Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 17th Oct 2006 01:51 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption Softpedia posted today a small review of three anti-virus software that are free to use, complete with screenshots. Consider using Microsoft's or Adaware's anti-spyware utilities too to keep your XP healthy.
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I use AVG, but ...
by WorknMan on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:06 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

The bad thing about virus scanners is the same as condoms ... how do you really know how well you're protected? For that reason, I have no idea whether one virus scanner is better than another.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I use AVG, but ...
by hal2k1 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:31 UTC in reply to "I use AVG, but ..."
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//The bad thing about virus scanners is the same as condoms ... how do you really know how well you're protected? For that reason, I have no idea whether one virus scanner is better than another.//

A virus scanner typically finds viruses AFTER they have infected the machine.

Using the analogy above, isn't this a bit like putting on the condom AFTER? Not much good then, is it?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: I use AVG, but ...
by edogawaconan on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE: I use AVG, but ..."
edogawaconan Member since:
2006-10-10

That's not really correct. That's why they have on-access scanner.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I use AVG, but ...
by WorknMan on Tue 17th Oct 2006 03:35 UTC in reply to "RE: I use AVG, but ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

A virus scanner typically finds viruses AFTER they have infected the machine.

No, not really. A virus scanner will usually detect and remove a virus from your system before you ever run it. Problem is, what if the virus scanner doesn't recognize it?

So I guess it would be like wearing a condom when having sex with somebody who might have an STD. Sure, you know it's supposed to reduce the risk, but how you REALLY know if you're protected? The answer is, you don't.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I use AVG, but ...
by mebarg on Tue 17th Oct 2006 03:38 UTC in reply to "RE: I use AVG, but ..."
mebarg Member since:
2006-09-22

no
a good antivirus detects the virus before the pc is infected...
just when the contact is made it stops the virus.... like a condom...

now a perfect antivirus is a user with brain...
i never use AV and i dont have more virus than the people that use them (1 virus in 3 years at most).. they provide a false sense of security

bye

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I use AVG, but ...
by iangibson on Tue 17th Oct 2006 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I use AVG, but ..."
iangibson Member since:
2005-09-25

i never use AV and i dont have more virus than the people that use them

How do you know?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I use AVG, but ...
by ma_d on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE: I use AVG, but ..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Many virus scanners scan all files before they load, including executables. This is supposed to catch everything before it gets installed (except things that come in through stuff like IE and Outlook).

But an actual virus scanner definitely does only catch already installed viruses. Are there any of those left?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I use AVG, but ...
by rcsteiner on Tue 17th Oct 2006 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE: I use AVG, but ..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Virus scanners can typically be set up to scan when you unZIP an archive, when you copy or download an executable file, or at the point just after a program is actually loaded into RAM but before the program execution starts.

Those points in time are all BEFORE the infected program gets executed for the first time. :-)

Someone whose scanner only finds viruses after they've done their thing is either (1) not using the scanner properly, or (2) unlucky enough to find something too new for the signature file and not detectable by other means.

Reply Score: 2

heh
by bytecoder on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:20 UTC
bytecoder
Member since:
2005-11-27

I find it amusing when people think AV software is actually any good at stopping viruses; it's even more amusing when people think using such things is a necessity of computing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: heh (troll?)
by cerbie on Tue 17th Oct 2006 05:11 UTC in reply to "heh"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

1. How are they not good at stopping viruses? AV software finds, disinfects/deletes, and tada: stopped.

2. Who thinks they are a necessity of computing? They are a necessity of using Windows on the internet with some degree of convenience; not computer use in general.

Reply Score: 5

Anti-virus testing
by eweb on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:42 UTC
eweb
Member since:
2006-10-17

Actually these free anti-virus programs have pretty good virus detection rates. See here for an independent test - http://www.virus.gr/english/fullxml/default.asp?id=82&mnu=82. AntiVir Classic detected 94.26% of the viruses in their testbed compared to McAfees detection of 93.03%. The tests arent perfect of course but the free programs do a good job. My favorite is AOLs Active Virus Shield (based on Kaspersky). If you dont mind the EULA, its ahead of what Symantec, TrendMicro, or McAfee can offer you (it detected 99.62% of virus.gr testbed). There's many more tests out their that comfirm these results - see av-comparatives.org

Reply Score: 2

RE: Anti-virus testing
by bytecoder on Tue 17th Oct 2006 03:16 UTC in reply to "Anti-virus testing"
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

The problem is, these are the number of known viruses detected. It doesn't matter how many you can detect, but how many you can't. Simply put, the entire concept of "anti-virus" software is ridiculous: would you secure a bank by by waiting for someone to break in and fixing it?

