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  #1  
03-21-2011, 04:47 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
here's the scenario: i'm using winXP. and multiple software.

though i use virus checkers, there may well be some sort of malware hiding in my system. so i have reservations when i use the internet for banking stuff. it may well be a very small threat, but lets leave that aside for the
moment.

lets look at unix/linux systems, specifically ubuntu. is it true these OSs are harder to infect with viruses/malware? so if i installed ubuntu, and used that to do my banking, things are a tad safer? hence, i could use virtualbox, run ubuntu on that and use the internet through that and be quite safe?

please let me know your thoughts on this.
Yes, it's true that there is less end-user type malware on Linux workstations, as compared to Windows. It's not because Windows is unsafe, or anything along those lines, but simply because Windows is a bigger target. More people use it, therefore that's where the action is.

Linux servers are commonly targeted by rootkits, exploits and hosting-related malware. Hackers target them, and you see victims often referring to this as "being rooted". (Look it up on Google, query of 'server rooted', if you're curious.) Quite often, the exploits are found in PHP or SQL queries, or by accessing the server through FTP.

Even Mac has malware and exploits, though many Mac users are in denial. Apple promised them a virus-free experience, and it's blasphemy to question the cult of Jobs.

Generally speaking, the best solution is to always clean your system. Damage is generally one-way, too. If you break the main system (the host node), the virtual machines (VMs) are poisoned, too. For example, if you think the main system is infected with a keylogger, the data will still be captured by the host node even if the VM is where you see the typed data on screen. The host node acts as a hardware abstraction layer for the VM. But virtual, instead of at the kernel or with direct driver interface.

Clean your system.

The VM route is for next time, after the system is cleaned.

There are several methods to purge a computer of crap, both known and unknown. Maybe I should run down a list of software some time?


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  #2  
03-21-2011, 06:27 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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yeah, a list of "must have" software to clean my system would be good.

i currently use comodo antivirus + firewall.
occasionally i'll run sophos anti-rootkit.

i think you've mentioned malwarebytes before.

and i also try not to go anywhere near dodgy sites!
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  #3  
03-21-2011, 07:06 AM
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I actually don't use anti-virus and my computers are pretty much free of all malware scanners, cleaners and related tools. Why do I do such an "insane" thing, you may ask? It's because my software is purchased, I don't download random tools, and most computers don't even go online.

I do, however, put it on test systems, or systems built for others. It's also on the servers.

What I DO NOT like anymore:
- Spybot Search & Destroy (S&D)
- Avast Anti-Virus
- Avira Anti-Virus
- AVG Anti-Virus
- Symantec Norton -- or anything else made by Symantec/Norton
- McAfee Anti-Virus
- Lavasoft Ad-Aware
- Subelt Kerio Firewall
- Hitman Pro

Those tools were once part of systems I'd build for others, but they either (1) Became ineffective more and more, and stuff -- NASTY stuff -- started to get through. Or (2) would eat up so much RAM and CPU that the computer was basically crippled by being protected.

What DOES seem to work well:
- SuperAntiSpyware, pro version, and use the Real-Time Protection feature
- MalwareBytes, free version, run as needed
- WinPatrol, free version, to prevent self-installing crap from adding itself to the startup
- HijackThis, free version, run as needed
- Sophos Anti-Rootkit, free version, run as needed
- Spybot Search & Destroy (S&D), but only for the Immunize feature -- run once and never again

- VirusTotal Uploader, freeware, to submit to virustotal.com without browser.
- CCleaner, freeware, which is useful to remove crap and clutter from the system, which can include hidden junk in temp folders, run weekly or monthly.

... and when stuff really hits the fan, use Combofix. This is not something you want to use except as a last resort. It is very powerful, and has the potential to screw up your system. So be sure you have all data backed up. ONLY download is from the official site, bleepingcomputer.com

In fact, that's good advice for all security tool -- only download the official versions.

I had my first infection back in December, from a worm. It had been years since anything got on my system. It came from videohelp.com, and was due to a PDF that auto-launched from an exploited ad. It happens. Read about it here. It was easy enough to remove, thanks to Combofix. And prevention for future infections was achieved by disabled some stupid settings as found in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The only thing to buy is SAS. The rest is freeware.

