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Protection: now available on Windows 7  (Source: GameSpot)
Microsoft's new AV program is the same price now as when it will be released -- free

Microsoft sent waves through the security community when it announced that it was going to be offering free antivirus software for Windows Vista and Windows 7 by the end of 2009.  Built around Microsoft's Live OneCare's internals, the new antivirus program essentially repackages this previous iteration, while trimming some luxury features like hard drive utilities and major network support.

However, the antivirus makers are not going down without a fight.  While it may be hard to beat free, that's exactly what the biggest names in the security software industry hope to do.

Three companies -- Kaspersky Lab, AVG Internet Security, and Symantec -- all have released versions of their upcoming Windows 7 software for public preview, in order to show the progress of their efforts and lure potential customers.  Symantec released a 3.0 beta of the upcoming Norton 360, AVG released a full basic version of its AVG Anti-virus built around Microsoft's OS beta, and Kaspersky is offering a technical preview of Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows 7.

Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc said that Microsoft has a healthy relationship with these firms stating, "Microsoft has been actively working with security partners to help them get their applications ready for Windows 7.  Three security developers have taken the build we released to developers in October and have developed solutions available today that work with Windows 7 Beta."

While Microsoft wants to make its own antivirus software the best in the business, it’s also very concerned with supporting third party software makers.  For one thing, Microsoft's upcoming free AV suite will be poorly suited for a large scale business environment, necessitating third parties.  Secondly, consumers want variety, particularly when many have their own strong opinions about security.

Microsoft wants to reverse what happened with Windows Vista's release.  When Vista was released, there was little antivirus software available, and what there was tended to be very poor.  This in turn gave the OS perhaps an unduly bad reputation on security, when in reality the base of Vista was much more secure than its predecessor Windows XP.  Some major AV companies like Symantec had no Vista product at launch, and Symantec for some time refused to use Vista.

Indeed, Microsoft does seem to be turning the corner on this issue, though, and convincing AV developers that Windows 7 is worthwhile.  And Microsoft is definitely in need of it.  While its expanded business base of the Xbox 360, internet offerings, Zune, peripherals, and more is relatively strong, its position of its core OS business is the weakest that it’s been in a long time.  In November Windows market share, for the first time in years, dipped beneath 90 percent, according to Net Applications.  Fortunately for Microsoft, the early buzz around Windows 7 seems enormous.



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Great News
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2009 9:32:39 AM , Rating: 3
I mean, who better to provide your anti-virus protection than the company that EVERY SINGLE virus tries to exploit ?

Once MS gets going with this, we'll all be safer in general from most all major threats. Especially from other Windows users who are, frankly, slack about getting their own virus protection going.

Nice move Windows.




RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 9:45:25 AM , Rating: 4
I'm going on 15 years without a virus, and I've always used Windows (starting with 3.1 and using every version but ME and 2000), and have never had virus protection. Every so often I'll install Avast and run a scan. It never finds anything.

Viruses don't exploit Windows; viruses exploit stupid users.


RE: Great News
By nosfe on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 10:49:36 AM , Rating: 4
That's what backups are for.

I only download things from reputable sites. Getting torrents and warez are just asking to get a virus.


RE: Great News
By Aloonatic on 1/20/2009 11:01:28 AM , Rating: 4
I assume that you never let anyone use your PC or do you watch over them like a hawk if they do?

By the way, how do you make sure that files sent to you by people are safe to use? Or is every one of your friends and colleagues as safe safe as you are?

I can't remember the exact story but I think there was a driver disk that turned out to have a virus on it recently too. How do you get around that sort of thing?

I must admit, this "I'm too clever to get a virus" boast is a new one to me and I've been a regular reader of DT for well over a year :)

Good luck to you though, I have a feeling you are going to need it.


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 11:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah it's pretty much just me using the PC. My wife might go on every once in a while, but her account is a standard user. She usually just uses her laptop.

I only open files that I'm expecting to receive, regardless of who they're from. I did get an email once that had a "powerpoint presentation" with a .exe extension. That email went straight to the trash.

Try running without AV. If I can go 15 years without getting one, then I'm pretty sure you can too.


RE: Great News
By morose on 1/20/2009 11:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't run AV on my machine at home either. I run a scan every month or so from Trend's website just to make sure I'm not crazy, but I have yet to come up with a positive. Risky user behavior is easily the number one cause of infections. I could run any AV program out there and still end up in trouble if I did silly things with my machine. So I just don't. :)


RE: Great News
By on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Great News
By Bubbacub on 1/20/2009 4:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
i have never regularly run an AV program. i get bored every 6 months or so and download, run and uninstall AVG and adaware. no problems. i've only ever had 2 viruses - one was MSblast - dealt with easily enough and the other one was from a friend of a friend who gave me a cd with a virus burnt onto it - again easily dealt with.

i think of the clock cycles (and power) wasted though out the world on running bloated crappy slow AV programs and i shudder.


RE: Great News
By Cerberus90 on 1/20/2009 11:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
The guys at CustomPC did a test for their magazine where they ran without any AV, and tested various types of websites.

And for just general browsing of reputable sites and not being stupid, they got nothing. Granted this was only a short amount of time.

I fully agree that Viruses don't exploit windows as such, more the user.
However, there are certain ones that the user can do nothing about.

As long as your sensible about what you do, you should never need virus protection.

I wouldn't say the same thing about firewalls just yet, although as pretty much every router now has security built in, the requirement for a software solution is getting smaller and smaller.

Yet, I still run AV and Firewall, just to be on the safe side.


RE: Great News
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 4:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I must admit, this "I'm too clever to get a virus" boast is a new one to me and I've been a regular reader of DT for well over a year :)
There's a contingent of people here that really believe that they don't need an AV program. It's been a while since I've heard these people talk about this though.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 6:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
When I let someone else use my PC, I create a limited user account for them first. It's quite easy to do, and adding a user account only takes a few seconds. Switching to a desktop session for the new user takes a bit longer, but still less than a minute or so, and is quicker the next time they ask to use it.

