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Kitrax’s guide to killing Adware, Spyware, and Viruses.

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Kitrax, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    CCleaner has the ability to clean up the registry.
    Here's the link. http://www.ccleaner.com/

    If you've read my other guide about cleaning up your hard drive (probably where you should have posted your question), you'd see that I recomend CCleaner for cleaning up the junk on your hard drive...the registry included. :thumb: :rolling:
     
  2. DarkStrider

    DarkStrider I've seen the future and it has seen me Distinguished Member

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    Muy gracias senor, ta Kitrax
     
  3. iLLusioN' Gems: 16/31
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    yea seriously ccleaner is a godsend. I run it all the time and most of the time it will clear out quite a bit of your spyware too.
     
  4. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I just made a major update to the first post in this thread.

    What you need to know: All-In-One Suites like Noron, McAfee, and ZoneAlarm suck, while ThreatFire, Comodo Firewall, Drive Sentry, and Buffer Zone kick some serious malware ass! :thumb:

    If you haven't read through my guide in awhile, now's a great time to give it a look...yeah, I know it's long, but internet security is no laughing matter. :nono: :rolling:
     
  5. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    The situation, and at least my skills, have changed a lot since this thread was made - now most of the information in this thread is outdated and useless - Kitrax will protest that but that's just the case.

    As far as old methods go, the antivirus situation has changed - my old favorite AntiVir got bought and is now useless, and Avast! and AVG do indeed rule the heap of the free alternatives.

    All-in-one programs haven't changed as much - if you're willing to pay, F-Secure Internet Security and Panda Internet Security are still great - F-Secure offering the best protection but having a few "misfeatures" ("Oh, just reformat your hard drive to solve the problem with your firewall settings getting reset." - real support quote) and slowdown issues on older machines, where Panda offers good but not great security, but is a lot faster than F-Secure.
    Norton is still the program to avoid at all costs - any Symantec software short of Ghost, really. We'll return to Ghost later.

    Firewalls have also gotten a lot worse - there's not really any firewall out there that'd be up to date, easy to use and not nag you about buying it. ZoneAlarm Free is still decent, even if it's had a few crippling problems lately - biggest case being a Windows update utterly breaking it. You'll have to fiddle with the registry to get rid of the context menu ad it has, be warned.

    Antispyware doesn't keep up that well either, but it's the least changed of them all. Lavasoft Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy are still the top of the heap there.

    A new tool, which is essential now, is rootkit detection. The only good, reliable product for this I've heard of is F-Secure Blacklight.

    Also new compared to the original post are online scanners. Usually poor in removing threats, they tend to be excellent for finding them. Examples are F-Secure Online Scanner and Panda ActiveScan.

    But as far as things go, viruses tend to be harder and harder to remove - at the very least completely. Usually something like a Linux-based boot CD (Trinity Rescue Kit or Knoppix) or a rarer, Windows-based boot CD (ubcd4win being the only example I know) are required to clean up some before you can properly clean it.

    So where antivirus usually defends rather well - if not perfectly, especially in the case of new viruses/spyware) - it's not enough. The key to winning this race now is prevention. And not the "antivirus, firewall, antispyware, non-IE browser" kind.

    So, let's talk about disk images. Disk images are perfect copies of your disk or a partition. The perfect setup is a disk partitioned into 1/20 Windows, 3/20 Linux and 16/20 data, for running a disk image of Windows to Linux and then backing it up from there to an external hard drive, while running a normal backup of the data partition to your external drive.

    Norton Ghost can also help if you don't have the skill for a Linux install / image system. You can even backup a full 500gb disk to a 750gb external with Ghost - or the Linux way for that matter.

    For those who aren't scared of Linux - try "man dd", "man gzip" and a console tutorial under, say, Ubuntu.

    For information, my setup and commands: Ubuntu 8.04, 20gb Windows, 40gb Linux, 440gb Data, "mount /dev/externalharddrive /media/backup", "dd if=/dev/windowspartition | gzip > /media/backup/backup.gz" - and to restore "gzip -d /media/backup/backup.gz | dd of=/dev/windowspartition" - and Areca under windows for the rest of the data.



    Or, the essence of this post: The fight has been lost against malware, and removing completely is often way beyond a normal user. The smart way now is to have a disk image ready when - not if, when - your windows install gets corrupted.
     
  6. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Actually, I won't protest at all. I made this thread awhile ago to get some basic/general information out there so people here on the BoM or in the chatrooms would stop bugging me so often...and it worked perfectly! :D

    I knew that this thread had a limited lifespan when I wrote it. I figured that I would try to keep up with the trends, and update it when necessary...but I guess you can say that RL happened and I just don't have the time anymore. However, this thread remains a good base of knowledge and is a good starting point for people who would normally go without any protection at all. When I wrote this guide, and most of my other guides, I imagined I was trying to teach the subject to my computer illiterate, 70 year old father, that way *anyone* could understand it. :D :rolling:
     
  7. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    Explain partitioning smartly, dualbooting and disk images in a way understandable to someone computer illiterate and you've both done something I can't and given this guide a fresh breath of life to keep it up with the latest threats.

