Category Archives: Free Security Programs

Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price

Back in December, regular reader John W, pointed me to a free license giveaway for BufferZone, a virtualization application which creates an isolated environment called the Virtual Zone, while you surf the Internet.

Based on John’s recommendation, I wrote an informational only article, since I had not had an opportunity to test the application. I’ve spent some time in the interim testing this application, and there’s just one word to describe it – brilliant, exceptional, splendid, superb.

OK, that’s more than one word – but I’m more than just a little enthusiastic about this program. Best of all, this application is now free – as in FREE.

This is not 1985 when the only thing you had to worry about was the crud that might be on the floppy disks you exchanged with your friends. Today, your Browser is the conduit into your computer – that’s the route by which the majority of malware spreads, and intrusion attempts take place.

A case in point:

While surfing the Net, a user mistakenly accepts an invitation to install a scareware application but realizes, after the fact, that this is a scam. Operating in a “real” environment, the damage, unfortunately, would already have been done.

Operating in a “virtual” environment with BufferZone active, system changes attempted by this parasite would simply not occur.

So, controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment rather than operating in a “real” environment, makes sense given the escalating level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

From the developer’s site:

BufferZone Pro keeps you surfing, downloading, e-banking, sharing, chatting, and e-mailing to your heart’s content – basically, using the Internet as it should be used. The Virtual Zone gives you total freedom, peace and security on the Web. With BufferZone Pro, you can do absolutely anything on the Internet threat free.

With BufferZone, all programs or files that enter your computer through downloading, browsing, or uploading with external media devices, are redirected to a Virtual Zone (C:\Virtual). And, since any intrusion attempt occurs within this virtual environment, there’s nothing in that summary that I can disagree with. BufferZone’s Virtual Zone does protect a PC from all forms of known, or unknown, attacks originating from the Internet, or external devices.

It does so in a non intrusive way, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user. Installation is hassle free – it’s just a matter of  following the on-screen instructions.


BufferZone sits in the Taskbar and can be fully controlled from there.


Once the application is installed, and after a re-boot, you will be taken to the developer’s site (this is a one time occurrence), for a point by point introduction to Buffer Zone. The following screen captures (taken from the developer’s site), provide a clear explanation.

Clicking on any screen shot will expand it to the original.








In the last few months we’ve looked at operating system virtualization – Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System, Wondershare Time Freeze, and a number of other similar applications. As well as alternatives to OS virtualization – specific application virtualization running in a sandbox. For straight out ease of use while surfing the Internet though, BufferZone has become my favorite.

If you’re unsure as to whether you should operate in “virtual mode” while surfing the Net, then take this free security test at the developer’s site.

On my “unprotected” test machine, the following is the result of the simulated Trojan attack. The “stolen” files were on a non-system partition so the Trojan doesn’t restrict itself to just the (C:) drive.


Actually, I forgot to turn off ThreatFire, which picked up the attack in progress. This shows the benefit of a layered security approach.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32-bit).

Download at: the developer’s site (

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Online Banking, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, System File Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Emsisoft Free Emergency Malware Removal Kit – USB Ready

This post was originally published July 26, 2010.

I came across the Emsisoft Emergency Kit just in the last few days, which means, I haven’t had a chance to put it through my normal test process.

So, in the interest of keeping regular readers up to date as to what’s new in the free antimalware market, the following information is taken directly from the publisher’s site.


The Emsisoft Emergency Kit contains a collection of programs that can be used without a software installation to scan and clean infected computers for malware.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner:

With the Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner you have got the powerful Emsisoft Scanner including graphical user interface. Search the infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other malign programs.

Run the Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner with a double click on a2emergencykit.exe. Found Malware can be moved to quarantine or finally deleted.


Emsisoft Commandline Scanner:

This scanner contains the same functionality as the Emergency Kit Scanner but without a graphical user interface. The commandline tool is made for professional users and can be used perfectly for batch jobs.

To run the Emsisoft Commandline Scanner, do the following actions:

– Open a command prompt window (Run: cmd.exe)
– Switch to the drive of the USB Stick (e.g.: f:) and then to the folder of the executable files (e.g.: cd run)
– Run the scanner by typing: a2cmd.exe

Next you will see a help page describing all available parameters.