I also run as a limited user myself, and use additional limited user accounts to create security partitions, so that only I only work with highly trusted software and files in my normal session. I'm also very careful about running anything under an administrator account.

I do manually scan my systems from time to time with various software to scan for viruses and rootkits, since you can never be too careful, but nothing has ever turned up.

The main reason I don't use background AV software is because I've found it often destabilises the system, and is also resource hungry, wasting power and slowing things down. In fact, I'd guess a lot of the problems with stability that some Windows users complain about down to buggy AV software.


RE: Great News
By Aloonatic on 1/21/2009 6:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
So let me get this straight.

You are saying that:

1) Making a new account when a friend or family member wants to use your PC as a limited user and;

b) Having to switch or login as an admin whenever you want to add new hardware, update software or install anything new etc...

Is easier than taking the time to find a good AV which doesn't affect your system too much (granted, there will be some affect of running an AV but not all AVs are that bad, especially with the surplus power that the average PC has now) because you see it as less of a hassle, intrusion and general slowing down of what you are doing?

That's before even taking into account that you may well get some virus through admittedly unlikely (but none the less real) obscure channels?

I do agree with the general sentiment that the vast majority of viruses infect PCs because the user does something stupid but as virus writers and distributors get ever more numerous and cunning, coupled with the fact that we are all only human after all so you may just click that link in an e-mail or something one day when you are not paying 100% attention to what it says, you really do seem to be asking for trouble.

Still, bonne chance.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/21/2009 7:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
You should create a user account for each person who uses a PC anyway. It's just common sense.

Regarding installs and hardware updates, they're relatively rare. Moreover, with UAC, elevating to administrator is trivially easy: just type the password at the UAC prompt (with an optional requirement for Ctrl+Alt+Del). On Windows 7, it's even easier than on Vista: I just run my 'admin' finger across the fingerprint scanner (I use different fingerprints for different accounts).

As for a good AV application, I've tried a number of them, and I haven't found any to be of acceptable quality for running on a laptop. I've nothing against the idea of an AV application, I just haven't yet found one that's acceptable.

I do periodically back up my data to a server, and actually do run AV software (Antivir and ClamAV) on the server, so I suppose it's not quite accurate of me to say I don't use AV software at all.

In case of a user-level infection under my normal account (which hasn't happened yet), I'd just have log on as an administrator to clean it up. In the worst case of a system-level infection (which hasn't happened yet either), I'd reinstall the OS and applications, and then restore the user data.

On the whole, I've been using Windows NT (including 2000/XP/Vista/7) for more than 10 years, and I've never had a user-level infection in my primary account, much less a system-level infection. In that same time I've had at least half a dozen bluescreens caused by buggy AV drivers (which I have used on organisational PCs where required), not to mention general instability and sluggishness caused by the same.

From my point of view, in the event of an infection, I'm looking at losing perhaps a day of time (in the worst case of a system-level infection), and perhaps a few days of work that hasn't been backed up. If that occurs once every 10 years (and mind you it hasn't yet), I have to say I think the cost to me is lower than the cost of running AV software, and dealing with it every single day.


RE: Great News
By Aloonatic on 1/21/2009 8:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Creating a user account for people who use a PC regularly is, of course, common sense but that is not what I was talking about.

What if someone popped over to your place and just fancied checking their e-mail or something? You would create a new account for them too? That is what I was talking about but perhaps that wasn't 100% clear. Sure, it doesn't happen too often but it would still be an extra and somewhat unnecessary pain.

As for fingerprint scanners. I'm glad that you have managed to find one that works. I have seen and tried plenty of them and they are usually pretty rubbish. I have had far more problems with them and lost far more time to them not working than I have ever lost to an AV program scanning a word doc before it opens and such.

Just how old is your laptop and what AVs have you tried? I guess that a 5,400rpm drive may suffer a little more than a usual desktop but not that much. The laptops here at my work seems fine. It's not like you buy a laptop for blistering fast performance anyway?!

The rest of your comment is quite amusing. You admit that you do use a virus scanner after all and then you point out how much of a pain it would be to recover from the effects of an infection which you seem to be inviting on yourself in your day to day activities.

The AVs that you have tried must have been pretty rubbish for the time that you waste compensating for not having one.

Just what did you have to "deal with every day" with the AVs that you have tried by the way?


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/24/2009 10:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if someone popped over to your place and just fancied checking their e-mail or something? You would create a new account for them too? That is what I was talking about but perhaps that wasn't 100% clear. Sure, it doesn't happen too often but it would still be an extra and somewhat unnecessary pain.

It takes a about 10 seconds to type "net user foo /add" at the command prompt (which I always have running), type Win+L and then click on the newly added user icon. There's no reason not to do it.
quote:
Just how old is your laptop and what AVs have you tried? I guess that a 5,400rpm drive may suffer a little more than a usual desktop but not that much. The laptops here at my work seems fine. It's not like you buy a laptop for blistering fast performance anyway?!

It's about a year old. I'm not too concerned with speed as such, but when going between meetings, lecture halls, offices and so on, it's quite important for me that I can quickly suspend and restore my desktop session, and that the battery won't run out when I'm in the middle of doing something.
quote:
The rest of your comment is quite amusing. You admit that you do use a virus scanner after all and then you point out how much of a pain it would be to recover from the effects of an infection which you seem to be inviting on yourself in your day to day activities.

Are you serious? More than ten years of using Windows, without a single infection and you really think I'm asking for trouble? Do you really think spending at most one day every ten years restoring from a backup is some sort of onerous task? Do the maths.
quote:
The AVs that you have tried must have been pretty rubbish for the time that you waste compensating for not having one.

Yes, they have been, and they've also been highly rated, so I've no reason to suspect the more poorly rated ones would be any better.
quote:
Just what did you have to "deal with every day" with the AVs that you have tried by the way?

Mostly lags when suspending and restoring, the occasional application hang from I/O interference from AV software and very occasionally a bluescreen caused by an AV driver (usually after suspending/restoring, ie precisely when I need to have things running so I can present etc).

