly.

7. Don't share access to your computers with strangers. Learn about file sharing risks.

8. Disconnect from the Internet when not in use.

9. Check your security on a regular basis. When you change your clocks for daylight-savings time, reevaluate your computer security.

10. Make sure your family members and/or your employees know what to do if your computer becomes infected.
Stay safe.
Mikhail
 
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mikhail

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,575
#3
Well it’s starting to happen folks and it’s good news for all.

The first security sandbox designed for home users has arrived
and it looks to be a very promising way to protect your
computer.

A security sandbox is a computing environment that is isolated
from your normal working computing environment.

It’s a place where you can engage in risky activities like
installing unknown programs, opening tempting email attachments
or browsing to strange places on the web without putting your
normal computing environment at risk.

The simplest example of a sandbox is a separate stand-alone
computer that you use for testing. However not too many folks
can afford the luxury of a second PC.

That’s why most sandboxes are virtual sandboxes. They use
software to create a virtual sandbox computer; a kind of
computer within your computer that is completely isolated from
your normal working environment.

I use this arrangement all the time for testing trojans. I’m
quite happy to run a trojan or virus on my PC because I do it
within a completely isolated virtual machine that runs on my
normal everyday PC. When I shut down the virtual machine
everything is wiped including any trojan infection.

I create this virtual machine with a professional IT product
called VMWare but with a price of $189 it’s not of much interest
to average users.

But the new security sandboxes hitting the market are intended
for home use and are priced appropriately. The one that’s got me
currently excited sells for $29.95.

It’s called ShadowSurfer. It works a bit differently to VMWare.
Rather than creating a new virtual PC on which you have to
install software, it creates a virtual copy of your normal PC
with all your existing software.

You access this virtual copy by starting up ShadowSurfer and
then rebooting. After re-booting your desktop comes up looking
exactly the same as normal except the desktop background now
displays the ShadowSurfer logo. This is to remind you that you
are not working on your real PC but on a shadow copy.

In this copy you have full access to your normal programs and
data and you can do anything you normally do including surfing
the internet. However nothing actually get written to you hard
drive, rather the changes are saved in special ShadowSurfer file.

When you end the ShadowSurfer session you have the option of
saving these changes and making them permanent or totally
discarding them. If you choose the latter then, when you start
up your real PC, all traces of your previous ShadowSurfer
session will have vanished.

And I do mean vanished. No traces of any programs you installed,
no traces of viruses or spyware infections you may have caught
and no traces at all of where you roamed on the internet.

You can see the advantages. With ShadowSurfer you can safely try
out new software without risking that your normal PC gets messed
up by a bad installation or infected with a trojan. It also
means that you can safely visit web sites that you would
normally avoid for fear of drive-by spyware downloads and worse.

Am I am impressed? You bet! I think this is a long overdue
security product and one that will liberate many PC users from
security worries.

And if you think this a commercial plug, think again. I don’t
make anything from this. My enthusiasm is derived solely from
the fact that I think it’s a really useful product. Maybe this
explains why Bill Gates is rich and I’m not;>)

http://www.shadowstor.com/products.html

See you next month.

Gizmo
[email protected]
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#4
That is beautiful. I've been using Vmware for years but the concept of exposing your production environment virtually in a sandbox I haven't heard about before. Very interesting idea!
 

Layce Erayce

Senior Member
Aug 11, 2002
9,116
#5
I have all those products. And I too would recommend every single one. Except AVG- Im not too convinced about it.

And I wouldnt say switching to another OS is a smart idea- Especially for home pc's. Whats the point? (dont say paranoia)
 
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mikhail

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,575
#6
++ [ originally posted by DukeVonEggwaffle? ] ++
And I wouldnt say switching to another OS is a smart idea- Especially for home pc's. Whats the point? (dont say paranoia)
Stability, safety from viruses and refusal to support a near-monopoly and but that's another arguement. You're right; Switching to Linux purely for security reasons is perhaps going a bit far.

