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  • XP Computer Question?

    I heard there is a new ? virus or a worm whatever getting released april 1. What do you do to protect your computer from this type of threat? i have xp in mine? Thanx Mike

  • #2
    It's probably a flash in the can like the last couple where but you can try to protect yourself.

    Firewalls are the most important,

    keep your windows updates in good order,

    "good" anti virus/spyware which isn't necessarily the most expensive and free is probable as good as paid versions, kept up to date and running, they aren't much good if you don't use them regularly.

    Don't download 'WAREZ', pirated music and movies, this is the most used method of spreading malware.

    Don't open E-mail attachments from and unknown source or untrustworthy persons ,

    Move into a cave and cover your head because if it's out there it will get you sooner or later.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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    • #3
      The media has jumped on this for reasons unknown. It's no different than hundreds of other computer worms and viruses that have been around for many years. The hype surrounding this is ridiculous.

      This is what one news service is using in their headline.



      Just make sure your antivirus software is updated.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        If you happen to have a Linux or BSD system handy you can build a free caching/filtering web proxy that is integrated into a very good, free anti-virus engine. This coupled with an effective ISP-based email filtering system covers you as well as it gets. It is still possible to become infected and there is a free recovery mechanism for that, too. The downside is added complexity but even that involves tools you already have and use every day.

        For your Linux machine you start here: http://dansguardian.org/

        You add this:http://www.wains.be/index.php/2006/1...ivirus-clamav/

        Or if you don't want the hassle, go here: http://www.endian.com/en/products/

        And if you want the hassle but don't have a machine to run Linux on, install the free virtual machine player from VMware and run a Linux proxy/AV virtual machine on your Windows system in the background. These are also free.

        Each of these solutions puts a hardened system ahead of your system that examines all the content that comes into your home in real time. The results are cached if safe, blocked if unsafe. You decide what is safe and what isn't. It will also block safe but undesirable content if you wish (great for young web surfers).

        One of the best hardware platforms for putting all this into is a Mac Mini. They're dirt cheap on Ebay, run Unix, and will fit in a very small space. They do not require a monitor or keyboard and can be run entirely from a remote system. The dual core CPU 2G of ram is typical, and you can install 300G hard drives in them or add an external FireWire or USB drive. Or even plug in one of the new massive storage thumb drives now available.

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        • #5
          sparkgap

          there is always the sparkgap method

          it is where you leave the plug end of the cable about three feet from the socket it goes in
          and make the signal jump. It is a very robust means to protect your equipment form all sorts of dubious signals, I even use it for lightning protection.

          besides what are you going to miss on April 1 but a bunch of bad jokes
          ... scratch that I like bad jokes.
          --
          Tom C
          ... nice weather eh?

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          • #6
            Or get a mac and use that for all your internet browsing. Thats what I do. No worries about spyware, viruses, etc.

            When downloading video avoid anything in a realmedia format. They are the easiest way to get crap in your computer as the format allows auto linking to external web sites and can download stuff into your computer. avi's, mp4, and mkv's are pretty safe. I have never gotted anything bad from any of those formats. Also watch out for zipped or rar'ed files. They can have nasty things in the archive.

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            • #7
              There are plenty of ways to avoid problems, including just a proper setup of XP. I use no anti virus software although I do have AVG installed but disabled. I only invoke it if I am suspicious of something but it has never found anything. There are many small items that make it either harder or impossible for a virus to take over. I don't share drive C at any level that has write access. It's read only. My main drive is drive E and Drive D is the archive drive and is encrypted.

              The firewall is disabled and I don't use anti spyware software. Many useless or unnecessary sevices are also disabled. My machine boots up with just 23 processes running.

              I also don't visit online gaming sites, warez sites or porn sites. I don't download music, ever. I don't use torrents. The bit torrent system is heavily polluted with viruses and malware.

              And, by the way, I did run a scan for this latest bug using a tool from Symantec. Nothing, as usual.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                There are indeed a lot of ways to avoid problems but most people don't do what you do which is to not use the PC for much. That's good enough for some but others desire much more from the machine. I'm in a position of having to go find solutions to problems that my customers have given me and that often involves opening risky mail and web sites.

                This is also not a common usage of a machine but it's what you have to do to ensure a reasonable amount of system security. I minimize my exposure by using virtual machines for everything. This is what one of my Mac Laptop "Spaces" looks like. http://TheVirtualBarAndGrill.com/machinery/desktop.jpg

                It is one of 4 spaces which are working isolated replicas of the main desktop. This one, space #2, contains the VMware hypervisor admin panel and an instance of Fedora Linux. I normally run it full screen so it fills the space but put it in a window for the snapshot. It in turn is running Squid which is a caching proxy server. My Mac browser connects to it and it connects to sites I've requested. Average CPU usage on the Mac is typically 25% or less with Linux and Mac OS running.