As I said, do the maths. Five minutes every work day for a year (20 days a month, 10 months a year) adds up to 1000 minutes, or 16 hours. It would take less than half that time to reinstall Windows and restore my data from a backup. When you add on the stability issues I've mentioned (and I know how to debug the crashes, which is why I know for when to blame an AV driver instead of Microsoft, whereas most of my colleagues just blame Microsoft), the value of real-time AV software pales next to the cost.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/24/2009 10:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
One other point: my server-side AV software has never found anything in my backups.

On the whole, the way a lot of poeple use AV software can be compared to installing alarms and CCTV cameras all round your house, because you haven't got insurance and can't be bothered to close the front door. If you buy insurance and close/lock the door, you'll find that you don't really need all the alarms and CCTV.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/24/2009 10:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if someone popped over to your place and just fancied checking their e-mail or something? You would create a new account for them too? That is what I was talking about but perhaps that wasn't 100% clear. Sure, it doesn't happen too often but it would still be an extra and somewhat unnecessary pain.

It takes a about 10 seconds to type "net user foo /add" at the command prompt (which I always have running), type Win+L and then click on the newly added user icon. There's no reason not to do it.
quote:
Just how old is your laptop and what AVs have you tried? I guess that a 5,400rpm drive may suffer a little more than a usual desktop but not that much. The laptops here at my work seems fine. It's not like you buy a laptop for blistering fast performance anyway?!

It's about a year old. I'm not too concerned with speed as such, but when going between meetings, lecture halls, offices and so on, it's quite important for me that I can quickly suspend and restore my desktop session, and that the battery won't run out when I'm in the middle of doing something.
quote:
The rest of your comment is quite amusing. You admit that you do use a virus scanner after all and then you point out how much of a pain it would be to recover from the effects of an infection which you seem to be inviting on yourself in your day to day activities.

Are you serious? More than ten years of using Windows, without a single infection and you really think I'm asking for trouble? Do you really think spending at most one day every ten years restoring from a backup is some sort of onerous task? Do the maths.
quote:
The AVs that you have tried must have been pretty rubbish for the time that you waste compensating for not having one.

Yes, they have been, and they've also been highly rated, so I've no reason to suspect the more poorly rated ones would be any better.
quote:
Just what did you have to "deal with every day" with the AVs that you have tried by the way?

Mostly lags when suspending and restoring, the occasional application hang from I/O interference from AV software and very occasionally a bluescreen caused by an AV driver (usually after suspending/restoring, ie precisely when I need to have things running so I can present etc).

As I said, do the maths. Five minutes every work day for a year (20 days a month, 10 months a year) adds up to 1000 minutes, or 16 hours. It would take less than half that time to reinstall Windows and restore my data from a backup. When you add on the stability issues I've mentioned (and I know how to debug the crashes, which is why I know for when to blame an AV driver instead of Microsoft, whereas most of my colleagues just blame Microsoft), the value of real-time AV software pales next to the cost.


RE: Great News
By adiposity on 1/26/2009 1:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
I am too clever to get a virus, apparently. Well, actually, I did once get the Michelangelo virus back in 1992, because a floppy I inserted from a friend was infected. Back then, it didn't take much for a virus to be activated. But I quickly removed it and suffered no ill effects. With today's computers, you don't have to be too clever to avoid a virus. A good firewall and some common sense about what you download suffice.

-Dan


RE: Great News
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 12:45:00 PM , Rating: 3
I used to think the exact same way as you, and then I got a virus that infected my backups. While I would tend to agree with you that infections are often the result of user error, just merely being smart is not 100% effective, and backing up means little to nothing if the virus is able to infect the files you backed up.

Users that think they are invincible are far more of a security risk than stupid people who just don't know better, especially in a corporate environment.


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be very impressed if the virus could somehow guess the login to my server and infect the files there.


RE: Great News
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 1:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
And how do your files get to your server? Once again, it does not matter if you backup, if you copy an infected file to your server, the server may not become infected, but as soon as you retrieve and make use of the infected file, your workstation becomes infected.


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 2:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Unless the virus can somehow intercept the backup transfers and insert itself into them (this is an actual backup, not just copying files over), I really cannot see how a backup could get infected.

I get files to the server because the server client software uses my windows logon which gives access to a limited account on the server.

I'm done defending my actions to a bunch of paranoid teenagers.


RE: Great News
By othercents on 1/20/2009 2:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
While I totally agree that there are a hand full of people who would never get viruses and could run without a virus scanner, this is far from the norm and it is impossible to teach this type of behavior to everyone especially since I still have people that can't figure out why their laptop keeps saying the battery is about to die.

I run a scanner, but never had it actually find anything. However I would rather see the operating system default to installing a virus scanner and allow people to choose not to install than to not install and have the majority of those system fall prey to a virus. Most users get a computer, get internet access, and then start surfing. Anti-Virus is usually the last thing they think about and usually after they have already gotten a virus.

Other


RE: Great News
By omnicronx on 1/20/2009 2:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
I don't use an Anti-virus program myself, nor am I paranoid, nor am I a teenager.. and you still seem to be missing the point.

Lets make it as easy as possible

1.File on workstation becomes infected
2.Virus infects other files on your computer
3.One of these files is as part of your system backup
4.This file is backed up up to your server via your daily/weekly/etc backup.
5.The infected file now resides within the backup (no interception required)
6.You reformat your computer to get rid of the virus
7.You restore your backup, which results in the infected file ending up on your workstatation
8.You use this infected file which results in being reinfected

Otherwise why would business's run virus checks on their backups, some even go as far as to have real time monitoring and doing a nightly in depth check.

Im not trying to imply that you will get a virus, my point here is nobody is invincible to the result of virus attacks, whether you backup your system or not.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 6:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
The easy way to solve this issue entirely is to periodically scan the backups for viruses.

The added bonus is that the "inert" backups can't hide the viruses from the scanner.


RE: Great News
By gss4w on 1/21/2009 2:24:53 AM , Rating: 2
While this is true the person who started that he does not use a virus scanner.