Martin has an arguement here: http://www.juventuz.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8793
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#7
++ [ originally posted by DukeVonEggwaffle? ] ++
And I wouldnt say switching to another OS is a smart idea- Especially for home pc's. Whats the point? (dont say paranoia)
If you're into computer stuff, try it. Otherwise don't bother. Changing the OS implies a lot of new concepts, problems etc. Everything is different, you don't know where you are the first few months.

I've only encouraged people who like playing with their computer to try linux, the rest might as well stay with Windows, it's simpler and above all they're used to it. And I'm still very wary of saying linux is just as good for home users. Some people claim that's true, I don't really agree, it's good for people who like having control over their system, but you also have to know where to go if something breaks.

For security, linux clearly is better but if that's your only motivation, you'll end up spending lots of time learning it first so you can get around the system. Once you have a basic understanding, then you get the benefits. But there's no way around learning the basics of the system, if you don't want to learn anything you should stick with what you have.

Quite an incoherent rant this turned out to be.. I'd say the choice of linux being a good one depends on how you use your computer. I have tried all kinds of easy-to-use distros and I'm not satisfied when I can't play divx/dvd movies or listen to mp3's. I want those things set up by default and when they're not (licencing issues), it should at least be really easy to get them in place (which it rarely is if you *just* installed the OS for the first time).
 
Oct 1, 2002
2,088
#9
I like VMware more, you can treat the other OS just like other applications and multitasking between multiple os at the same time.
and based on the concept, I guess it's not possible to copy file from one OS to another one.
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#10
++ [ originally posted by Alucard Belmont ] ++
I like VMware more, you can treat the other OS just like other applications and multitasking between multiple os at the same time.
and based on the concept, I guess it's not possible to copy file from one OS to another one.
Of course it's possible, there are two ways to do it. You can configure the guest OS to access your local filesystem or you can send files across the virtual network between the two computers.
 
Oct 1, 2002
2,088
#11
++ [ originally posted by Martin ] ++


Of course it's possible, there are two ways to do it. You can configure the guest OS to access your local filesystem or you can send files across the virtual network between the two computers.
yes,that's the advantage of using VMWare, but is this possible with ShadowSurfer?Because there's no guest OS in ShadowSurfer and
There's only option to save changes or discarding them in ShadowSurfer.
I think you misunderstood my post, I'm saying that it's unlikely you can copy file from one OS to another in ShadowSurfer.
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#12
I thought you were talking about vmware.. I was anyway.

I haven't tried ShadowSurfer but from the description John pasted, you can access the live filesystem from the virtual machine, there is no second file system hence there's no need to copy file across.
 

Dan

Back & Quack
Mar 9, 2004
9,291
#15
I just wanted to say, contrary to public opinion on mikhail, this thread he made just saved my computers ass. I had a shitload of viruses and spyware which was clogging up my pc.

Thanks alot mikhail :)
 
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mikhail

mikhail

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
9,575
#16
Cheers Dan.

I should probably add that Spybot recently sucked big time in a benchmarking test, so if anyone has a recommendation for a free anti-spyware product (ideally backed up with some test results or a recemmendation from someone who really knows his stuff about this), fire ahead. I'll keep looking.
 

Dan

Back & Quack
Mar 9, 2004
9,291
#17
worked good for me.

Zone alarm is fantastic. You wouldnt believe the hijacking my browser was undergoing. Once again, thanks a bunch. I had to frantically look for your signature before my webpage hijacked though alot :D
 

nedved34

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2002
3,919
#18
I don't agree about the ad-aware and spybot.I had problems with my pc because of that software.


Yesterday a small box poped up from the taskbar.it was something about virtual law memory,something like that.you have idea what is it about?
 

Martin

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
56,857
#19
++ [ originally posted by snoop ] ++
Yesterday a small box poped up from the taskbar.it was something about virtual law memory,something like that.you have idea what is it about?
Basically means your drive c: is filling up.
 

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