Cybercriminals design malware to exploit vulnerable systems without user interaction being required – on the one hand, and craft attacks that take advantage of unaware computer users, in which user interaction is required – on the other hand.
The second part, of this two part attack approach, can only be defeated if the computer user is aware of current Internet threats. So, knowledge and experience, are critical ingredients in the never ending, and escalating battle, against cybercriminals.
In order to defeat attacks which rely on exploiting vulnerable systems, the preferred method to do so, is the implementation of a layered security approach. Employing layered security should (I emphasize should), ensure the swift detection of malware, before any damage occurs on the targeted system.
Let’s talk real world:
Given existing technology, no single security application is capable of providing adequate computer system protection. Gaps exist in protection capabilities in even the most sophisticated security applications.
Layering (or stacking) security applications, offers the best chance of remaining infection free, by closing these gaps. Keep in mind however, that even the best layered protection strategy will not make up for the lack of experience, and intuitiveness, of many computer users.
So, stopping the bad guys from gaining a foothold has to be a primary objective of that layered defense strategy that I mentioned earlier. And, part of that strategy includes raising barriers at the doorway to the system – the Internet browser.
ExploitShield (brought to my attention some time ago by good friend Michael Fisher), a free Internet browser security application which is currently in Beta, seems well suited to helping raise those barriers.
From the site:
ExploitShield protects users where traditional security measures fail. It consists of an innovative patent-pending application shielding technology that prevents malicious exploits from compromising computers through software vulnerabilities.
ExploitShield Browser Edition is free for home users and non-profit organizations. It includes all protections needed to prevent drive-by download targeted attacks originating from commercial exploit kits and other web-based exploits.
These type of attacks are used as common infection vectors for financial malware, ransomware, rogue antivirus and other types of nastiest not commonly detected by traditional blacklisting antivirus and security products.
Where’s the proof?
Since I’m just now getting back into application testing, following six months or so of 60+ hours a week assignments, I’ve relied (in this case) on the expert opinion of others (including Neil J. Rubenking), as to the effectiveness of ExploitShield. My apologies for that.
Installation is a breeze and, on application launch, a simple and uncomplicated interface is presented.
Clicking on the “Shields” tab will provide you with a list of applications protected by ExploitShield – as shown below.
Once loaded, ExploitShield will run as a background process (shown in the screen capture below – necessary since it provides active protection for the applications shown in the screenshot above.
As a reminder that ExploitShield is up and running, a new Icon – the “Z”, as shown in the following screen shot ,will appear in the system tray.
System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. ExploitShield runs as both 32 bit and native bit.
From the developer: This beta 0.8.1 expires March 31, 2013. Check back to download a new version once expired.
Download at: ZeroVulnerabilityLabs
It may be a new year – but, the state of Internet security is as it ever was – pathetic. The Internet is a world that is full of cybercriminals, scam and fraud artists, and worse. A world that reeks of tainted search engine results, malware infected legitimate websites, drive-by downloads and bogus security software.
Please be guided by the following: Stop – Think – Click. The bad guys really are out to get you.