RE: Great News
By adiposity on 1/26/2009 1:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
A virus can get on your backup. If you don't understand this, you are very naive. The backup process itself can put it there! Duh!

-Dan


RE: Great News
By plowak on 1/20/2009 1:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
Viruses don't just haunt "disreputable" sites, they are also found on "popular" sites. Hmmm...I wonder why?


RE: Great News
By The0ne on 1/20/2009 6:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
What if your backups were infected to begin with :) I had this happen because checkers didn't catch it til later updates. So after a few years on CD's I inserted into the drive and walla, infected!

Then there's kids and other people that could potentially use your PCs to do what seemingly are harmless things. My young nephew vacationed here and played some web-base games on what seemed like a harmless site. EVERYONE'S computer had porn ads popping up like mad. Thankfully they were just ads :)

Then there's the actual hacker that will find your open ports and security holes and give you what you don't have protection for. Hell, I use to do this. I even program viruses but never really injected them others. It was really a learning process.

That said, I would really count yourself out that you're safe :D In the end, wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry? You do know that the threats are out there even if you're not affected...yet.


RE: Great News
By Quiescent on 1/20/2009 10:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
I watch over people who use my computer like a hawk. And for computers I build for people - I usually put something on it. I didn't put anything on my dad's computer, I just told him not do anything in stupid and told him what was stupid, like him downloading those poker games. I told him to use Firefox and not IE, and made Firefox the main browser. If anything happens, which it hasn't yet, I have been able to easily get rid of it. Other people I would get something for them, but my dad is one who does not ignore learning how to use a computer. He knows I'm right.

Besides, his computer is for use in his business. In fact, he completely ditched the emachine that my step mother has because his C2D with 2GB of RAM is super fast in comparison for everything. And he likes it and now has a renewed faith in computers. :)


RE: Great News
By Quiescent on 1/20/2009 7:04:40 PM , Rating: 3
What's more is that I DO use torrents. And I haven't gotten infected yet. You have to use sites that you trust. And if you don't, sandboxie it!

As for other users infecting me, my friends doing it?
I guess I've been around these parts long enough to see something fishy going on when someone sends me a link.

I have more problems with AV software running than going bare without it. I even had a school network install Mcafee on my computer, and I got rid of it by acquiring SYSTEM access and deleting it all that was using SYSTEM access.

Spybot search and destroy is working pretty good for other things, but it's not like I download anything that it would catch. So even then, it's not worth it.

I use The Pirate Bay, Demonoid, and a closed source for all my software. Increasing my chance of being completely safe from infection.

As for all the rest of you, I really hope you have the common sense to realize that AV software companies add all your keygens and everything to their list and report false positives even if it isn't infected. Because it's I-LLE-GAL!


RE: Great News
By nangryo on 1/21/2009 1:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
Try that on workplace. Then you'll need alot of restoring thing to do than doing your job. In my place, there is a networking between office computer/laptop. Even though there's already an antivirus installed on server and every client by IT department, there's still some idiot who diactivate the av, or just clicking everything on their email.

I assure your computer won't last a month without a relative good av on workplace. So don't generalize your 'home computing' experience to everything rite


RE: Great News
By Quiescent on 1/21/2009 1:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
Get a damn firewall that actually works. A HARDWARE one. I used to work at a computer place and they had a firewall that made it so that when we worked on infected computers, they could not spread, even when we connected it to the network. That's what a real business will do in order to avoid the cost of an insecure network. If that don't do that, then they are STOOPID.


RE: Great News
By Chaser on 1/20/2009 10:24:37 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Viruses don't exploit Windows; viruses exploit stupid users.


Glass houses.


RE: Great News
By vapore0n on 1/20/2009 10:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
How can you ever see a virus if you dont have a AV scanner to find it?


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 10:51:15 AM , Rating: 2
As I said in my post, every so often (6 months or so) I install Avast and do a full, thorough scan. It finds nothing every time.


RE: Great News
By Souka on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 11:08:02 AM , Rating: 1
ha ha


RE: Great News
By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 6:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, who has an A: drive anymore? </intentionally dense>


RE: Great News
By Quiescent on 1/20/2009 10:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
IT'S ALL ABOUT SPEED AND WHEN I GET A COMPUTER AND IT'S SUPER FAST AND SOMEHOW IT SLOWED DOWN, THERE IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG!

It's easy. Look for weird processes. Run a google search on weird process. Look through all of MSCONFIG, look for weird folders and files. Look at filemon. Look at regmon. Look through at CPORTS. Use Ethereal (I forgot the new name for it) to check for weird activity.

In all, you don't need to use AV software to see it. Now if you know how to do that, that doesn't necessarily mean you're suddenly an expert at removing a virus. That can be kind of dangerous.

OH AND GO THE WAY OF BEST BUY: SOLUTION: REFORMAT.


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 10:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
All typical replies. Getting a virus these days requires user action. IE7 in Protected Mode, UAC, I'm amazed people still get infected. With these things, the worst a virus could do would be to wipe out my user space.

As far as losing my hard drive from a nasty virus, that's what backups are for. I do daily backups to my home server (which by the way is a very slick product).

15 years without a virus. I've been connected to the internet with a 2400 baud modem. I've got to be doing something right.


RE: Great News
By VaultDweller on 1/20/2009 11:09:58 AM , Rating: 2
Getting a worm does not require user action.

That said, most AV solutions don't offer protection against new worms until it is too late, and most worms cannot attack a Windows box that is up to date with security fixes.


RE: Great News
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 11:16:59 AM , Rating: 5
If something tries to execute itself, UAC pops up. Please explain how a worm gets around this.

Now, if a malicious program is already installed and running, then it has free access to my user space. If it needs to go further, UAC pops up or the program crashes when it can't gain access.

Worst case scenario = user space trashed, have to create a new user or restore user from a backup.

Viruses just aren't as dangerous as they once were.


RE: Great News
By Jack Ripoff on 1/20/2009 11:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Viruses just aren't as dangerous as they once were.


Are you sure?

http://www.dailytech.com/New+Rampant+Windows+Worm+...