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Anti-virus testing
by Fuji257 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Anti-virus testing"
RE[3]: Anti-virus testing
by mebarg on Tue 17th Oct 2006 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anti-virus testing"
mebarg Member since:
2006-09-22

i use win xpsp2 all day....
only the windows firewall...
firefox for navigate, never open atachs from people i dont know.
never go to pages i dont know, and i navigate a lot.
i donwload from respected places with cuality material.
and for the last resort i have a ghost image...

its simple and complicated at the same time...
i educate the others that use my pc not to use ie...

maybe i am lucky!! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Anti-virus testing
by pandronic on Tue 17th Oct 2006 07:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Anti-virus testing"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

maybe i am lucky!! ;)

No you're not ... you have common sense, as do a lot of people that don't need antivirus programs (myself included).

I keep an antivirus installed, but just for scanning purposes - no shields, services, email scanners or other crap like that - just a file scanner that I use every 6 month, and I have yet to have a virus.

The best recipe for staying virus free is a good firewall (I use ZoneAlarm), a browser that is not IE, don't open attachements that look odd and don't run software from warez sites. It's as easy as that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Anti-virus testing
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Anti-virus testing"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Do you also brag about having unprotected sex with hookers?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Anti-virus testing
by raver31 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Anti-virus testing"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

yes,
yes, I do

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Anti-virus testing
by Ford Prefect on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anti-virus testing"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Wake up, there are also people out there who *really* use Linux at work (and if they play games, for these too).

Every time I have to use Windows on a friend's machine, I kinda get lost as I don't remember it any more.

I understand your experiences, but you shouldn't make conclusions about others too fast.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Anti-virus testing
by bytecoder on Tue 17th Oct 2006 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anti-virus testing"
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

I think you missed my point. I'm not trying to brag, because even linux/BSD/whatever are vulnerable to viruses, even if they just affect user data (which is arguably worse than just the OS). My point is, software needs to be built to minimize the damages that viruses and friends can cause, either by stopping programs from modifying data that the user hasn't given them access to or by securing software using higher level languages.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Anti-virus testing
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Anti-virus testing"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"It doesn't matter how many you can detect, but how many you can't."

Actually, it is how fast you can detect new viruses that is important. If you can, or can not, detect thousands of boot sector viruses from 1989 isnt all that important.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Anti-virus testing
by rcsteiner on Tue 17th Oct 2006 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Anti-virus testing"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Virus scanners are not just signature scanners -- they also use heuristic algorithms to try and detect suspicious patterns of instructions.

That means they sometimes CAN detect unknown virus or trojan code. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Anti-virus testing
by bytecoder on Tue 17th Oct 2006 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Anti-virus testing"
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

That may work some of the time, but there are still an infinite number of ways to get around this. The only real way to stop viruses is to contain the possible damage and to improve the way people develop software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Anti-virus testing
by AlexandreAM on Tue 17th Oct 2006 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Anti-virus testing"
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

The best analogy would be: Would you secure a bank by watching how someone broke inside other banks and fixing it in yours ? Hell Yes!

Anti Virus are not 100% secure technology. But they sure help those who need it. Fortunately I barely use my computer at internet with windows (mostly games, you know: offline ones), but I recognize that it is a great addition to the toolchain of those who need it.

Reply Score: 1

No Windows no worry
by Joe User on Tue 17th Oct 2006 02:44 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

I stopped worrying about viri when I discovered PC-BSD and dropped Windows.

Before, I used Norton Antivirus, which was really a resource hog, and anyway, I always worried when all of the sudden, the led of my HDD would lit for no reason.

On Windows, I was always scared to buy online and to type my credit card or my PayPal user name and password.

Reply Score: 0

RE: No Windows no worry
by Soulbender on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:05 UTC in reply to "No Windows no worry"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Am I the only one who find these kind of posts insanely annoying? You know, I dont use Windows either but I dont have to post about that on *every* fscking news item about Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No Windows no worry
by raver31 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:37 UTC in reply to "RE: No Windows no worry"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed, I use Linux exclusively, so what ? Windows users who are having hassle at the minute do not need me winding them up.

We Linux users are in the minority, but it is the vocal ones that cause annoyance.

Be happy with your own choice and let others decide in their own time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No Windows no worry
by eMagius on Tue 17th Oct 2006 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Windows no worry"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

If one's dumb enough to run malware on Windows, one's dumb enough to run malware on GNU/Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No Windows no worry
by anonymousbrowser on Tue 17th Oct 2006 12:42 UTC in reply to "No Windows no worry"
anonymousbrowser Member since:
2006-04-28

No, you're not alone, i hate the attitude, i hate the spelling, viri and virii are not real words, the plural is viruses, and i hate the general arrogance of the BSD user. We can take some solace in the fact that he's bound to get his credit card and paypal details stolen at some point as a result of his arrogance and complacency

Reply Score: 1

Anti-virus
by historyb on Tue 17th Oct 2006 03:48 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

When I have to use Windows AVG is what I always liked. My work called me the AVG Evanglist, I told everyone about it. However, at home viruses are not a problem I use Linux

Reply Score: 1

Easier yet.....
by sb56637 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 04:12 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Free virus protection: use common sense. Don't install programs you've never heard of before, and don't open e-mail attachments indiscriminantly. You'll never miss your beloved antivirus program.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Easier yet.....
by cerbie on Tue 17th Oct 2006 05:23 UTC in reply to "Easier yet....."
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

You apparently don't know any normal people. You know, the kind that you have to hide the big blue e that is the internet from when you fix their stuff (or better yet, give FF the IE icon).

