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Jun 24, 2004
I used to follow the latest security threats and protection methods much closer than I do now. Zone Alarm, SpyBit, AdAware, Hijack This, Webroot Spysweeper and Nod32 all installed, kept updated and used. Combined with safe surfing practices such as avoiding certain types of Web sites, having e-mail show text only with HTML disabled. Rarely, very rarely having Active X engaged and keeping active scripting turned off unless absolutely needed. Then there was the scare earlier this year of the exploit involving images viewed on a Web site that had certain code attached. The exploit received a lot of publicity and was mentioned on BITOG. A fix was quickly released. Well, the malware/adware/spyware/key loggers/root kits/trojans/worms/viruses etc. are becoming more advanced. Most of the current anti- this and that can not stop all the hostile code, in many cases can't even detect it!!!!! Some folks believe they are free of hostile code but the most intricate ones can reside in your computer and report home and you will never know it. Having read a few of the latest writings by various computer pros I decided it was time to dig into my computer security bookmarks and do some refresher reading. Of the many many info sources I believe the one linked to below is one of the best. The guy can write in an understandable manner and has been providing infor for years. His stuff was so helpful in the past I subscribed to his "special edition" of his free newsletter. His free info is very helpful and for those of you who are rightfully concerned about hostile code I recommend reading the last three or so of his latest newsletters. They are on his Web site. Latest newsletter: "For home computer users the situation has become acute. Sophisticated spyware attacks utilizing blended threats have become commonplace. Some estimates put the rate of spyware infection in home computers as high as 80%. Worse still, the focus of attacks has shifted from peddling unwanted advertising to cyber-crime: the theft of individuals banking and financial passwords or individual identity. The technical sophistication of some malware products can be breathtaking. Recently I encountered one that used three different retro routines to try to pull down my anti-malware and anti-rootkit defenses. It then installed a rootkit to mask a trojan downloader and then forced a system reboot. On reboot, the stealthed trojan downloader then downloaded two different keyloggers one of which was further stealthed with another quite different rootkit. When the keyloggers phoned home with their payload of captured keystrokes they tried to bypass my Kerio firewall using an obscure vulnerability in that product. When I pondered why there were two keyloggers I realized that the second was a backup in the event the first was discovered. That's why it was stealthed with a separate rootkit. Clever stuff." Read more here: Reading the above provides oodles and gobs of enlightenment. The writer recommends using a "sandbox" while surfing the Web. I'm looking into a couple of those programs. As with any program they can affect different machines in different ways. I am not recommending anything, just trying to convey the seriousness of the threat. Here is one of the sandbox utilities I'm researching via its forum and via Google searches: Other stuff: Google Warns Surfers of Hostile Sites This is a useful innovation. Now when you do Google search and you inadvertently click a link to a malicious site, Google flashes up a warning screen. It uses a database of bad sites provided by [1]. It works well though not quite as effectively as McAfee's free SiteAdvisor plug-in [2] which is more comprehensive and has the added advantage of warning you before you click a link. If you don't have SiteAdvisor I suggest you get it now. [1] [2] The commonly-held belief that the icon of the lock in the status bar meant the transferred info was secure. it? How Secure are Secure Web Pages? Most folks believe that when they logon to a https site their username and password are securely encrypted. Subscriber Michael Horowitz argues that this is not necessarily so and I fully agree with him. It's an interesting read for computer users at all levels. If you want more info from this guy here is a link to past issues: Okay, there's enough info there to help y'all contend with the growing threat of evermore sophisticated hostile codes floating around. If you do on-line banking or have important info on your computer or whatever it behooves you to do what should be done. The choice is yours. Good luck!!!
If you do on-line banking or have important info on your computer or whatever
I may be insane, but I'm not crazy! [Razz]
Good info. thanks. I trade stocks , etc all the time as do many, many people - I have assured that my pages are sent encrypted to me. And as with many other folks, we use our various banks websites for checking balances, exchanging funds between accounts, etc. Data shows there have been very few thefts with this type of activity. (vs phishing, etc)
Good stuff obbop! [Cheers!] Sandbox software seems to be the best defense againt the new forms of super nasty malware. From the techsupport article: " Second, it seems to me that virtualization techniques such as those used by VMWare, Sandboxie and several other products may offer the best option for preventing infection." The new malware can get through the best firewalls as evidenced by the article. I'd like to have all these pansies that write this malware lined up for a firing squad by people who've been screwed over, but that's just me.
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