Next is an example to scan drive c:\ with enabled Memory, Traces (Registry) and Cookie scan with active Heuristic module and archive support. Found Malware is moved to quarantine.

a2cmd.exe /f=”c:\” /m /t /c /h /a /q=”c:\quarantine\”

Emsisoft HiJackFree:

HiJackFree helps advanced users to detect and remove Malware manually. With HiJackFree you can manage all active processes, services, drivers, autoruns, open ports, hosts file entries and many more. For your full control over your system.

Emsisoft BlitzBlank:

BlitzBlank is a tool for experienced users and all those who must deal with Malware on a daily basis. Malware infections are not always easy to clean up. These days the software pests use clever techniques to protect themselves from being deleted. In more and more cases it is almost impossible to delete a Malware file while Windows is running. BlitzBlank deletes files, Registry entries and drivers at boot time before Windows and all other programs are loaded.

Self made Emergency USB stick:

Expand the content of the Emsisoft Emergency Kit to an USB stick and make your own universal tool to scan and clean infected PCs.


System requirements: Windows XP, 2003/2008 Server, Vista and 7, full functionality on x64.

Download at: Emsisoft

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Computer Tools, downloads, flash drive, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Malware Removal, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Immunet 3.0 Released – Exciting Improvements

imageThe latest version of Immunet Protect has just been released (February 9, 2010), and in the development process, this outstanding free companion Antivirus has undergone a name change to – Immunet 3.0 – Powered by ClamAV.

Regular readers here, will remember that in previous reviews of this freebie, I have been very enthusiastic in my recommendations. Now, I have one more reason to be even more enthusiastic.

From the developer’s site:

Toll-Free Customer Support is available for all Immunet Protect FREE users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our Immunet Technical Support line at 1-866-891-4480. Immunet Support representatives can help with installation issues, potential virus issues, or even computer performance issues that may or may not be virus-related.

How cool is that?

Immunet Protect 3, is a superior community driven cloud based security application, (now closing in on a million users), which continues to gain increasing popularity – and rightfully so.

In real time, Immunet Protect keeps track of the state of security in the collective community (network), and should a member of the network (the community), encounter malware, you (as a member of the protected community), are instantly protected against the threat.

A rather more impressive security solution than having to wait for a malware definition database update. An update that may take several days. Days in which you are effectively open to infection.

A community driven security application like Immunet Protect, does not suffer from this obvious disadvantage of having to chase runway malware. It’s significant advantage is it’s user base community – operating in real time.

Immunet Protect is designed to add a layer of protection while working in partnership with the most popular antimalware solutions. On my principal home machine for example, Immunet Protect lines up with Microsoft Security Essentials and ThreatFire, to shore up any vulnerabilities my system might have to to zero-day threats.

Version 3 has increased functionality over previous versions, and incorporates a number of new features.

From the developer’s site:

Offline engine – The 3.0 release will now ship with an ‘Offline’ engine. This engine (ClamAV .97) once enabled, will automatically pull down our latest detection sets and allow for complete detection coverage, even when you are not connected to the Internet.

With our Offline protection we now also have several complex engines for detection native to the desktop and have support for file formats such as .DOC, .XLS, HTML etc. as well as strong unpacking support.

Cloud Recall – Unlike traditional Anti-Virus, or even other Cloud Anti-Virus we constantly reconsider all the data we see or have seen in our community. This ‘Cloud Recall’ ensures that your security is advanced with every new piece of information we become aware of. You will always know as much as we do, when we do.

Custom Signature Creation – With 3.0 we now offer the first Windows Anti-Virus product which allows our users to write their own detections with our engines just as we would.

Users can now hunt threats (or Advanced Persistent Threats if you like) by creating signatures which range from simplistic (straight MD5 matches) to complex (logically chained expressive signatures w/ offset support and wild carding).

You’ll find Immunet Protect straightforward to install, and easy to run without complication. The screen captures I’ve setout below, will help you get a good overall feel for the application.


Setting the operating parameters (the protection settings), is straightforward. In the following screen capture you’ll notice tooltip pop outs which explain the function of each setting. A very cool feature for less experienced users.