You could spend hours explaining this great stuff to them, or get them AVG or Avast, register, and be done. They can't figure it all out anyway. AV software is one of the things that makes using a computer with Windows easier. If the computer becomes too difficult to use, it's pointless to have.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Easier yet.....
by jessta on Tue 17th Oct 2006 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Easier yet....."
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

I just give them very restricted accounts.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Easier yet.....
by intangible on Tue 17th Oct 2006 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Easier yet....."
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Remove the E from their desktop and menus, put the Firefox icon in the same places, and say "I upgraded the Internet for you, here you go". Show them what happens when you middle-click if you're particularly adventurous.

Please don't let them confuse the Blue E with Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Easier yet.....
by protagonist on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:27 UTC in reply to "Easier yet....."
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

Advice like that just guarantees that malware will continue to spread. Or did you completely miss that news that you don't have to do any of the things you mentioned to get infected? Servers get infected, products come from the factory already infected, so these products do make sense.

I have never had a virus infection on my machine. That is because I use common sense which, BTW, suggests that taking the precaution of running such software is good practice. I have had malware come in through email that was ID'd by my defenses. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. People who think they don't need a Firewall, spyware and AV program when surfing the internet using Windows are a big part of the problem. And I use AV and Firewall programs on both my Mac and Linux systems.

But if you would care to post your email address I would be happy to turn them off when forwarding mail to you. :-) I have cleaned malware from quite a few messages that I have forwarded on to my Windows using friends.

Reply Score: 2

TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have received a complete Norton Internet suite free for One year and I removed as soon i received my new notebook and started the Windows firewall, AVG antivirus and simply installed Spyblaster plugin. Started using firefox.... till date I still have not seen any malware, viruses on my Notebook.

Reply Score: 1

Why is this on OSNews?
by Jake on Tue 17th Oct 2006 05:41 UTC
Jake
Member since:
2006-01-08

The Windows users here will know which antivirus program to use or be able to secure their machines to the point where they don't really need antivirus software (don't run as admin, don't use IE, don't donwload stupid stuff, hide behind a NAT router). Everyone else doesn't worry about viruses.

Let's look at some of the other articles:

nVidia blob exploit - drivers
Fedora Core 6 postponed - major Linux distro
Enlightenment 0.16.8.4 - cross-platform desktop environment
Yellow Dog on PS3 - Linux on interesting hardware
IBM/Lenovo, Apple hardware ratings - not OS-related
Firefox v3 - cross-platform web browser of choice
Packard Bell sale - not OS-related
Mandriva 2007 - popular Linux distro
Multi-boot - wasn't this already possible with NTLDR and GRUB? Oh well, multi-boot is on-topic
Microsoft opening up Vista kernel - kernel APIs
New OS2eCS eZine - OS/2 info
Future of ReiserFS - Linux filesystem
Syllable audio - enhancement to obscure OS
Debian release news - Linux distro
Impact of DMA on SkyOS - obscure OS performance
Apple, Microsoft planting seeds - building OS developer community
Xen Live CD - run multiple OSs!
Apple's climb - Apple is arguably a hardware company, so possibly not OS news
Linux gains real-time - a big deal for any OS

So I have 16 OS-related articles, 3 hardware business articles, and this article about something the readers will already know, applicable only to the least interesting OS. Granted, development versions of Windows can be interesting, but this is about "keep[ing] your XP healthy". If I had an XP to keep healthy, I wouldn't be reading about how to do it here on OSNews.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Why is this on OSNews?
by Ronald Vos on Tue 17th Oct 2006 10:42 UTC in reply to "Why is this on OSNews?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

If I had an XP to keep healthy, I wouldn't be reading about how to do it here on OSNews.

I wonder where one would find objective reviews. Googling for 'best anti-virus program' + 'free'?
This article happened to be useful to me, and Windows security (which, judging from the comments, interests people from other platforms as well) is relevant for OSNews.

Besides, news about Apple IS relevant for OSNews, as they produce the desktop-OS with the second largest share. So wether they're doing good or bad is very on-topic. Plus an article about laptops falls under the OSNews mission statement, so I don't really understand the complaint.