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 11:52:50 AM , Rating: 4
Interestingly enough, that was patches quite a while ago. So yeah, stupid users (who don't update).


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/20/2009 4:45:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Interestingly enough, that was patches quite a while ago
Did MS patch that gaping security hole called "USB autorun"? Heheh :))) See, it's not as simple as Spivonious tries to spin it.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 6:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
The autorun that can be turned off if you're using the 8 year old OS XP?

The autorun that in Vista doesn't actually auto-run but asks you if you'd like to run the exe?


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 7:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
One of the ways you turn off Autorun doesn't stop this. However, the other way (the global method) does and is usually the one that would be recommended.

And oh yeah, you're Pirks, shilling as usual.


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/20/2009 7:35:24 PM , Rating: 1
Care to run this global method on 10000 corporate PCs? Oh yeah, you're ChronoReverse, out of arguments as usual.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 7:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
Oh gee, we have something called Group Policies that happen to make such a thing easy.


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/20/2009 9:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, so this autorun hole was not patched by MS and admins are supposed to patch it on their own. If they don't do this - welcome the worm. See, your words about hole being already patched by MS are not quite true. You play Paul Thurott here and conveniently "forget" to mention that only ONE of two holes was patched by MS.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 9:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's because autorun isn't really something MS intends (or perhaps intended, it really ought to be) to patch. Still, in a corporate environment I don't see why autorun wouldn't have been turned off anyway. It's a known security vector and the setting to turn it off in Group Policies is right there. If it wasn't turned off it certainly is laziness/stupidity.

In any case, you're being facetious. This thread pertained to people who would only be getting it through the Internet and that certainly was patched. It also talked about being careful, so in the context autorun would have also been turned off. The key point was "being careful" and "not being stupid" after all.

It's so easy to distort things simply by taking it out of context huh?


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/20/2009 10:00:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
autorun isn't really something MS intends to patch
I know MS is not very quick with plugging ages old security holes in Windows. That was my original point by the way. Thanks for reminding me :-)
quote:
If it wasn't turned off it certainly is laziness/stupidity
Yeah, MS is laaazy, sooo lazy. I know :-) They won't plug this stupid hole in Win 7, hopefully they will in 8 or maybe 7.5, if we're lucky.
quote:
This thread pertained to people who would only be getting it through the Internet
Don't usurp the thread, it was about the worm in general and it spreads through TWO security holes, one of the is not patched yet. Which was my point.

The key point was why MS is so dumb that it takes many years for them to plug such obvious security holes in Windows.

And why they even created them? I could never understand MS's logic, it's so out of touch with reality.
quote:
It's so easy to distort things simply by taking it out of context huh?
Yeah, you're trying to shove this autorun hole under the carpet and pretend it does not exist. This is what I call changing context. You know that the worm uses this autorun hole and this hole still DOES exist. No patches from MS. End of story.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 10:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, MS is laaazy, sooo lazy. I know :-) They won't plug this stupid hole in Win 7, hopefully they will in 8 or maybe 7.5, if we're lucky.

It's already patched in Vista. The article you linked is wrong. Exe's in the autorun are not executed automatically.

quote:
Don't usurp the thread, it was about the worm in general and it spreads through TWO security holes, one of the is not patched yet. Which was my point.

Bullshit. It wasn't about that worm until YOU usurped the thread.

quote:
Yeah, you're trying to shove this autorun hole under the carpet and pretend it does not exist. This is what I call changing context. You know that the worm uses this autorun hole and this hole still DOES exist. No patches from MS. End of story

I didn't sweep it under the rug. I mentioned that it doesn't exist in Vista and is something that is easily dealt with and was in fact common knowledge from the early days of XP to turn off.

Since the poster in question says that he's careful and thus even with AV didn't catch anything, it's perfectly relevant. A careful XP user would have long had Autorun disabled.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 10:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, looks like I'm wrong about the origin of the talk about the worm. Taking that into account along with my poor use of language I'll disqualify myself from this discussion.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 10:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
If you read the link you've provided, you'll see that this isn't a security hole in any meaninful sense, but rather a poor UI design.

You have to explicitly do three things to be affected by this: (i) physically accept an infected device/disc from someone else; (ii) attach the infected device/disc to your PC; (iii) open an Explorer window and double-click the icon for that device/disc.

I think this is a poor UI design. Double-clicking a hard drive displays its contents, and sometimes double-clicking removable media does the same. Other times, double-clicking removable media executes the content, similar to the way that double-clicking a document or application launches it.

For consistency, I think double-clicking a volume should always display its contents. Undoubtedly some users would find this confusing, and would prefer to execute whatever is on the volume. That's probably why Microsoft put this auto-play feature in in the first place.

At the end of the day, it's a poor UI, but I don't see how any reasonable person could call it a security hole, any more than being able to execute an infected program someone gives you by double-clicking it is a security hole.

As an aside, I've never been able to stand the inconsistent behaviour of double-clicking removable media on Windows, so I habitually right-click and then explicitly choose what I want to do anyway. I do the same with moving/copying/linking files from on folder to another, since Microsoft made that UI inconsistent too.


RE: Great News
By Jack Ripoff on 1/21/2009 2:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
This goes to prove that Bruce Schneier is right when he says that the "patch treadmill" doesn't work and systems need to be coded with security in mind from the beginning, not just as an afterthought.


RE: Great News
By Pirks on 1/21/2009 5:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
I wish Bruce Schneier were working at MS designing Windows internals, then we'd see much less idiotic/moronic security holes in Windows similar to that autorun hole.


RE: Great News
By JoshuaBuss on 1/20/2009 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
you said 15 years. no MS os before vista had something as comprehensive as UAC.

several worms can infect XP pre-sp2 without the user doing ANYTHING. just plug it into the internet and there's a good chance you'll get infected.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 8:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
no MS os before vista had something as comprehensive as UAC.

UAC only makes it easy to do what has always been possible in Windows NT and its descendants (2000/XP/Vista/7). That is, to run as a limited user by default, and to grant administrator privileges only when necessary, eg to install software for all users. I started using Windows with Windows NT, and ran it this way from the very beginning.
quote:
several worms can infect XP pre-sp2 without the user doing ANYTHING.

