Forums > Social Discussion > pet hate and whats to come - Spyware, Adware, Viruses, Worms, Trojans

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:so once again im going through our computers removing all the spyware and other lovelys that my little brother has managed to install ..... maybe its karma. anyway i just thought id write a few comments on the evolution of these little nastys and whats to come in the next couple of years or so.

so back in the good old days we had computer viruses which would basically replicate themselves and infect as many files as possible with no purpose other than to be spitful ranging from having a game pop up where you would play the computer at naughts and crosses with a loss resulting in the program erasing your hd through to infecting word docs in the hope of infecting more and more systems. lovely things viruses very destructive.

then some bright young lad decided it would be fun to be able to remote control another persons computer over a network and trojans where born, usually joined to another program later they where sent via email. whereby the poor unsuspecting user suddenly has all sorts of random events from the cd draw opening to weird waves being played all theway up to their credit card details being stolen. good old trojans open a port on the users computer so that a kiddy scriptor can scan large blocks of ip addresses till they find an open port that corresponds to a trojan and they usually have several startup mechanisms

then we get to the more annoying nastys

worms infect a system and then actively progate themselves whether it be via email ie reading your address book and sending an email to everyone on it with an infected file or actually using your computer to scan for other computers to infect. lovely things but usually not so bad to remove

then the good old spyware and adware my personal pet hates not because they are nastys but because they slow ur computer down looooooooads and usually have multiple ways of hanging around like hiding in the systems restore and the registery and having multiple files so that if some are removed the others recreate them and sometimes with random names and they call each other so they are a bitch to get of of the active memory processes.

but

and its a big but

these are nice in comparison to what awaits. some governments and universitys are starting to experiment with cyber defenders which have an awareness of the computers ports processes etc so they are able to detect hacker attempts and they are starting to incorperate artificial neural nets to help them learn and react to new situations as they arise. so this sounds all fine and dandy however its only a matter of time before hackers start creating little goodies of their own aaaaaaaand when they do itll just be a tiny itsy bitsy file that is joined to another or that u accidently download by accepting an activex control when viewing a webpage (most likely you wont be aware of it as most ppl have the alerts turned off) and they will then connect to another computer to download this virtual agent of doom

not to mention when they start closing your virus protection programs and overwriting the exe files with their own such that the virtual agent becomes apart of your scanners and replace the names in the process lists and the icons in the tool bar such that its all seemless in the blink of an eye ........ sad thing is its all really really easy to set up and do

*end rant of the upcoming doom of the net*

oh and dont worry it will happen the virus protection software companies are the ones that write most of em, but they will have patches released its the ones written by the comp science nerds that u have to worry about rolleyes maybe its all a giant ploy to make everyone switch to teh open source goodness of linux eek

well phase one of the removal of these stupid bugs is done so on to getting rid of the systems restore hurrah


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted:phase two is to install firefox, OpenOffice.org and thunderbird and remove MS Office.

Active-X is a very bad thing indeed. Sure, Firefox isn't without it's holes but it's wayyyy better than IE.

Phase three: get a Mac running OS X 10.3 biggrin really, with apple computers seem almost nice use. No Microsoft, virus-free, malware free computing biggrin and 90% of users don't need software that can't be run on one.

"upcoming doom of the net"? only for windows/IE users ubbloco


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:i dont think any one that knows much about computers would say that windows or any of the microsoft products are good but its what most ppl know and use. having the best product isnt what makes it win look at your vcr, beta was a far superior product to vhs but does anyone under the age of 30 know what it is (without having heard of it from a tv reference?) to change the mass populuses popular choice is going to require something quite traumatic ..... much more than having to do a simple reinstall .....

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted:Maybe changing ones OS is a big step, but browsers (especially a 5meg download) are a small change.

The betamax / VHS argument is often brought up, but I cant see what the point of the story is. Were talking about a medium (HTML over HTTP) that can be viewed by many different players (browsers). The VHS / Beat battle was an either / or one. With browsers its more like Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba fighting over the VHS player market in the form of Safari / IE / Firefox etc.

What Im trying to say is that the medium doesnt change, the player does.

IE is a player that will eat tapes from time to time, play things you dont want to see, give other people access to your house etc

Firefox wont show every tape exactly as it was meant to be shown (because IE has the market share so people no longer make good sites, they are very lazy and make IE only site) but it wont eat tapes or worry you in any other way.

Maybe I went a bit over the top with that analogy, but you get how the beta/vhs argument doesnt apply.