Reply Score: 1

Gunderwo
Member since:
2006-01-03

I always wonder about people that say that they haven't ever had a virus, worm, trojan, malware. Yet they say they don't use any sort of software to prove it.

They usually say that they know all their processes, memory usage, dah dee dah. They must have no lives and do no real work at all to manually be able to monitor all of that.

Or, what if a virus was written with the same name as a process you expect to be there? Or uses some sort of sophisticated root kit to hide its presence. Or any other number of methods to hide malicous software.

I personally am an IT proffesional, but I would never lay claim to some omniscient knowledge of knowing every process that is running on my machine at all times. That's why we have software, to automate tedious manual procedures like virus detection.

I use various linux distros most of the time except when I need to write software on Windows. But even then I still regularly scan all the hosts I am responible for for exploits, be they worms, virus', trojans whatever. To me it's just being responsible.

So to all you folks out there who think you're above infection, drop the holier than thou crap and actually check. If you have any sort of decent hardware and a well maintained OS and apps the resource cost of running decent anti-whatever apps is minimal. And if it's that big of a deal you can turn them off when you need every last drop of computing power to play your latest FPS.

Greg

Edited 2006-10-17 05:59

Reply Score: 5

PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

@Greg

You're forgetting that some of us have been in this game a very long time and we actually, genuinely and 'provably' do know our processes.

I keep my XP installation trimmed down and I do know exactly what is running. This may be difficult for you to comprehend, but that might be because you're an average IT professional.

I keep up to date with all the latest wild viruses, and I read up on them so I can spot infection quickly.

Like I said, you need to take a look at your 'IT professional' status and realise that if this is as alien to you as you make out, you're a very average one. I think the problem here is that a lot of people here on OSNews are a full level or two above you in terms of knowledge, and you fail to realise this.

Edited 2006-10-17 10:21

Reply Score: 1

Gunderwo Member since:
2006-01-03

Once again drop the holier than thou crap. I don't know where you get the gall to assert that I'm an average IT professional. You know nothing about me.

Tell me how would knowing all your processes help you identify a process that masquaerades as another, or if you have a rootkit on your machine that hides processes?

It's the sort of arrogant attitude you just displayed that I speak of. You know nothing about me, my profession, and my aptitudes yet you blatantly call me average.

Greg

Edited 2006-10-17 14:55

Reply Score: 2

protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been in computers for a very long time, probably at least as long as you have, and I have to tell you I would am extremely skeptical of anyone who says they know everything that is going on in their system. Quite frankly, I would trust the person you are denigrating more if I needed work on my system. It is not possible to know every little process that is happening. And you should reconsider your position about malware. It is a necessary evil.

The article itself is a good one to show to all your less knowledgeable friends. If most of them would start using one of these free AV programs the internet would be a much safer place.

Reply Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I keep up to date with all the latest wild viruses, and I read up on them so I can spot infection quickly.

While this is commendable, wouldn't it be a better use of your time and talents to let a piece of software do most of that work for you?

That's what self-updating scanners like AVG do.

Reply Score: 4

PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

That's a good point, but bear in mind that free AV scanners (or rather 'decent' ones) have only been around for a while.

I still maintain that I'm able to keep on top of my machine, and have been virus and rootkit free since I've owned a PC (some 17 years now).

I'm not trying to pull any 'holier than thou' stuff, but as far as I'm concerned those who are saying people who don't use AV software are deluded, I'm telling you that your generalisation is incorrect. As I've said, you can be as skeptical as you want, but I know the processes running on my machine now, I know there are no rootkits and adware/spyware is easy to spot a mile off using various techniques.

Have a go at me all you want, but I'm living proof that your argument is flawed.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Actually, high-quality free virus scanners have been around for many many years (the F-Prot scanner for DOS predates 32-bit Windows, for example, and McAfee was also freely available in the DOS days).

I agree that one can probably keep one's machine clean by following a few simple common sense rules.

I also know firsthand that folks with sufficient utility software (like Sysinternals' various toys) can gain a pretty good handle on the stuff running on the box.

I have a very good clue about what's running on my Win95 and Win2k boxes and also on my OS/2 box thanks to various third-party utilities. But people who have access to such information and who play it safe can still make a mistake once in a while.

A virus scanner is so inexpensive and so easy to use these days that there aren't many good reasons to not use one except inertia or a sense of contrariness. :-)

Reply Score: 1

"Don't install anything"
by seishino on Tue 17th Oct 2006 06:42 UTC
seishino
Member since:
2005-09-10

I love how the full protection advocated against malware is "don't install things you don't know."