I have a preference for antimalware solutions that include the ability to launch a specific file scan from the Windows Explorer context menu, and Immunet Protect has included this important feature.


Should you consider installing, and running, a Cloud Antivirus as supplementary antimalware protection?

If you are uncertain, then consider this:

The Internet is an uncertain world at the best of times

Cybercriminals design specific malware to exploit vulnerable systems without user interaction being required.

No single security application is capable (nor should we expect a single application to be 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.

A cloud based protective solution, in this case Immunet Protect, is a major step in shoring up any weaknesses, or gaps, and significantly increase your overall ability to detect malware.

Keep in mind however, that even the best layered protection strategy will not make up for lack of experience, and intuitiveness, when surfing the Internet. So, I’ll repeat what I have said here, many times – “knowledge, awareness, and experience are critical ingredients in the escalating battle, against cybercriminals.”

Immunet Protect fast facts:

Fast Antivirus Protection leverages the speed of cloud computing to deliver real-time protection to your PC. Stay protected against over 13 million viruses and thousands of new threats daily without ever downloading another virus detection file again.

Immunet Protect FREE is ideal for consumers who want fast protection that doesn’t slow down their PC, including students, families, and netbook users.

Small and Light Footprint is up to 35 times lighter than traditional antivirus solutions. Immunet’s low disk and memory use won’t weigh down your PC unlike other solutions.

Companion Antivirus means that Immunet is compatible with existing antivirus solutions. Immunet adds an extra, lightweight layer of protection for greater peace of mind. Since traditional antivirus solutions detect on average only 50% of online threats, most users are underprotected, which is why every PC can benefit from Immunet’s essential layer of security.

Collective Immunity technology leverages the shared intelligence on threats gathered within the Immunet Cloud. Immunet’s virus detection technology continuously improves with each new user who installs Immunet Protect. When Immunet detects a threat on one user’s PC, that threat is blocked from harming all users in the Immunet Community simultaneously, giving all Immunet users shared immunity against computer viruses.

Real-time Detection from the Immunet Cloud against viruses, spyware, bots, worms, trojans, and keyloggers without downloading any virus signature files. Stay protected with Collective Immunity™ and intelligent virus detection technology that doesn’t slow down your PC.

Intelligent Scans effectively detect and remove viruses, bots, worms, trojans, keyloggers and spyware, thanks to the power of collective intelligence and the Immunet Cloud.

Choose from several scan options:

  • Flash Scan (Process and Registry)
  • Custom Scan (Specific Files and Directories)
  • Full System Scan

System requirements: Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later, Vista (32-bit and 64 bit), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download at: Developer’s site

I have no hesitation in recommending this application. I can’t think of another security application that has enjoyed a such a major increase in users in the last six months, like Immunet Protect has. That’s no accident.

Note: Along with Avast Free Antivirus, Immunet Protect is now offered as part of Google Pack.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Cloud Computing Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Immunet Protect, Interconnectivity, Malware Protection, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

Risk Rate Running Processes With Free Glary Security Process Explorer

Security Process Explorer, from the developer’s of the powerful, free system tool Glary Utilities, operates as an security tool, and provides advanced risk information on processes, running on your computer.

The program displays specific task manager information, (this application is not a replacement for Windows task manager), including file name, directory path, description, CPU usage, and so on. What sets the application apart, is the unique security risk rating that is applied to running processes.

Security process explorer new 1

The major caveat here however is, the user must make the decision whether a particular process, or program, should be terminated, or removed. Thankfully, you can get help in making that decision by clicking on the More Info Tab. Doing so, opens GlarySoft’s web based database where additional information about the specific program/process can be obtained, along with a risk factor for that inquiry, as the following graphic illustrates.

Security process explorer new 2

Note: As an added bonus you can even Google the process from within the application.

Using Security Process Explorer you can easily find and remove unnecessary background processes. As well, you can assign more resources to demanding processes like games, real-time multimedia applications and CD writing software, where necessary.

Quick facts:

Provides detailed information about all running processes

Specifies whether a process is safe or not

Single click process termination

Block unneeded processes or malware

Simple user interface

If you are an experienced/advanced computer user, and you’re looking for a program to strengthen your anti-malware resources, then Security Process Explorer is one that’s worth taking a look at.