    Plus you haven't mentioned updating windows? For shame.
     
  8. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    If I update my Windows it'll stop working >_>
     
  9. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I'm not an advocate of M$ updates. Usually, when they close a hole, 10 more open up. :bad: I have the latest service pack, and that's good enough for me.

    As for dual-booting...that's not a guide I can write, as I don't do it...nor do I plan to anytime soon - XP does everything I want it to. There's no need to waste all that HDD/RAM space just to run 2 different OSes.
    Heh...not quite sure if you're kidding there. :p :rolling:
     
  10. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    Uhh, RAM space? Since when does dualbooting take any RAM?

    Plus, dualbooting is excellent if you want some linux tools for backing up. And it takes only ~5 gigabytes + 2*your RAM if you do it for just the OS, and double your windows + double your RAM if you do it for backups.
     
  11. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    I'll have to second Taza here. The Linux backup tools are very handy stuff to have.
     
  12. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Err, what? Is that not in conflict with the whole guide? Somewhat mixed priorities, if you are trying to have a secure system. You should always keep the actual operating system updated too! It is even automated these days on Windows, you do not have to do anything yourself. This is especially important if your computer is on a public network. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever not to install the latest updates. Why do you think there are big botnets with possibly millions of computers infected? Exactly. Take a look at the amount of critical updates released after the latest service pack...
     
  13. OldJim Gems: 1/31
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    no maintenance

    Sirs, spyware, adware, virus, trojans, malwares, antiviruses, antispyware, firewalls, dual-booting, updates... its hard to care when they cant reach your computer and you can undo anything in 3 seconds with a click without even have to reboot...

    I would suggest VMWare Workstation or VirtualBox, but for those who cant get along with a virtual environment i would like to remind of some nice tools:

    Bitdefender - The best AV out there by best i mean the one that can identify most of the virus "In The Wild" when compared to others http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ and the best of all their free version is ironically the best one, just remember that you don't have real-time scan so right click and scan suspicious files manually before open then.

    ZoneAlarm - The best firewall out there, again their free version is the best version delivering everything you need without bloating your computer with all the junk that come with the pro versions.

    And finally to keep your browser in check:

    SandBoxIE - This guy as the name suggest keeps your browser on a sandboxed environment that means that even if you come to got any spyware, malware, viruses or anything like that they will just infect the sandboxed environment that can be easily deleted without even touching your system.

    Just to remind you that all the tools above are free and in my opinion they are ALL YOU WILL EVER NEED to never got any kind of infection again, just use then right, although keep in mind that while those progs will keep you safe VMs are the definitive way to never have to be concerned about those things again.

    And of course having a backup never killed anyone (that i know of) , lets not forget Norton Ghost, RollBackRX, Acronis True Image and the Parted Magic http://partedmagic.com/wiki/PartedMagic.php cd that contains a nice collection of open source software for maintenance and i cant left you without reminding everyone about the (in)famous Ultimate Boot CD with its hundreds of maintenance programs.


    Geez, thats a long post...:rolleyes:
    Best regards.
     
  14. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Heh...Automatic Updates. Automatically fills up your hard drive, automatically crashes your computer, automatically a waste of time. :shake:

    I agree that certain, *major*, holes need patching, but there's no way in hell I'm going to let M$ D/L and install anything they want on my computer. I like to know what kind of crap they're pushing me before I give the ok...also, I like to see what each patch breaks as it attempts to fix something else before I ok it. :rolling:
     
  15. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have Automatic Update auto-download patches, but only install when I say to. So when there's a new patch a little shield pops up and tells me there're patches ready for installation. I then do a custom install so I at least see what it is they are installing.
     
  16. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Yeah, I had originally written about that it might be wise to manually update after a day or two when Microsoft has released the updates. But I thought that for a normal user it would be unimportant. I for one, have never had any problems with automatic updates. Although I do not currently use the automation on my own computers.
     
  17. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I've had two problems so far. Both were about 2 years ago, and about 4-5 months apart. The first patch killed my audio, and the other resulted in an endless restart loop. :bang: :rolling:
     
  18. The Magister Gems: 26/31
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    I feel as though I must point out that AVG no longer supports its free software. I'm not even sure you can download it anymore.
     
  19. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


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    AVG software is still free and they still support it. You just have to update to their newest edition which includes anti-virus and spyware.
     
  20. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    So for a complete computer retard, who is looking at edging away from Norton (sick of paying for something I can get for free), is ZoneAlarm and ThretFire a good way to go? Or do I need a sperate spysearch thingy? Doing all those things that Taza mentioned are slightly past my capabilities (and it's an old computer, so there's no point spending a hell of a lot of time on it).

    Anyway, thanks for the guide kit. That internet security review thing you linked to seems a good read. Great stuff :)
     
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