What you are talking about here is unpatched software. Why would anyone run unpatched software?


RE: Great News
By ioannis on 1/21/2009 5:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What you are talking about here is unpatched software. Why would anyone run unpatched software?


everyone at any given time runs an "unpatched" software. And I'm not being picky here about the term. A patch is released 'after' an exploitation of a vulnerability is found. That means, for a certain amount of time (hours? days? weeks? months?) people run "unpatched" software...

As for running a non administration account, that doesn't mean your system is safe from attacks. There have been numerous attacks (I'm too lazy now to link some, but I'm sure you can verify this), so called root access attacks, that grant full access to your system. A worm can use that route to infect your system.

15 years without a virus, running NT/2000/XP/Vista on a network is very unlikely...even with AV+firewall.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/21/2009 7:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
everyone at any given time runs an "unpatched" software. And I'm not being picky here about the term. A patch is released 'after' an exploitation of a vulnerability is found. That means, for a certain amount of time (hours? days? weeks? months?) people run "unpatched" software...

The post I was replying to referred to pre-SP3 versions of XP. I'm sorry, but there is simply no excuse for running pre-SP3 XP.

In any case, most vulnerabilities aren't found by virus writers, they're found by security researchers, who inform the software producers and AV firms before going public. AV software is best at detecting and blocking known viruses/worms/trojans too.

Viruses/worms that take advantage of system vulnerabilities tend to be based in published vulnerabilities, which means vulnerabilities that are usually patched on up-to-date systems. By far the major source of infection is user error: trusting sources that shouldn't be trusted and failing to keep systems up to date.

quote:
15 years without a virus, running NT/2000/XP/Vista on a network is very unlikely...even with AV+firewall.


I haven't been using it that long, but in my case it's over 10 years, and I know others in the same situation, so I believe the original poster. People who are careful and know what they're doing really can avoid infections.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/21/2009 7:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
The earlier poster actually referred to pre-SP2 XP (not pre-SP3), which means software more than four years out of date. To suggest that being four-and-a-half years behind on patches is somehow similar to the lag between the discovery of a vulnerability and the release of a patch is simply absurd.


RE: Great News
By kelmon on 1/20/2009 12:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
I personally think you are asking for trouble but then it depends to some degree what you are doing with your computer and who you interact with. All I will say is that since I receive lots of documents from different people in a very large company, I have received the odd virus over the years but the anti-virus software has always intercepted it so no issues have actually occurred. This said, I haven't received one now for quite a few years, which I think is due to our much improved virus checkers on the email servers.

Viruses may exploit stupid users but you only need to know one in order to catch their infection...


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 5:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using Windows since Windows NT, usually without any AV software, and have never had a virus either. I do tend to use strict firewall settings, install updates when they're released and disable services that I'm not using.

I once downloaded and ran an infected file. However, since I didn't trust the source, I ran it under a temporary user account with low privileges, which couldn't access any of my files or change any system settings. As a result, it was powerless to do any harm, and deleting that temporary account (including its profile) removed all traces of it.

The real issue is simply education. Most users unfortunately don't understand the basics of OS security. Windows has improved a lot since NT, in terms of making it easier for unsophisticated users to secure their systems, but it's always been relatively easy for sophisticated users to do.


RE: Great News
By FaceMaster on 1/20/2009 6:18:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Every so often I'll install Avast and run a scan. It never finds anything.


Every so often? Why don't you keep it on?

My Dad likes Avast. He uninstalled Kaspersky because it kept disrupting his work by finding things.


RE: Great News
By Omega215D on 1/20/2009 6:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
I like using BitDefender as it is light on resources and is aggressive at getting rid of viruses before they take root.


RE: Great News
By Lightnix on 1/20/2009 9:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, maybe I'm a stupid user. Here's what happened to me just yesterday . I was wasting some time on a forum (overclockers.co.uk forums), a user had posted a screenshot of his cart in thumbnail form for a rig he was building. I clicked on the thumbnail, and without downloading anything or any prompts, the enlarged image came up (yay!) and Spybot S&D and NOD32 started freaking out over a new infection (boo!). Obviously I denied all the teatimer registry edit prompts.

"Okay, not to worry", I foolishly thought to myself. I'll just scan the computer. One of the more annoying symptoms of the infection was that the taskbar and desktop icons would turn on and off sporadically. First I went with Spybot S&D, that found the infection. Spybot S&D showed me that my computer was infected with a trojan called 'Virtumonde'. I told it to fix the infections. It told me it had. The taskbar kept flicking on and off. Bugger.

Okay, so, scanned with NOD32 (that took a good couple of hours. Joy), again, found the infection but couldn't remove it. Fun, fun, fun. So I did a bit of research and found that the trojan is a tricky little bugger and, whilst it used to be relatively harmless, now likes to plant randomly named files and rootkits everywhere. JOY! A little research told me of a tool called 'vundofix' which is supposed to fix Vundo, virtumonde and variants thereof. No joy running that. A little more research and I found that a program called Malware Byte's anti malware tool is good for removing the infection in question. Installed, updated, ran. Finally got rid of the little blighter.

It took me from 5PM 'til 11PM to fix it, and what a pain the bum it was.

Oh and just to note, I was using Opera on Windows XP SP3 at the time.


RE: Great News
By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 9:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I wonder if it would've gotten past Noscript+FF3 or IE7+Protected Mode.

Did you try scanning in offline mode (like from UBCD4WIN)? As for Malwarebytes, they have a great tool.


RE: Great News
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 11:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like a bug in Opera. Were you running the latest release with all patches? Were you running as a limited user? If the answer to both is 'yes', I'd say you're only a stupid user if you continue to use Opera. If not, maybe it's a lesson in the dangers of not keeping your software up to date and/or running as an administrator when it isn't necessary.

With such a small market share and hence limited exposure to attacks, it actually wouldn't surprise me if Opera is full of security holes waiting to be exploited. One benefit of using IE is that it's subjected to continual attacks, so as long as you use strict security settings and keep it patched, you're reasonably safe.