Having a computer is all about experimentation. If you can't install things you don't know, you can't move out of the Windows / MS Office / IE world. Or maybe you can and you have, but now you're stuck in your own separate world. You know Open Office is ok compared to Word because you're L337, but do you know how it compares to Koffice? or AbiWord, GobeProductive, Atlantis, 602PC Suite, Ability Write, Nisus, CarteOffice Live, or ThinkFree Office? Ah, there is no such thing as Carte Office, now you're infected with a trojan.

Saying you don't need antivirus software on a Windows computer is like saying you don't need protective gear in a motorcycle. Just drive slowly and never make a mistake, and you'll be fine. And drive on the roads you know. And avoid driving, if at all possible.

I've done a ton of virus scans on client's computers who thought they were clean. Let's just say that if you're innocent enough to think that you're clean, you're not.

Reply Score: 5

RE: "Don't install anything"
by pandronic on Tue 17th Oct 2006 07:54 UTC in reply to ""Don't install anything""
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I only have a firewall, I do all the experimenting in the world and I do regular (every few months) scans with a file scanner and malware remover and for a lot of years I've never had a problem.

Where does that fit into your scheme?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: "Don't install anything"
by raver31 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE: "Don't install anything""
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I would give a qualified answer and say you are lying.

If you were to try his experiment, you would at least get hammered with spyware, but then, your firewall would be useless there as most spyware you get uses ports already open on the firewall, like port 80.

You might indeed run a virus scanner ever few months, but tell me, which virus scanner detects trojans and spyware ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: "Don't install anything"
by pandronic on Tue 17th Oct 2006 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Don't install anything""
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

You might indeed run a virus scanner ever few months, but tell me, which virus scanner detects trojans and spyware ?

I said I also scaned with a malware remover from time to time.

I would give a qualified answer and say you are lying.

No need for insults, you know. Did it ever cross your mind that there are people more qualified with Windows than yourself?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "Don't install anything"
by raver31 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Don't install anything""
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course I know there are people more qualifies than me with Windows, and I was not meaning it as an insult.
The thing is anyone can post anything on the internet and without any facts to back them up, who is to believe them.

I installed Windows XP this morning at 10am, by 10:30 I had 7 virus's, Windows emptied my bank account, poisoned my cat and set fire to my car.

I formatted my machine, installed BSD and I can now log in remotely to your machine, and look at your wife with your webcam.

Although I am lying, can you prove it ?


It is the same thing when a lot of people come on sites like this, and say " I have been running Windows for 4 years and have never got a virus/trojan/spyware, I do not run scanners, I am clean."
These people do not run scanners because it slows down their computers and leaves less CPU cycles and RAM for their games, but because their computers do not say "YOUR MACHINE IS HOSED BY THE SOME VIRUS" they think they are clean.

Their computers are continually sending out spam in the meantime.


ALSO

A firewall is no good if you blindly click on OK when you are installing something kool you downloaded. You accepted it after all....

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "Don't install anything"
by eMagius on Tue 17th Oct 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Don't install anything""
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

If you were to try his experiment, you would at least get hammered with spyware,

Spyware is just "bad" software. There's nothing magical about it -- if it's on your machine, it's there because you explicitly installed it.

The same is true w.r.t. trojans. Other viruses (worms) are blocked by the firewall (and lack of open ports).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: "Don't install anything"
by protagonist on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE: "Don't install anything""
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

"with a file scanner and malware remover"

If you never have a problem then why do you need the removal tool? Why even bother to scan? The precautions you are taking are not enough in todays world. It may not be what you manage to keep out of your system but what you manage to pass on to someone else. They may not have that great store of computer smarts you seem to possess.

Reply Score: 1

ubergeek
by Gone fishing on Tue 17th Oct 2006 07:41 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

Sorry but I don't buy the I'm and ubergeek and don't need an AV AVs are useless. I can see that if you always keep your PC fully patched (not always possible) and don't open attachments etc. and don't go on the internet especially with IE you should be safe, but what kind of PC experience are you having? and what about that .doc attachment from work you were expecting (yeah I know they should have sent it as a .pdf, .rtf etc.) Anyway if you're an ubergeek why are you using Windows anyway?

Using the sex analogy (I'm living in Africa) if you regularly have sex with the local professionals you will get HIV, if you use a condom you will be a lot safer how do you know your safe? well you don't, in fact your not, but the odd stupid, beer induced, event you will probably survive. Choose you partner carefully, use a condom, you'd be unlucky to get infected. Well an AVs similar, open every attachment, visit every dodgy site, install every cool thing, and you will be infected, do this with an updated AV and you will be safer, use a modicum if intelligence and an updated AV and you should be OK.

