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Bad Browsin'

By gbrownlee ·
Over the past 3-4 months now, I have had to load more and more software onto my system to combat all sorts of malware. I have even investigated the possibility of a hacker using my pc. In doing so, I have noticed that there are sites that cater to hackers etc.

What I would like to know, is why are sites like this allowed to flourish. Does anyone know of any groups that are pro-active in the fight against this sort of thing? By this I mean, these people(?) are vandalizing systems and I think they should be fought on their home ground.

Sounds like vigilantism? DAMN RIGHT !!!

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Malware, addware, spyware, ect

by zlitocook In reply to Bad Browsin'

Is allowed to flourish because of sloppy programers, data base desingers, and a need to get products out fast. There is a few free programs that help to remove these, like spybot, ad-aware and A2. You also need a good antivirus program like norton or mccafee to be running in the back ground to scan as you use the internet. As long as you up date your programs like antivirus software you should not have to worry about problems with your pc.

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Held to ransom

by GuruOfDos In reply to Bad Browsin'

We are being held to ransom. Not only by virus writers and sloppy coders, but by the big corporations like Microsoft and Symantec.

It isn't too hard to write a secure operating system. Unfortunately, MS insist on making each OS bigger and better and contain more functionality. The problem is that the bigger and more functional you make something, the greater chance there is for 'holes' to appear. Instead of bolting on ever more bloat, MS should be making the OS smaller, tighter and more secure. Integral parts of the OS today are yesterday's applications. We all want our systems to play multimedia files or access the internet, don't we? The answer to that is NO!!! If you want a workstation to run Office and nothing more, why use Microsoft XP (or even 2000 or 98 for that matter!!). If the only app you have installed is MS Office (and this is true for many, many workstations in companies all over the world), then why do you NEED anything more than the functionality provided by Windows95 or NT4?

Windows Media Player is well and good, if you want to play mediafiles, but almost every week, a new 'fix' comes out from MS for a security hole in Media Player. If you don't need media, why bother.

Everyone demands bigger, better and faster processors, and more and more memory and hard disk space. Why? To get some performance back after we have installed a bloaty, inefficient OS, top heavy apps AND have to run a virus scanner in the background, plus a handful of other 'security' apps.

Ad Aware6 is great. So is Asquared, so it Pest Patrol or Spybot...but often one program will spot something that the others don't pick we have to run all three or four, IN ADDITION to trying to actually get any real 'work' done. This is putting our time to ransom. No longer can we be expected to do a 9-5 and get 7 hours 'productivity' out of our systems...a good half an hour a day can be wasted through performing scans and checks on our systems. Of course in an office environment with networked computers, one dose of 'virtual fungus' can take out an entire network, yet we allow users to operate computers with operating systems which ALLOW them to catch these trojans and malware.

Policies and rights are no answer. Why buy a ?50,000 sports car and then weld up the doors, take six pistons away and disable the radio. Why not just get a ?5000 runabout and 'access all areas'.

Hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL on the XP box in a friends office reveals 23 running processes and 17% of the processor time and 30% of the memory dedicated to antivirus and malware scanning. All he uses the machine for is word processing.....nothing else!!! Not even internet.

So why does he NEED XP Professional, plus 6 other apps running before he can even type a letter? The OS itself is hogging a fair chunk of his memory and processing power, not to mention the security programs.

It's not just sloppy coding and bloatware vendors though...user culture plays a part. We are taking away newer OS's and giving everyone Windows 95 in areas where a computer is provided for data entry or word processing only. We are networking them of course, but only allowing file and print sharing over NetBEUI, with no TCP/IP protocol installed. If the users complain that they are not able to look at email or browse web-sites, then we shall politely explain that they have no need to do that for their assigned tasks, and that any surfing or email should only be done on machines where users require that functionality for their daily job. If other users wish to access email, they can do it in their lunch hour on a 'supervised' machine, or do it at home in their own time.

This may sound is intended to be. Our company data and security has a higher priority than providing fringe benefits for employees.

Perhaps when MS finally give us a compact, secure OS, where we can add on functions as separate apps rather than integrated into the OS (one hole in security affects the whole OS), then we will relax the rules.

Of course, this will never happen!! In the meantime, our employees and the company will consider our freedom, our time and our money 'held to ransom'.

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wasted time

by gbrownlee In reply to Held to ransom

You are very right about the time that is wasted downloading and running software, and manually searching for unwanted apps. Time permitting, I am searching my registry for the newest of unwelcomed pests. This piece of work reared its ugly head about a week ago and no software that I currently have is able to recognize it; thats why the manual registry search. I have found and deleted some suspicious files and was quite surprised at the amount of garbage that I found.
Such as entries for casino and porn websites. I also found a file named ~ and deleted it. It seemingly was part of the virus Dialer.8.U. Atleast AVG does not find this virus after I deleted the ~ file.

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Open frontier

by TheChas In reply to Bad Browsin'

The biggest problem with trying to control the mal-ware authors is that there is no single body that controls or polices the internet.

Most laws that relate to web usage only apply to the country the user is in.
Generally, you can do anything you want across country borders.

Then, as far as going after the hackers and virus writers, they know where the security holes are. They are experts at blocking access and making use of proxy servers so that you don't know where they are at.

Ad-Ware and Spy-Ware are another matter.
Most of these programs are written to collect data to provide revenue for software writers, distributors, and web site operators.

If you somehow were to completely eliminate all Ad-Ware, you would hasten the change of web sites to paid access only.

Perhaps the best way to avoid Ad-ware and related browsing issues is to avoid most of the web sites that offer "free" anything.

Mal-ware comes in on the emails for some of these "free" offers. On "free" software. On desktop themes. Some web sites even install a number of spy programs if all you do is visit their site.

1 thing I have noticed, is that I get fewer problems from web sites when I use the Mozilla browser.
Most of the mal-ware writers don't take the time to make their code function on low usage browsers.


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