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  #4  
05-16-2012, 12:31 AM
Jurgeaustin Jurgeaustin is offline
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Hello,
Linux software currently adds more security for the average user and even if the operating system was more popular, it would still have more security.

Thanks
Jurgeaustin
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  #5  
05-16-2012, 07:44 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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ive never used Mac or Linux.
ive use Windows and never have an issue.
1st off i use only Firefox with NoScript
and i run MSE and SAS once a week - but they never find anything.
i use CCcleaner once in awhile too - mainly for the registry cleaner

don't download dodgy files and stay off file sharing and porn sites and you wont get much if any malware.
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  #6  
05-18-2012, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jurgeaustin View Post
Linux software currently adds more security for the average user and even if the operating system was more popular, it would still have more security.
There's really no truth to that. It's just popular myth amongst amateur computer users.

These are the facts:
- Linux deploys with no firewall rules. Both Windows and Linux have third-party firewalls available, both free and for pay.
- Linux has a lot of malware, especially rootkits, and a number of service vulnerabilities. Most of these are server exploits.
- Windows has a lot of malware, rootkits, etc -- but that's mostly for desktop systems. It's harder to affect Windows Server.
- Mac OS X has a lot of malware, too, contrary to myths perpetuated by Apple employees.
- Windows, Linux and Mac all have anti-virus and anti-malware tools available, both commercial and freeware.
- Any computer can be locked down, with proper knowledge.

And that last one really is the issue -- a good user/admin knows how to protect himself. Because Windows is the default OS for 90-95% of deployed computers, there are far more amateur users getting infected. It has nothing to do with the OS, and everything to do with the skills of the person. Unskilled users are generally too afraid to use Linux, and too cheap to buy a Mac, therefore Windows systems are infected more often. That's the true logic here.

The logical fallacy is that Mac/Linux is "safer" or "more secure" in some way. It's not. It's simply an issue whereby less desktop users equates to less incidents of malware being reported.

In fact, ~70% of all servers are running a flavor of Linux, and are also more likely to be hacked because of that popular market share. They're the biggest target. But because amateurs don't know much of anything about servers, they're unaware of this fact.

Most anti-MS "experts" are just amateur users at their core -- often people who use computers primarily for downloading and playing games. The skills needed for those two things give them a false feeling of knowledge. Most of them have simply followed guides, FAQs, etc online, and don't really comprehend anything outside of that sheltered/spoon-fed bubble.

That's just my expert take on it, having used computers for 20 years.

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  #7  
05-24-2012, 03:17 PM
Infrid Infrid is offline
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I use Gnu/Linux every day for work, I'm a web developer and I use it at home too. I won't advise someone to switch for a gnu/linux based system especially if they use some specified programs. It's a bad idea if you want only to escape from viruses and malwares too. Take a look here, it's a very nice essay for this type of questions http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

anyway you can try gnu/linux just for playing at first time
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  #8  
05-24-2012, 05:10 PM
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Welcome to the community, Infrid.

That's an excellent essay. Thanks very much for sharing the link. I've not come across it before.
The author, Dominic Humphries, appears to have the unusual skill sets combination of magazine-quality writing and an actual understanding of Linux.

This had me laughing in hysterics:
Quote:
It's not unheard of for new users to reboot their computers because they couldn't figure out how else to get out of vi.
For the curious, it's this:
Code:
<esc> :q! <enter>
Note: I generally save with :w manually before closing, understanding the ! is to not save changes. ... Assuming I even use vi, as I prefer nano.

I wonder if he foresaw the forking of Linux as widespread as it is now. Yes, there have always been multiple distributions out there, but historically it was a RedHat-only world. These days, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu all command, with non-RHEL distros taking the lead in overall market share. (Ubuntu was reported to be most popular several times this year.) I'm even rather fond of the small distributions like Fedora and Scientific. The essay was written in 2006, before the popularity of Ubuntu.

What always amazes me is when I poo-poo the "Linux is best" rhetoric of ardent fans, I'm almost always accused of not knowing how to use it. However I've been an off and on user since 1995 or 1996, currently on again since 2008 due to servers and web development. And as CLI only, too. I've not used a Linux GUI in about a decade now. (Unless you want to count Mac, which is a GUI on Darwin, which is technically Unix and not Linux. But I digress...)

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