For non-ubergeeks I'd say an AV is essential personally I'd go for Avast, with auto updates turned on, works in the background keeps itself updated, will probably keep your, uncle, dad etc. safe or you could install Ubuntu etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ubergeek
by protagonist on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:38 UTC in reply to "ubergeek"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

Well said. Personally, I would not open any attachment from someone who thinks they don't need malware detection programs. In fact I would probably set my filters to automatically delete such messages. The risk would be too high. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: ubergeek
by hamster on Tue 17th Oct 2006 18:35 UTC in reply to "ubergeek"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

You just gotta love people who actually believe their own hype... Try to get over your self. It would be very naiv to believe your safe just because you use yxz as your OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ubergeek
by PJBonoVox on Tue 17th Oct 2006 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE: ubergeek"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

@hamster

It's not the OS, it's all about the user.

Some users have the time/patience/knowledge to function without AV software, and others don't. Some users don't know how to spot a virus (or avoid them) and that is fine since there is software out there to cope with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ubergeek
by hamster on Wed 18th Oct 2006 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ubergeek"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

I do agree with you.. You don't see me claiming to be sucure from virus just because i run a super hyped OS. I'm all for antivirus software when needed.

Reply Score: 1

strange...
by hobgoblin on Tue 17th Oct 2006 08:33 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

the posts here makes me think of the chatolic view on condoms and similar...

no the AV isnt a silver bullet. and it may well be that its doing a futile task given the number of new variants and viruses that keeps showing up. hell, its become even worse now that you have stealth like viruses/worms/trojans that dont go for maximum spread in the shortest space of time, but rather go in, lay dormant and then pounce for ransom or similar.

i dont see a easy way out of this, outside of doing a complete redesign of the computer as a concept from the ground up. the current idea of the computer renders it all to trusting. it accepts all commands without question. and its not made better by the same commands being used for both legitimate reasons and for spreading viruses.

sure you can have the computer be dumb and ask the user about everything. but in the end all you get is the same unless every user is a computer engineer with intimate knowlegde of the workings of the os and all other software presently on the computer. if not then any number of nicely designed dialogs asking about the validity of a action will just get a ok from the user.

its even worse that the target now have changed from being system takeover to user files, and the latter isnt protected by running as a user with limited rights. the moment the computer limits the user access to his or her own files, the computer will be trashed as broken.

basicly, how is the computer to tell a genuine user command from one automated by some software? and how can we make it 99.999% sure that its not some software faking a user?

i guess that the problem of a general computing device connected to other similar devices, you cant. you just cant.

only option then is to limit the system. supply software in read only formats, or maybe even as firmware. ie, rather then have one genral box we have several boxes that work together, each performing its individual task. basicly we have to forgo the idea of downloadable software. that is unless its goes thru a trusted channel that verifies it for what it is.

we either have to start limiting the functionality of software, or we have to accept that the virus fight is a lost fight, and just pull the plug on the net.

Reply Score: 0

Good article
by moleskine on Tue 17th Oct 2006 04:12 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

AVG anti-virus here, together with Comodo firewall, spybot and adaware, and spambayes for email filtering, also all free. Anyone who thinks stuff like this isn't necessary when running Win32 is asking for a world of pain. What's more they are all nicely designed and do what they say on the tin.

FWIW, I enjoy open office, gimp, abiword, filezilla, trillian, ventrilo, picasa, google earth, winamp and azureus, firefox, thunderbird and opera, among others. They are all free too.

The days when "free" meant "rubbish" are long, long gone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good article
by PJBonoVox on Tue 17th Oct 2006 11:33 UTC in reply to "Good article"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

@moleskine

The problem is that users and techies are all at different levels. Although I've never used AV software, I would be the first to recommend something to, say, my parents.

I do believe it is possible to get by without AV software, but only if you know your OS very well. I know I do, and so do a lot of others, but I wouldn't expect non-technical people to live without AV.

The problem here is that one person argues AV is unnecessary without stating for whom and in what situation. Then everyone else bites and it becomes messy.

Conclusion : Those who would get infected without AV will need it. Those who don't get infected without AV, don't need it.

Why can't we all just celebrate the fact that there are at least 3 fully functional and well rounded pieces of gratis AV software that blow Symantec/McAfee away. It's about time too ;)

Edited 2006-10-17 11:41

Reply Score: 3

So what?
by grat on Tue 17th Oct 2006 12:26 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

In the last 20+ years of using a PC, I've been hit exactly twice by malware (once, stupidity by me, once, stupidity by Microsoft-- 10 seconds after MS said I was patched against blaster, a TFTP session started).

I still run some form of active virus scanner on any windows machine(s)-- never had a hit, but I run it anyway.

If the number of "working" linux viruses ever becomes a real number, I'll run AV software on linux, too.

I also wear a seatbelt in my car, and I wear a helmet on my motorcycle-- And I drive both of those very responsibly.

Windows is too insecure by design to run it in any useful fashion without some form of AV. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So what?
by PJBonoVox on Tue 17th Oct 2006 12:42 UTC in reply to "So what?"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

You've fallen into the same trap other people on this site have. Some of us have never used AV and never been hit with a virus, and yes, I use my machine for absolutely everything. Hard to believe maybe? But true.