Point two: competition is good for the consumer. As the moment Microsoft have more or less no competition. Sure Linux and Apple are gaining on the, but were talking 90% market share from MS here (I havent looked that up, I could be wrong).

As soon as Microsoft has to compete against something well all benefit.


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: ben-ja-men




....not to mention when they start closing your virus protection programs and overwriting the exe files with their own such that the virtual agent becomes apart of your scanners




That happens already; has been for some time

--------------

Standard advice for protection against malware is to get decent virus software and firewall- 'AVG antivirus' is free considered very good, and 'zonealarm' is not merely considered to be the best free firewall, but also superior to many that you'd pay for.

Next, ensure that you use the anti-virus 'Update' feature every few days- the best software is useless against new viruses if it hasn't been updated with the latest virus definitions.

For spyware/adware,'spybot- search and destroy' and 'ad-aware' are considered to be very good. Be wary of some other software that claims to eradicate spy/ad ware- some of them merely strip out competitors stuff and substitute their own.

Less often mentioned, but one of the most useful things you can do, is, with IE, go into security settings and put them to 'high'- this disables Javascript and ActiveX which are the main ways that malware can attack your system.

-------------------------------------
(In Internet Explorer go to TOOLS> INTERNET OPTIONS> SECURITY- click on the INTERNET ZONE icon, then CUSTOM LEVEL and set it to 'HIGH').
-------------------------------------

This will prevent some websites from functioning on your browser, in which case you can, if they're worth the bother, add them to your 'trusted zone' (on a lower security setting); otherwise, in the case of many of them that use these security-risk scripts unnecessarily, simply regard it as one less customer to their site and therefore their problem not yours- hopefully they'll get the message and put some thought into their future site designs.

Another step that is generally recommended is to ensure that you regularly use the 'windows update' facility, as this will plug up any new security holes in IE. Be aware though that microsoft are pretty shoddy and, occasionally, their updates will trash your system (nevertheless, the majority of malware prevention experts will heavily recommend windows updates as the benefits outway the risks).

Malware is a terrible thing, just be aware that it's not just the virus writers that are responsible- Microsoft comes a close second with it's shoddy attitude to security and particularly with its invention of, and pushing of, ActiveX- without which the virus writers would have a hard time getting their malware onto your hard drive in the first place.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:I think this record player is broken ubblol
Ang on, I know how to fix that! ubbidea


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Here's a link to an interesting PC World article on spyware and adware and other invasive marketing stuff-

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,101916,00.asp


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:then some bright young lad decided it would be fun to be able to remote control another persons computer over a network and trojans where born


/\ I think they mainly started off as remote administration tools. Slack administration/network guys couldnt be bothered walking to the pc they wanted to fix, so they had programs to do it. much like miccysofts remote desktop/assistance.

The betamax / VHS argument is often brought up, but I can’t see what the point of the story is. We’re talking about a medium (HTML over HTTP) that can be viewed by many different “players” (browsers). The VHS / Beat battle was an either / or one. With browsers it’s more like Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba fighting over the VHS player market in the form of Safari / IE / Firefox etc.

/\ I think the beta/vhs is more applied to mac/windblows than it is browsers.
vhs is windows, beta is mac. linux is a cartridge system that inserts directly into ones cranium, and allows one to experience the movie in full hyperspatial 3D. but only if you know EXACTLY what you're doing ubblol


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:"starting to experiment with cyber defenders"
"an awareness of the computers ports processes etc"
"artificial neural nets"

eek This is beginning to sound like SkyNet in Terminator...

I read something in New Scientist a while ago about a "cyber guarddog". This wouldn't just block hackers but actively attack them when they tried to get into the system. Obviously it has it's problems, the guy that designed got a hacker friend to test it and it did fight back. However the hacker friend had made it look like the attack was coming from the FBI and so that's what this guard dog was attacking ubblol


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by:
phase two is to install firefox, OpenOffice.org and thunderbird and remove MS Office.



Let's all use typewriters and tin cans on string instead!


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Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted:You can if you want to, but I'll carry on using some of the best software out there biggrin

There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Penguin Sven
Penguin Sven

member
Location: Australia,Vic
Member Since: 12th Jun 2004
Total posts: 185
Posted:yeah its truly sad that people have resorted to using their inteligence of creating programs for selfish and harmful purposes

"glow bugs, to slow to resist eating, to bitter to eat more than one handfull in a sitting" toothpaste for dinner

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