System requirements: Windows 7, 2000, XP and Vista (32bit and 64bit).

Download at: GlarySoft

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

A Reader Wants To Know….

imageWe receive a wide variety of questions here, from the very simple, to the complex – all of which are equally as interesting. The following thought-provoking questions were all recently posed by a reader.

Which Antivirus application(s) would you recommend?

Let me answer this by telling you what I run on my principal home machine. Despite the fact that I’m provided with a free license for all the security applications I test, I have chosen the following applications.

Microsoft Security Essentials (free)

Immunet Protect – a free Cloud based companion antimalware application.

ThreatFire (free)

WinPatrol (free)

Pc Tools Firewall Plus (free) – I recently changed from ZoneAlarm (free), since I finally tired of their incessant ads.

Zemana AntiLogger (paid) – I’ve managed to pick up a free license each of the last 2 years, however.

Each of these applications has been reviewed (some several times), on my site. A site search using the search box will lead you to the relevant article/s.

How many Antivirus application(s) should I have installed on my laptop.

Typically the answer is straightforward – one (in order to avoid potential conflicts). However, nothing is really straightforward with a computer. For an in-depth answer, please read Can I Install And Use More Than One Antimalware Application? on my site.

Which Firewall would you recommend?

Over time, I have installed virtually every available Firewall, and I must admit, my favorite has always been ZoneAlarm – not only for its effectiveness, but also for its ease of use. As I said earlier though, I recently made the change back to PC Tools Firewall Plus – a Firewall I’ve used in the past that is as effective and as easy to use as ZoneAlarm (without the annoying ads).

Comodo Firewall, which you’re presently using, is an excellent application. I’ve used and reviewed this application in the past, and I have no difficulty in recommending it.

Which Malware/Spyware application(s) would you recommend?

Since Microsoft Security Essentials combines both antivirus, and antispyware in the same application, this is a very workable solution. Additionally, the issue of maintaining good control over system resource usage is addressed by employing this combination.

How many Malware/Spyware applications should I have installed on my laptop?

The same answer applies here as in the Antivirus question.

Which Backup and Recovery program(s) would you suggest?

The principal issues affecting backups are determined by how (the skill level of the user), and for what purpose, a computer is used. Typically, average users are convinced that backing up is beyond their knowledge level, and so avoid this necessary chore.

The reality is, major advances have been made in the development of simple, “push button” easy, backup applications. There are a many applications to choose from, both paid and free, and the one I’m very enthusiastic about at the moment is Free EASEUS Todo Backup. You can reread my recent review of this application here.

Which registry cleaner would you recommend?

Registry Cleaners are often referred to as the “snake oil” of the computer industry. There is a major difference of opinion concerning the value of these applications.

Generally speaking, it’s my view that this type of application should not be used by an average user – except for a very mild cleaner, such as Ccleaner, which I do, in fact, highly recommend.

There are times when a powerful cleaner, (such as RegSeeker), in skilled hands, can be beneficial.

Which Anonymous Surfing application would you recommend? (My privacy is mine and important to me).

I’ve reviewed and recommended quite a number of such applications here, but the application I’m most partial to (at the moment), is Free Hotspot Shield. You can read the latest review of this application here.

Finally – while you mentioned WOT and SnoopFree Privacy Shield, additional Browser protection is a critical ingredient in overall system protection. I recommend that you read the following article here – An IT Professional’s Must Have Firefox and Chrome Add-ons

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Backup Applications, Browser add-ons, Computer Tools, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Firewalls, Free Security Programs, Interconnectivity, PC Tools, Point of View, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

Secunia PSI Updated – Version 2.0 Released

imageSecunia has just released (December 20, 2010), Version 2.0 of their award winning vulnerability and patch scanning free application – Secunia PSI.

As important as it is, that you secure your computer by implementing a layered security approach, it’s equally as important that you keep your installed applications current and up-to-date. Insecure and unpatched applications are a common gateway used by cyber-criminals to infect unaware users’ machines.

Since PSI constantly monitors your system for insecure software installations, notifies you when an insecure application is installed, and even provides you with detailed instructions for updating the application, when available – installing this small free application will assist you in ensuring that your software installations are relatively secure. I say “relatively”, since there is no perfect system.