My parents on the other hand have quite a few items in their quarantine area on their AV and they only use it for browsing the internet, reading e-mail and using instant messenger.

Different strokes for different folks.

Although now AV is free, I do keep AVG installed without on access scanner, so I can right-click scan something that I'm not convinced about.

The part that has struck me the most is that some of the people here who are saying you can't keep a Windows system free of viruses through education alone are supposedly 'IT professionals'. I've worked with these kind of people, yes they are professionals, but my god, they have a LOT to learn. It can be done, and I'm living proof of that. My colleague at work (who unlike most 'IT professionals' is actually well-skilled) is in the same boat.

Edited 2006-10-17 12:49

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So what?
by protagonist on Tue 17th Oct 2006 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE: So what?"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

"You've fallen into the same trap other people on this site have. Some of us have never used AV and never been hit with a virus, and yes, I use my machine for absolutely everything. Hard to believe maybe? But true."

the fallacy of your position is that even the most astute user can do something stupid. I run malware protection on my windows machine. Not so much for myself, as if I have a problem I can rectify the situation in a few minutes. I use the software to prevent something being inadvertently passed on to my less knowledgeable friends where it could do some real damage.

Look at it this way. If your neighbor is out of town for a few days you keep an eye on his place to insure it is safe. Why not take the same attitude towards the internet? Make sure what goes out of your system is safe for the person who receives it.

The biggest problem I come across when cleaning up computers is AV programs where the subscription has expired. This is where the article comes into play. I always make a point of installing a free AV, Firewall and adware program on these systems and set them to auto-update. For 99.9% of the Windows users these are very essential programs. I run the programs myself for the reason I suggested that you do the same.

Reply Score: 2

ClamAV anybody?
by Ben Jao Ming on Tue 17th Oct 2006 14:37 UTC
Ben Jao Ming
Member since:
2005-07-26

All of these free tools are way too heavy.. the GUIs are simply insane... Why are there no light-weight scanners? Just a simple GUI with a system tray icon would do. ClamAV does exactly that.

And besides that I agree that it's silly to remove vira after infection... but hey, on-access scanners are also pretty heavy in load. So it's just good to have a program installed and updated that basically is there just-in-case...

Edited 2006-10-17 14:38

Reply Score: 1

RE: ClamAV anybody?
by rcsteiner on Tue 17th Oct 2006 15:32 UTC in reply to "ClamAV anybody?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

There *are* light-weight scanners.

I use the text-mode DOS scanner called F-Prot from FSI when I download DOS or Win16/Win32 stuff on my OS/2 box -- it's light, fast, and thorough.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ClamAV anybody?
by DeadFishMan on Tue 17th Oct 2006 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE: ClamAV anybody?"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

There *are* light-weight scanners.

I use the text-mode DOS scanner called F-Prot from FSI when I download DOS or Win16/Win32 stuff on my OS/2 box -- it's light, fast, and thorough.


Ow, man... I loved F-Prot back in the day. It was the best antivirus ever and it fitted on a single floppy with its ncurses-like interface that could be used to boot and rescue a system hosed up with viruses. Do they still release updates for the old DOS version?

I dont use it anymore (nowadays its AVG for me now), but I have fond memories of it back when I was working on a small repair shop 12 years ago or so... :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ClamAV anybody?
by rcsteiner on Tue 17th Oct 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ClamAV anybody?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Do they still release updates for the old DOS version?

Yes, they do. Daily. :-) And the same sig files still work in the old Win95 F-Prot front-end, too, even though they've long since discontinued it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ClamAV anybody?
by spikeb on Tue 17th Oct 2006 16:28 UTC in reply to "ClamAV anybody?"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

I second the suggestion of ClamAV. Free Software, baby!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ClamAV anybody?
by jimcooncat on Tue 17th Oct 2006 12:00 UTC in reply to "ClamAV anybody?"
jimcooncat Member since:
2006-07-24

I use ClamAV on a mail server *outside* my LAN so no viruses get into the house by that route.

If I wasn't concerned about someone plugging in a USB drive or foreign CD, I wouldn't bother with running a resident antivirus program.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ClamAV anybody?
by Anonymous Coward on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:16 UTC in reply to "ClamAV anybody?"
Anonymous Coward Member since:
2005-07-06

I like ClamAV... I use ClamWin on my XP box, and ClamAV on my Linux box.

I have it to scan each of my drives on a schedule while I'm at work, and it E-Mails me a list of infected files. I then go back and use Microsoft's best utility ever (deltree) to remove the files. As for my linux box... there was once a virus in a zip file I downloaded containing software for Windows.... so it wasn't a problem.