Firefox is probably reasonably safe too, especially since it's relatively popular these days, but from an architectural point of view IE is well ahead. As far as I know, for example, Firefox isn't slated to have something like IE's protected mode until v4.


RE: Great News
By noxipoo on 1/20/2009 10:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
i've been going bareback for 15 years too, never caught anything. once every 6 months or so, i strap on a rubber and i'm fine for 6 more months. viruses exploit people who take dips in dirty ponds only, can never happen to me.


RE: Great News
By erikejw on 1/20/2009 9:45:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is very good.
Now they only need to release a free state of the art firewall with application and process control and 90% of the security problems that we have today will disappear.


RE: Great News
By Omega215D on 1/20/2009 6:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
Then Symantec, Zone Labs (Zone Alarm), McAfee and others will line up and sue MS and the Mac fanboys will go on about how MS is garbage because future Windows will offer almost nothing.


RE: Great News
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 10:21:09 AM , Rating: 3
Except that the EU views this as anti-competitive. So they'll get sued over it. How terrible of Microsoft for offering basic AV software for free! Even though companies like AVG also offer free software.


RE: Great News
By Chaser on 1/20/2009 10:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
Does Opera market an anti virus suite?


RE: Great News
By Omega215D on 1/20/2009 6:10:55 PM , Rating: 1
Until more anti-trust lawsuits are filed against MS for shutting out the competition.

Meanwhile no one bitches about that other company.


The EU is going to have a field day with this
By Bateluer on 1/20/2009 9:52:17 AM , Rating: 3
They're already up in arms about MS giving away IE free with Windows, imagine how they'll react to MS giving away free av software.

They'll either completely ignore it or they'll crucify MS over it.




RE: The EU is going to have a field day with this
By iVTec on 1/20/2009 9:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
Was just about to say it...:)

It's not the same thing, though...MS can stand behind its right of providing a safe OS,so a free AV included is not the same as an embedded Media Player for example...

Besides,the malicious removal tool exists for some time now,no one opposed its use...


By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2009 10:05:08 AM , Rating: 1
The EU has no real power over MS or how they run things. To say that MS has blown off the EU's concerns and litigation would be an accurate assessment up to this point.

I mean honestly, what can the EU do ? Short of a continent wide ban on all MS products, which would be insane. They are just trying to milk a large company to boost their own failing economies.

I for one think MS should just call their bluff. "Oh yeah ? Well what are you gonna do about it ! " should work nicely :P


RE: The EU is going to have a field day with this
By vapore0n on 1/20/2009 10:37:17 AM , Rating: 4
And risk loosing a whole continent's business and market share?

Microsoft cant call a bluff. They are on the loosing side.


By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2009 10:45:40 AM , Rating: 1
It would be impossible, literally impossible, to " lose " all of Europe for MS.

Please, be reasonable. What is the EU going to do ? Demand that everyone switch to Linux ?


RE: The EU is going to have a field day with this
By vapore0n on 1/20/2009 11:16:28 AM , Rating: 3
Here is how I see the bluff would work.

MS calls the bluff, and waits for EU to cave in.
If EU calls that bluff, MS has to cave in for the reason already stated. As a referral, see how MS paid 1B+ for antitrusts in EU.

EU cant force everyone to switch over, they can ban their software from getting sold from that point on.

Apple would probably drown in their own drool if this were to happen. Linux would gain a lot too, and if this were to go on for too much time, people would probably not switch back to MS.


By foolsgambit11 on 1/20/2009 6:10:03 PM , Rating: 3
And then, I wonder if the EU would respect MS copyrights in Europe.... I mean, they probably would, but there's always that chance that they do nothing to prevent the rampant piracy of Windows that would ensue after banning further sales of the OS.

But yeah, MS isn't going to risk being banned - it's business model is based heavily on being the dominant OS. If any other OS got free reign over an entire (computer-savvy) continent, it would cost MS a lot more than the antitrust penalties it ends up paying the EU.


By VaultDweller on 1/20/2009 10:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Microsoft's anti-virus is going to be included with the Windows install, though?

If Microsoft's AV takes a dominant market share, it will be because of brand recognition or strong advertising, not because it's there by default and users are too lazy to remove it.


RE: The EU is going to have a field day with this
By tasdk on 1/20/2009 6:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
In order to appease regulators whose grasp of technology is apparently very weak (today the EC, but it could be the USDoJ again tomorrow), I think Microsoft ought to start offering any new features as separate, free downloads, but make it easy for PC sellers (and end users) to download/install them either as a single package or individually.

The fact is that most users like the things Microsoft include (IE, WMP, et al), and that's why they tend to become dominant. If Microsoft add the extra hoop of requiring a download/install by the PC vendor or end user, it will expose the reality that all these whingers like Opera and Real are losing to Microsoft because Microsoft make better software.


By ChronoReverse on 1/20/2009 6:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
Interestingly enough, MS is starting to do that with Windows 7.

A lot of the programs that used to come with Windows (like the former Windows Mail/Outlook Express) is now a download from the Live Suite instead.

Fortunately, MS isn't quite insane enough to make Internet Explorer an optional download...


By malatory on 1/20/2009 10:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree.

Enbed the AV software like IE and never really remove it and then paves the path to force everyone to use it at a later date

"But its been there for years now."


By kelmon on 1/20/2009 12:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think it depends on what Microsoft's plan is here. If they are effectively making Windows more secure "out of the box" then that's a good thing. However, if they are planning to put the anti-virus companies out of business and then start selling Windows Anti-Virus as something extra then that's definitely a bad thing. Given their track record of abusing their position I'd expect the EU to look very closely at any plans like this and for good reason.


Nice picture
By Soumaxeridis on 1/20/2009 9:36:08 AM , Rating: 4
Nice picture!