                Anyway - the Squid tool also has the ClamAV anti-virus product integrated into it so I can visit these sites and know I won't suck a virus (and against popular misinformation there are Mac viruses in the wild). Because it caches the content I've asked for I can examine every bite I've downloaded in the safety of the VM. The purpose of all this is to provide my online services customers with a safe environment. I could rent them their own virtual machine and let them handle it all but this works out better because I know what I'm doing and they don't.

                The Hypervisor shows the other OSs I can run. I can run 4 concurrent Linux instances or one XP instance (because it's a bloated pig so I avoid it). I also have another stand-alone Linux system on an old PC that is running yet another Linux virtual machine that is used for testing and dev. If I blow it up I copy the master VM onto the disk and restart it. It's identical, in fact an exact copy of the Fedora version running on my Mac as that is where it was virtualized from an ISO image. I'm getting a lot of bang for my buck and while it's unusual, it's also free and incredibly safe.

                I would recommend people who use their systems more than you adopt some of what I do but certainly not all. And I think there's a buck to be made from making a virtual appliance that can be distributed on a cheap thumb drive and installed on the fly on a Wintel/Lintel/Mactel system in minutes and without even requiring a reboot .

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                • #9
                  There are indeed a lot of ways to avoid problems but most people don't do what you do which is to not use the PC for much.
                  That's hilarious Dennis.

                  This is what my desktop looks like if I allow it all to be displayed, which I don't.



                  If I need to visit a "risky" web site for anything I slap in a Linux Live disk and do it that way.

                  edit: I also have over 10 gigs in over 3000 folders downloaded in the last year.
                  Last edited by Evan; 03-29-2009, 08:35 AM.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    I run this once in a while. It's free and doesn't take over the machine. Does it work?

                    Microsoft® Windows® Malicious Software Removal Tool

                    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

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                    • #11
                      You need to simplify your life Evan , here's my desktop.


                      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                      • #12
                        This is mine:

                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dp
                          And I think there's a buck to be made from making a virtual appliance that can be distributed on a cheap thumb drive and installed on the fly on a Wintel/Lintel/Mactel system in minutes and without even requiring a reboot .
                          I seem to recall that Zonealarm (maybe someone else?) now has a system out that runs a virtual machine for just that reason.

                          The only thing that puzzles me is that if you run a virtual machine on a "WinBug" system, any bad stuff can just hide in the unused space and appear later. You'd have to be very certain the virtual WinBug machine couldn't be crashed to penetrate it.

                          it would seem that the correct way to operate would be to run the virtual WinBug machine on a Linux box, so that anything that does get through has nothing to do.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers
                            I seem to recall that Zonealarm (maybe someone else?) now has a system out that runs a virtual machine for just that reason.

                            The only thing that puzzles me is that if you run a virtual machine on a "WinBug" system, any bad stuff can just hide in the unused space and appear later. You'd have to be very certain the virtual WinBug machine couldn't be crashed to penetrate it.

                            it would seem that the correct way to operate would be to run the virtual WinBug machine on a Linux box, so that anything that does get through has nothing to do.
                            The trick to running windows is to run windows as a virtual machine in Windows. Easy fresh start steps:
                            • Build a clean Windows machine
                            • Install the hypervisor software
                            • Install a good anti-virus tool set
                            • Don't install any other applications
                            • Install a Windows virtual machine in the hypervisor
                            • Run the VM, install all your software.
                            • Shut down the VM, make a permanent copy of it to DVD, tape, what ever. Just get a good copy
                            • Restart the hypervisor and virtual machine. Ignore your host machine from this point on - it is there only to run the VM.


                            Since all your activities are now inside the VM, the host machine remains clean forever. If the VM ever becomes compromised you shut it down, delete it and replace it with your master copy.

                            The only discipline is any permanent changes you make to the virtual machine require you to save that vm as a new master, and you need to save all your data to a share on a USB disk or a share on the host disk (which is why you need a good AV tool running on the host). Windows doesn't make this easy but you need to save your IE bookmarks and address book, too. God bless Mozilla for making this easy.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evan
                              That's hilarious Dennis.

                              This is what my desktop looks like if I allow it all to be displayed, which I don't.
                              Obviously what you said and what you do imply too different outcomes

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