I do, however recommend AVG for people who can't do virus removal on their own. It + Ewido were able to remove the infestation of SpyFalcon (http://www.google.com/search?q=spyfalcon) from a machine I worked on. Previously, you had to do all sorts of crazy things to remove it. Sometimes including going through each file manually, deleting them and doing an in-place upgrade (http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://support.microsoft.c...) to remove it completely. Now you just run AVG the ewido, and it goes away.

So... if you're one of the "I just use common sense" types (I am) I think ClamAV is for you... it works great along side it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ClamAV anybody?
by Soulbender on Wed 18th Oct 2006 03:25 UTC in reply to "ClamAV anybody?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"All of these free tools are way too heavy.. the GUIs are simply insane..."

You should probably actually try the produdts in question before saying stuff like that. AntiVir is by no means "heavy" and the GUI is not at all "insane".

"Just a simple GUI with a system tray icon would do. ClamAV does exactly that"

While ClamAV is a great product (I use it on our mailservers) it's not really aimed at the desktop segment. Lack of an on-access scanner pretty much disqualifies it for use by the average use. If you're a "power user" (man i hate that expression) and can remember to always scan everything you download then ClamAV probably works for you but why take the chance?

Reply Score: 2

I think some people are missing the point...
by JimF on Tue 17th Oct 2006 14:43 UTC
JimF
Member since:
2006-10-17

Regardless of whether you run antivirus software on your personal machine or not, regardless of whether you run Windows in any flavor or not, at some point antivirus programs have their use.

That being said, I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't want to spend money that doesn't need to be spent. Knowing how the free antivirus programs perform can help you save you and your friends money.

Reply Score: 3

Dog Slow Machine
by ma_d on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:14 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

I've never tried any of the free anti-virus programs before, but I'm wondering if any of them are any good. Here's my issue:
I have a 700 MHz Celeron with 192MB of RAM. On-access scanning would turn this machine into a 286 emulating 32bit mode (I'm not sure if that's even possible, can you fit all that into that little bit of memory?). Running Visual Studio on the machine is already almost unbearable...

But an occasional scan might be ok, as long as it's not while I'm using the machine.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dog Slow Machine
by protagonist on Tue 17th Oct 2006 18:26 UTC in reply to "Dog Slow Machine"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

I have tried both AVG and Anti-Vir and I prefer Anti-Vir. just my personal preference. I have run it on slower machines than you are using and did not notice much of a performance hit. You have nothing to lose by giving it a try. You can always set it to scan your system in the middle of the night and turn off the real time scanner if it slows things down too much for you.

Reply Score: 1

Antivirus Programs Are Good
by tonestone57 on Tue 17th Oct 2006 17:44 UTC
tonestone57
Member since:
2005-12-31

Antivirus programs add another level of protection making them useful and a good thing to use & have.

That said, computer users can do things to make their system more secure & strongly *reduce* (but NOT eliminate) the risk of getting a computer virus on Windows.

In the many years of internet use, I've been hit 2 times with computer viruses because I didn't do all the stuff mentioned below (I used to fileshare/download games/programs, went to warez sites, etc - high risk for getting computer viruses).

To reduce risk: Update your OS with security patches, Use a router (or software firewall), Don't run programs with .exe, .scr, .com, & other excutable extensions (if you need to run them: download & scan with virus checker first & make sure they come from a good source), avoid opening excutable attachments (from email) and most importantly: disable Java, restrict Javascript & ActiveX & use Pop Up Blocker.

Also on a monthly basis use online Virus scanners (if you don't want to install a virus program) to see if you've been infected:
Kaspersky http://www.kaspersky.com
Panda Software, http://www.pandasoftware.com
Trend Micro, http://www.antivirus.com

Spyware checkers are good to use also (Adware, Microsoft's, & Spybot).

Most viruses can be avoided by following the above steps and it makes your system more secure, BUT it *doesn't guarantee* that you'll never get a virus, it just significantly lowers your risk. In addition, install a virus scanner (updated regularly) and you get *very close* to eliminating ever getting a virus.

Reply Score: 1

answer to the debate...
by jtrapp on Wed 18th Oct 2006 02:34 UTC
jtrapp
Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally I use Avast if the machine has the resources to push it, AVG if it doesn't. Remember these are only free for personal home use.

The debate here is between folks who maintain there own machines ("I don't need no stinking AV") and those who maintain the machines of others ("You need AV, anti-malware, anti-this, anti-that...")

My personal box has never been infected. My work network has been taken down twice by viri, most recently in 1999 (6 hours before the signatures were released by Symantec)--heuristics have much improved since then. All those things mentioned in previous posts matter, don't go to warez sites, don't do dumb things, etc... But the in-experienced user can't tell the difference between good download sites and bad. It's all a learning curve...
Make them rebuild their own box and they will learn not to get infected.

Reply Score: 1