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TAG: Malware

Administrative Rights and Viruses

This is strange and confounding, but seemingly something that clearly makes sense when put up to basic scrutiny. The pitch, as Karl Palachuk puts it, is that Windows users who are not locally administrative users cannot be infected with viruses. This is an absurd and wrong line of thinking from someone who professes to have been in the IT industry for more than 25 years. But, we can all be wrong, so I say own it Karl. I’m a little surprised no one has actually discussed this much up until now. 

7 Key Ways To Protect Yourself From Malicious Software

The most important line users cross with any software is the point of running (or installation). This is usually where you have a need to fulfill (like play video), and a software title in mind (like VLC media Player). But, since you’re a cautious user who doesn’t assume a virus scanner is perfect, and you don’t wish to be infected by malicious software – you want to be proactive about protecting yourself. What do you, then? Here are some proven strategies to help ensure you stay safe.

Anti-Virus Software Is Dead, Long Live Anti-Virus Software

Eset LogoThe anti-virus (AV) application is dead, right? This often bloated, resource intensive application has to scan every single file on a computer; but still misses that one malicious application that brings your network to its knees. What are we to do now that viruses have become so sophisticated and agile? Change the way we approach security, or tell everyone that anti-virus software is just misunderstood?

For those that trumpet AV software, like David Harley of Eset, those in the media and technology industry are simply lost on the value that anti-virus software provides. In a paper released on the company’s  We Live Security blog, Harley goes about crushing all arguments for AV obsolescence in favor of level-headed acceptance of failure – because, “perhaps that’s inevitable”. The fact is, every once in a while, a testing site or  company comes along with a provocative report saying anti-virus software doesn’t work.

Is Anti-Virus Software Failing Us?

Microsoft Security EssentialsNews of Microsoft’s anti-virus product failing to receive a certification for effectiveness has been circulating on the Internet. The outfit running the tests is AV-TEST and they consider themselves the “Independent IT-Security Institute”. In previous certification tests, Microsoft’s anti-malware application scored high enough to be certified, but starting in September, the tool started failing the tests. On January 16th, Microsoft responded in a blog that vaguely attacked AV-TEST for poor testing methodology. Of course, AV-TEST responded to that. This is what seems like a tipping point, as many have started to seriously question the effectiveness of locally installed Virus Scanning applications. This idea of depending on virus scanning applications has been on my mind, and I wanted to flesh it out.

How To Remove Smart Fortress 2012 And Similar Scareware

It struck me how obvious this was when I heard a customer mention the name of the virus: “Smart Fortress 2012”. I thought, this is another one of those fake malware applications that I’ve seen time and time again. Since this user’s computer was infected while running an up-to-date version of a virus scanner, it proves the general ineffectiveness of most of these applications. I thought that it would be a good idea to explain how I go about removing these things – but with the fact that they’re all the same, you can’t follow instructions exactly. No two of these things are created equal. My hope is that, if you get a virus that acts like this, you can use some of these tactics to get rid of the program yourself.

Fighting Viruses: The Free Prockill Utility Helps

When I made the Process Killer utility, all I intended it for was to include it with an installer to stop processes before the process started. This worked well, so prockill lived on. As I would work in the field, I would come across computers infected with viruses that would restrict execution of utilities like the great Process Explorer or PsKill to kill the threat. Given their well-known nature – the viruses tend to kill them before you can use them to help. Enter the Process Killer tool to help you kill that virus.

Blogs Of The Past: The Spyware & Adware Problem

This little gem was written in January of 2003 on my web page (when it was on the domain calwell.ca). The article was more of a response to the large number of infections I had to clean from customer’s PCs. These things were a big problem then, because many of the Anti-Virus programs of the time did not detect Spyware or Adware. That was bad enough, but even worse, the line between what was Spyware and what was legit was extremely gray. The more common scenario was software slowing a user’s computer to a crawl. Here’s a look at a Blog from The Past –  The Spyware/Adware problem… As always, my comments of today are included in red.

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