RE: Nice picture
By Crusty on 1/20/2009 10:11:45 AM , Rating: 1
/agree

:)


RE: Nice picture
By Crusty on 1/20/2009 10:15:06 AM , Rating: 1
/agree

:)


RE: Nice picture
By Dark Legion on 1/20/2009 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
Looks a bit small though, must be Mick's ;P


Comparatives
By Screwballl on 1/20/2009 10:26:06 AM , Rating: 1
hmmm yeah lets include the anti-virus that scores almost the lowest of the major brands out there....
according to av-comparatives.com:

Avira (the best rated out of all and got the 2008 best AV award)
on-demand - 99.2%
proactive - 71%

Microsoft One Care (rated one of the worst)
on-demand - 84.6%
proactive - 44%




RE: Comparatives
By arazok on 1/20/2009 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 3
I’ve been using OneCare since the first Beta. It sucked at first, but I’m finding that they have done a descent job of getting their definition library up to par, and they react quickly to new threats.

I’ve seen those stats, but my experience tells me otherwise…

I have 7 of my family members computers running on one license I purchased (which in itself is fantastic). Not a one has gotten a virus, and OneCare has single handedly eliminated my regular visits to fix virus infested computers. There was a time where I was rebuilding a computer every 1-2 months for somebody.


RE: Comparatives
By Bytre on 1/20/2009 2:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft gave up on OneCare because they couldn't sustain their market share and make it profitable. They quickly grew when it launched, but have been unable to continue that growth or hold market share. They also have not been able to keep top tier protection - and their new product won't either.

AV software is insurance. You might not get exposed or infected, and can greatly reduce (but not eliminate) the exposure if you are very careful. To me, its worth my while to pay the impact of security software to help ensure that I don't have to go through my backups in case something goes wrong.


RE: Comparatives
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 2:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know a software company that includes a competitors product with their main product?


I smell antitrust
By vapore0n on 1/20/2009 10:30:41 AM , Rating: 1
I can see it now.
Symantec crying because Microsoft is not playing nice and offering a free AV with W7.

OTOH, this AV better be good and better not bog down W7. Else it better have an uninstall.




RE: I smell antitrust
By Spivonious on 1/20/2009 10:48:22 AM , Rating: 3
Unless something changed, MS is not including this with the OS. That really would be an anticompetitive practice.


RE: I smell antitrust
By Danish1 on 1/22/2009 8:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless something changed, MS is not including this with the OS. That really would be an anticompetitive practice.


Which is complete bollocks, integrated AV should be a natural part of any mainstream OS just like integrated airbags are a natural part of a car.

Not integrating it because of some anticompetitive nonsense is stupidly anti user friendly.


This is new?
By username21 on 1/20/2009 1:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Am I missing something here? Windows Defender, which I believe is Microsoft provided, installs with Vista, for free. I realize its a different software program, but free AV is free AV. So why are these companies jumping all over Microsoft now? It must be because they're marketing it more now, lol.




RE: This is new?
By rudolphna on 1/20/2009 2:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
because windows defender is anti-spyware. Much different things than viruses. WD wont detect viruses like trojans usually, and viruses are much more common.


RE: This is new?
By username21 on 1/20/2009 3:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot about that, my bad


Not a big change
By djc208 on 1/20/2009 9:42:48 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't hurt that Windows 7 is a lot closer to Vista than Vista was to XP. There was probably few changes required to get the existing versions to run on W7.

On the plus side considering how bad most of these programs are from either the performance or the interface side (or both), if all the free MS software does is force improvements in the existing product it could keep the other companies in business. It's not like Norton and the like have set the bar real high.




RE: Not a big change
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 10:24:57 AM , Rating: 3
Well the biggest thing in Vista was that originally Microsoft had the kernel locked down. No non-Microsoft processes could access it. AV makers complained (not all, just the big guys who's software sucks), the EU threatened suits, and Microsoft caved. It was BS. I wish the kernel had stayed locked down. But Vista's security is still pretty damn good anyway so at least it didn't drastically effect anything.


You definately have a virus
By Hyraxxx on 1/24/2009 9:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
People seem to think you can go 15 years without catching a virus and having no anti-virus. Well, some virus's don't screw up your computer, they can mine data with you not even knowing it. You can be trojaned too.

Getting a virus does not mean your computer stops working and you loose all your data.




RE: You definately have a virus
By Fritzr on 1/27/2009 12:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
Real Audio is a good example. Not sure if they still do it, but Real Audio clients were known to phone home without permission. After Real was called on this they claimed that new versions no longer did this. A couple of years after Real said their software did not phone home any longer, there was another series of news articles ... the current versions behaved exactly as the older versions did. Real of course declared it all a misunderstanding and the clients only phoned home with usage information to allow Real to improve service. This is years after they declared their software did NOT phone home...

To this day I use third party codecs to use Real Audio or if it is an RA format that a codec is unavailable for, I just skip it. After all there is no real need to support a clandestine data miner. The only way to spot a data mining trojan that is installed in a program that requires send/receive permission, is an AV scanner that is aware of it or examining the packets being sent.


Sad things is
By Totally on 1/21/2009 5:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
In a few years the EU is going to file an anti-trust suit against Microsoft over this.




the best way to avoid viruses
By MarioJP on 1/21/2009 12:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
the best way to avoid viruses is to show extension. Having extension showing really helps of you spotting the obvious files. By default the extension is hidden to prevent of removing the extension when renaming or naming a file by accident.

I had emails that were soo obvious and automatically went to the trash. like jpg.exe?? or scr.exe attachments?? yea right who will send you this crap. The good news is once you are familiar with files and extensions this will help you increase your chances to spotting fake files.

I don't do torrents because they are full of viruses and what do you expect to get when you trying to get something for free that you no its not free??.

In a way something good is coming out of this. Viruses are keeping pirates on check lol.




Krapersky
By Kunikos on 1/21/2009 2:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
Beware of Kaspersky 8 preview, once you install the program it will not find updates properly afterwards and Windows will keep bugging you about updating your antivirus product. Also, the uninstall will cause Microsoft Installer to crash. Awesome job, guys!




Someone needs to say it
By cwilson on 1/22/2009 3:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
At least put a baby condom over an ethernet cord or on a wireless antenna. It is 2009 after all.




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