The following screen captures illustrate, just how easy it is to take that extra step toward a more secure computing experience, using PSI. Click on any graphic to expand to its original size.


Following the initial scan of two Hard Drives – which took only two and a half minutes, PSI found two end-of-life applications, and one insecure application. The insecure application (VLC Media Player 1.1.14), is currently under attack by cyber-criminals. So, that was a good catch.



Updating VLC Media Player 1.1.14, was a snap – I simply clicked on “Install Solution”. Boom – done!


Quick facts:

Secunia PSI is free for private use.

Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive

Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications

Verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied

Tracks your patch-performance week by week

Direct and easy access to security patches.

Detects more than 300,000 unique application versions

Provides a detailed report of missing security related updates

Provides a tabbed report which indicates programs that are no longer supported – programs with all known patches – insecure programs, etc.

Provides a Toolbox offering a set of links which helps you assess a problem and how you can resolve it.

Improvements in Version 2.0.

  • Automatic Updates: Functionality for Auto Updates is now implemented as a core feature in the Secunia PSI.
  • New User Interface: A new User Interface has been implemented. The design has been updated to make it simpler and easy to use the Secunia PSI, as well as improving the overall look and feel.
  • Integration with Secunia CSI: The new Secunia PSI features integration with the commercial Secunia CSI. Secunia CSI customers can learn more about this feature with the release of the Secunia CSI 4.1.
  • Improved Presentation of Scan Result: The presentation of scan results have been significantly improved, using techniques that have been tested during the Technology Preview. The Scan Results are grouped according to their installation and patch state, which in turn makes it simpler to identify the programs that actually requires the latest security patches.

ZD Net, one of my favorite web sites has stated “Secunia Personal Software Inspector, is quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine”. In my view, this is not an overstatement.

Installing this small free application will definitely assist you in identifying possible security leaks; give it a try.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista SP 1 or later, XP SP 3 (32 & 64 bit).

Watch: How to install and use the Secunia PSI 2.0

Download at: Secunia

Bonus: Do it in the Cloud – The Secunia Online Software Inspector, (OSI), is a fast way to scan your PC for the most common programs and vulnerabilities; checking if your PC has a minimum security baseline against known patched vulnerabilities.

Link: Secunia Online Software Inspector. In the last 24 hours, fully 19% of applications checked by this online tool, were insecure.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Cloud Computing Applications, Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Malware Protection, Security Rating Applications, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free Rootkit Revealers – Tizer Rootkit Razor, Plus Three More

imageRootkits use any number of techniques to hide, including concealing running processes from monitoring programs, and hiding files, and system data, from the operating system.

In other words, the rootkit files and processes will be hidden in Explorer, Task Manager, and other detection tools. It’s easy to see then, that if a threat uses rootkit technology to hide, it is going to be difficult to find.

So, scanning for Rootkits occasionally, is good practice, and if you have the necessary skills to interpret the results of a Rootkit scan, Tizer Rootkit Razor, appears to be a good choice to help you do this. I should be clear however, this tool is not “one-click simple” to decipher, and users need to be particularly mindful of false positives.

Since the false positive issue, is always a major consideration in using tools of this type, you should be aware that tools like this, are designed for advanced users, and above.

Here’s a reasonable test to determine if you have the skills necessary to use this application effectively. If you’re not capable of using, and interpreting, an application such as HiJackThis for example, it is unlikely that using this program would prove to be beneficial. On the other hand, if you can interpret the results of a  HiJackThis scan, you’re probably “good to go”.

The user interface is dead simply – functional and efficient, as the following screens from my test system indicate. BTW, no Rootkits were found during this test. Or, after scanning with the additional tools listed below.

Tizer 1

Tizer 3

Tizer 4

Fast facts:

Main Screen: This page displays information related to your operating system and memory usage.

Smart Scan: This feature automatically scans all the critical areas in the system and displays hidden objects, making things easier for the user.

NOTE: The user is provided with a feature to fix the hidden object (if any).

Process Scan: This module scans processes currently running on the machine. A process entry will be highlighted in red if it is a hidden rootkit. The user can click on an individual process to display any hidden modules loaded by the process.

NOTE: The user is provided with the option to terminate processes and delete modules.

Registry Scan: This module scan is for hidden registry objects.

Smart Scan: A smart scan will scan the critical areas of the registry.

Custom View: This module provides a virtual registry editor view, hence enables the user to navigate through the registry and check for hidden keys or values. (Hidden keys/values will be highlighted)

Kernel Module Scan: This module scans for loaded drivers in the memory. A module entry will be highlighted in red if it is hidden.

NOTE: The user is provided with a feature to unload and delete a driver module from memory.

Services Scan: This module scans all installed services on the local machine. A particular service entry will be highlighted if it is hidden.

NOTE: The user is provided with start, stop, pause, and resume features. They may also change the startup type of service.

SPI Scan: This module lists all the LSPs installed in the system. This is read only information.

NOTE: The user can check for any unauthorized LSP installed.

SSDT Scan: This module scans for any altered value in the System Service Descriptor Table (SSDT). The process of alteration is termed as “Hooking.”

NOTE: The user can restore the altered value to its original value.

Ports Scan: This module will scan all open TCP and UDP ports. A particular port entry will be highlighted if it is hidden.

NOTE: The user is provided with the option to terminate the connection.

Thread Scan: This module will enumerate all running processes. The user can click on a particular process to view and scan all threads running in context of that process. Any hidden threads will be highlighted in red.

NOTE: The user is provided with the option to terminate a thread.

File/Object Scan: This module will scan for any hidden files in the system. The user selects a location on the computer to scan.

Click here to read about Tizer Rootkit Razor’s features, in comparison with other anti-rootkit applications.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7

Download at: Tizer Secure

If you think you might have hidden malware on your system, I recommend that you run multiple rootkit detectors. Much like anti-spyware programs, no one program catches everything. To be safe, I occasionally use each of the rootkit detectors listed below, on my machines.

Microsoft Rootkit Revealer

Microsoft Rootkit Revealer is an advanced root kit detection utility. Its output lists Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit. According to Microsoft, Rootkit Revealer successfully detects all persistent rootkits published at, including AFX, Vanquish and Hacker Defender.


IceSword is a very powerful software application that will scan your computer for rootkits. It also displays hidden processes and resources on your system that you would be unlikely to find in any other Windows Explorer like program. Because of the amount of information presented in the application, please note that IceSword was designed for more advanced users.


This freeware tool is essentially a combination of Sysinternals’ Rootkit Revealer and Process Explorer. The program can list running processes, modules and Windows services, in addition to scanning for the presence of rootkits.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Malware Removal, Rootkit Revealers, rootkits, Software, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Take Complete Control Of Windows Autorun With Free AutoRun Disable

If you need more control over Windows built-in Autorun feature, then take a look at AutoRun Disable – a simple, free application, from Endpoint Protector.

With  AutoRun Disable it’s easy to disable the Autorun feature based on device type – USB and other removable devices, CD/DVD, internal and network drives, or specific drive letters.

Disabling Autorun is always good practice, since it allows you an opportunity to scan devices for malware – including autorun based malware like Stuxnet, Conficker, Downadup and others.

Installation is one click simple, and on execution, the application will audit your computer and report the current state of Autorun, as the following screen shot illustrates.


The major advantage in using AutoRun Disable is the fine control a user now has over all drives and devices, as shown in the following screen capture.


System requirements: Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008

Download at:

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Filed under Don't Get Hacked, downloads, flash drive, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Malware Protection, Software, System Security, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

BitDefender Releases Free Antispam for Linux Mail Servers

imageBitDefender styles itself as “an award-winning provider of innovative Internet security solutions”, and I must admit that I agree. Moreover, BitDefender has taken a leading role in providing free security solutions, including a host of specialty malware removal tools – particularly, in the past few months.

Yesterday, BitDefender released a Free Antispam application designed specifically for Linux Mail Servers. This new application is driven by BitDefender’s award winning anti-spam engine, and according to Alexandru Balan, BitDefender’s Innovation & Technology Product Manager, the application is aimed at “small businesses and individuals who run mail servers in environments other than Windows, but are dissatisfied with the lackluster performance of existing open-source or proprietary antispam solutions.”


Fast facts:

Antispam – Using constantly updated blacklists and whitelists of known Spam sites, Bayesian learning provides another layer of detection that adapts to the changes made by Spammers to bypass static Spam filters.

Antiphishing – While considered more of personal threat than a corporate threat; phishing sites can also harvesting information from your company’s employees. Using a combination of constantly updated blacklists and whitelists, BitDefender prevents users from known accessing phishing sites and preventing compromise.

Content Filtering – Content filtering allows for the detection of predefined information such as credit card or account information, report names, client databases, etc. from passing outside the company’s control.

High performance NeuNet technology (advanced adaptive neural network).

Easy installation and easy to use web-based and command line administration interface.

Highly compatible kits that are available for all major Linux distributions (available as RPM, DEB, IPK) and are Linux FHS compliant.

System requirements:

Linux – Linux Kernel 2.6.18 or newer, glibc 2.3.1 or newer, libstdc++ from gcc 4 or newer.

Supported Distributions:

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 or newer, Fedora Core 1 or newer, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, Linux 8.2 or newer, Mandrake/Mandriva 9.1 or newer, RedHat Enterprise Linux 3, Linux 9 or newer

BitDefender Security for Mail Servers, is the only product to have won a VBSpam award in every single VBSpam test – and with one of the highest spam catch rates in this test, and no false positives, it outperforms all other products and achieved the highest final score in the September 2010 test.

Download Free AntiSpam for Mail Servers at: BitDefender – registration required.

A user guide, in PDF format, is available here.

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Filed under Alternatives to Windows, BitDefender, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Email, Enterprise Applications, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Linux, Phishing, Software, spam

Avira AntiVir Personal 10 – Is It The Best Free Antivirus Available?


If you were building a wish list of the features that you would like to see in a free anti-virus program, I’m sure you would include the following:

An easy to use and understand, yet comprehensive, user interface.

An on demand scanner to seek out viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers and other malicious programs.

And, perhaps most important, the ability to stop a detected malicious program  dead in its tracks.

The ability to repair, delete, rename and quarantine programs, or files.

Well you’re in luck. Avira AntiVir Personal will meet, and even exceed, all of your wishes. This anti-virus program offers comprehensive protection, driven by an easy to use interface.

Avira AntiVir Personal is not just another free AV solution. Avira may just be the best free AV solution available. It’s certainly the most popular in its class, and with good reason, in my view.

I’ve been using Avira, in one release or another for years on a Windows XP Professional machine, and I have never had to deal with an infection on that particular computer.

I’m not suggesting that Avira is the only reason this machine has never been infected, but – it is the foundation on which all of the other security solutions, specific to that machine, are built. Regular readers are well aware, that I faithfully follow the Three Commandments of Safe Surfing:

Stop – consider where you’re action might lead.

Think – consider the consequences to your security.

Click – only after making an educated decision to proceed.

If you’re a typical, or an average user, you should find that Avira AntiVir Personal will meet, and even exceed, all of your requirements.

As an indication of this programs popularity, reports 100+ MILLION total downloads – 665,000 last week alone.


Fast facts:

Highly Configurable

Protection from viruses, worms and Trojans

Includes anti-spyware and anti-adware features

Protection against expensive dialers

Protection from hidden rootkits

Protection from phishing

Extensive malware Recognition

Monitors every action executed by the user or the operating system

Reacts promptly when a malicious program is detected.

Automatic updates of antivirus signatures, engine and software – I have to admit, I love this feature

Now in Version (updated April 22, 2010)

Quick Summary:

Easy to download, easy to install, easy to configure, easy to use, and very effective.

System requirements: Windows 7, XP, Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download at:

Note: Free for home-users only.

If you find the nag screen annoying, take a look at “Remove Avira Notifier – Here’s How”, on this site. If you’re running a 64 bit system, then checkout my buddy G’s site –Disable Avira Notifier in Windows 7.

Note: Since we’re talking about Avira, you should be aware that Avira offers a free Avira AntiVir Rescue System, “which is a Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, rescue data, and scan the system for virus infections”.

If you are an active computer user, you should consider adding this application to your antimalware tool box.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Software, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP