Tag Archives: BitDefender

If You’re A BitTorrent User – Guard Against Malware With BitDefender’s Free Virus Guard

imageIf you’re into downloading open license movies, music, games and applications, then there’s a good chance you’re into the enormously popular BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing application.

Just to be clear – I am not a fan of public, peer to peer file sharing – here’s why: Peer to peer file sharing carries with it a high risk that the user will not get what he thinks he will. And, may pick up something nobody wants to pick up.

So is this a serious risk? You bet – take a look at the following from the BitTorrent Beginner’s Guide –  How do I know that someone isn’t sending out viruses on BitTorrent?

In short, you don’t. You should treat something downloaded with BitTorrent just like any file downloaded from the internet – that is, if you don’t trust the source of the file, then you should use caution when opening it.

BitTorrent guarantees that the content you download is not altered from when the torrent was originally created, but if the source files used to create the torrent were already infected, this will provide no protection!

What’s a user to do then, who enjoys file sharing through BitTorrent, and wants to reduce the risk of being burned by cybercriminals who lurk on public file sharing networks? BitDefender’s Virus Guard, might provide part of the answer.

BitDefender’s free Virus Guard, which is now part of BitTorrent’s App Studio, is available to BitTorrent’s 80 million users.  Virus Guard quickly scans torrents before they’re launched, and flags any potential threats it finds; effectively giving users an opportunity to delete torrents before they can do any harm.

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Here’s a screen capture of the BitTorrent application with BitDefender’s Virus Guard installed. Click on the graphic to expand to original size – 1260 x 745.

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BitDefender’s Virus Guard Fast Facts:

Scan from within BitTorrent — avoid wasting resources on a full disk scan.

Check all torrent downloads (including ZIP, RAR, and TAR archives) to eliminate potential threats before they occur.

Protect against viruses and other malware using industry-leading technology.

Keep all your torrent downloads safe and clean.

BitDefender provides industry-leading protection based on two proactive threat detection technologies.

Virus definition library updated continuously to protect you from the latest threats.

Download Virus Guard at: BitTorrent’s App Studio (you will have to scroll down the page).

Old advice, but more important than ever:

Trade-offs and risks you should consider if you’re a fan of Peer to Peer file sharing.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, BitDefender, Don't Get Hacked

BitDefender TrafficLight – Real-time Anti-virus, Anti-phishing Browser Add-on

imageSurfing the Internet without a site reputation Browser add-on is not much different than stumbling down a set of stairs in the dark – while blindfolded. At a minimum, a risky venture.

As with all applications designed to enhance Internet safety however, site reputation Browser add-ons are not without there shortcomings. One particular issue that raises concern is – reputation add-ons are site specific and not page specific. In other words, the site may have passed the test for safety and yet contain a page, or pages, that harbor threats.

BitDefender’s recently released (March 24, 2011), beta – TrafficLight Browser add-on, attempts to address this page specific issue by utilizing “the BitDefender scanning engines to check, and rate, every page and link from the users’ web traffic, blocking unsafe content before it reaches the user’s browser.” In an effort to cover all the bases, TrafficLight is active in in search engines, and social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter), as well.

Control Panel screen capture.

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Fast facts:

TrafficLight works with virtually any Windows-compatible browser. It even keeps look, feel and functionality consistent if you switch browsers.

TrafficLight intercepts and scans web traffic before it even reaches the browser, effectively blocking disguised or stealth attacks before it’s too late.

TrafficLight scans the pages you visit for malware and phishing attempts each and every time you access them to avoid the threat of legitimate but recently compromised websites.

TrafficLight won’t block an entire website if just some pages within are malicious. Only the potentially harmful elements are blocked, leaving you free to view the rest of the site if you so choose.

TrafficLight relies on intelligence provided by BitDefender Cloud services to flag malware and phishing attempts in search results from Google or Bing. Not only that, but it also checks links in popular social network platforms and blocks them if they are suspect.

TrafficLight does not add a toolbar to your already-cluttered browser interface. Its interface remains invisible until your input is needed or it’s called up with a simple mouse gesture.

Supported Operating systems: Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7.

Supported Browsers:
Internet Explorer 7+, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari.

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Download free TrafficLight at: BitDefender

Note: As with all beta, or release candidates, take sensible precautions prior to installation. This should include setting a new restore point.

Additional reading:

WOT Beta for Social Media – Facebook, Twitter Protection And More

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

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, BitDefender, Browser add-ons, Browsers, Cyber Crime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, FaceBook, Free Internet Protection, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Twitter, Windows Tips and Tools

Protect Your Bits With BitDefender Internet Security 2011

imageIf it’s true that 50% of computer users run without adequate security protection, as some statistics indicate, then I can understand why. Given the complexity of a typical anti-malware product in both setup and operation, it’s little wonder that many users throw up their hands in frustration.

To be sure, computer security is a complex issue, but that shouldn’t mean that the average end user of a security application, needs to be exposed to a labyrinth of choices in either application setup, or in monitoring activity.

It’s hard to overstate the fact that typical computer users require a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface in order to get the most out of a security suite, and BitDefender’s Internet Security 2011 breaks new ground here. More on this later.

By combining an efficient Firewall, an Antivirus engine, an Antispyware engine, Spam filtering, a parental control system, privacy control, home network and game/laptop modes – BitDefender has built a suite of applications that provides powerful protection.

Taken together, the components provide excellent protection from hackers, cybercriminals, unauthorized software, network attacks, and more.

The application is straightforward to setup, customize, and run – as the following screen captures illustrate. (Click on any graphic to enlarge).

Following installation the application automatically runs a quick scan to ensure the system is clean prior to setup completion.

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Very cool! No malware found on the test system.

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BitDefender’s Internet Security 2011 is all about simple initial choices – average users can sit back and allow the application to choose the most appropriate settings.  Sophisticated users, on the other hand, can get their hands dirty.

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The user has an opportunity to choose a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface, rather than the more complex intermediate, or expert mode. When I installed this application, I did so with 10 average users in attendance – each one agreed that the “Basic View”, would be the most appropriate for their needs.

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The additional tools menu is push button simple, as the following screen shot indicates.

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On the completion of the installation, a summary of installed application modules is provided.

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Finally, a guided tour is a helpful tool which makes it easy for an average user to become familiar with the application.

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Fast facts:

Firewall

Antivirus & Antispyware

Antispam

Anti-phishing

Chat Encryption

Identity protection and privacy controls

Parental Control

Family Network Protection – Home network monitor

Smart Scan

Quick Scan

Smart Schedule

Smart Help

Smart Sense

System requirements: Windows XP SP3, Vista (SP1), Wind 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit).

Note: Recommended hardware –

  • CPU: Intel CORE Duo (1.66 GHz) or equivalent processor
  • Memory (RAM):
  • 1 GB (Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows 7)
  • 1.5 GB (Microsoft Windows Vista)

Having tested this application on a number of machines, I suggest you don’t install this application unless your computer meets, or exceeds, these requirements.

Download 30 day trial version at: BitDefender

Purchase product at: BitDefender (3 PCs for 1 year $49.95).

A personal note: BitDefender is one of my favorite security providers, since it offers a bevy of free virus removal tools, as well as a number of free specialty security tools.

A final word: Choosing a security application correctly depends on a number of variables including – how you use a computer on the Internet. In the final analysis though, the application should simply work –  unobtrusively and silently, with a minimum of fuss and bother – without presenting complex questions that average users simply can’t grasp.

Overall, BitDefender Internet Security 2011 handles this issue very well, and its overall detection and malware removal rates, place it in the top tier of security applications.

A word of caution here regarding tests carried out by antimalware labs. By and large, these tests are one time “snap shots”, and are not always indicative of an applications strengths, or weaknesses. Applications tend to change relative positions based on these tests, very often.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Antimalware Suites, BitDefender, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Malware Protection, Software, Software Trial Versions, spam, Spyware - Adware Protection, System File Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

BitDefender’s Free Virus Guard Protects BitTorrent Users

imageIf you’re into downloading open license movies, music, games and applications, then there’s a good chance you’re into the enormously popular BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing application.

Just to be clear – I am not a fan of public, peer to peer file sharing – here’s why: Peer to peer file sharing carries with it a high risk that the user will not get what he thinks he will. And, may pick up something nobody wants to pick up.

So is this a serious risk? You bet – take a look at the following from the BitTorrent Beginner’s Guide –  How do I know that someone isn’t sending out viruses on BitTorrent?

In short, you don’t. You should treat something downloaded with BitTorrent just like any file downloaded from the internet – that is, if you don’t trust the source of the file, then you should use caution when opening it.

BitTorrent guarantees that the content you download is not altered from when the torrent was originally created, but if the source files used to create the torrent were already infected, this will provide no protection!

What’s a user to do then, who enjoys file sharing through BitTorrent, and wants to reduce the risk of being burned by cybercriminals who lurk on public file sharing networks? BitDefender’s new Virus Guard, might provide part of the answer.

BitDefender’s free Virus Guard, which is now part of BitTorrent’s App Studio, is available to BitTorrent’s 80 million users.  Virus Guard quickly scans torrents before they’re launched, and flags any potential threats it finds; effectively giving users an opportunity to delete torrents before they can do any harm.

image

Here’s a screen capture of the BitTorrent application with BitDefender’s Virus Guard installed. Click on the graphic to expand to original size – 1260 x 745.

image

BitDefender’s Virus Guard Fast Facts:

Scan from within BitTorrent — avoid wasting resources on a full disk scan.

Check all torrent downloads (including ZIP, RAR, and TAR archives) to eliminate potential threats before they occur.

Protect against viruses and other malware using industry-leading technology.

Keep all your torrent downloads safe and clean.

BitDefender provides industry-leading protection based on two proactive threat detection technologies.

Virus definition library updated continuously to protect you from the latest threats.

Download Virus Guard at: BitTorrent’s App Studio.

Old advice, but more important than ever: Trade-offs and risks you should consider if you’re a fan of Peer to Peer file sharing.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, BitDefender, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Protection, Peer to Peer, Software, System Security, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools, worms

BitDefender Study – Your Facebook and Twitter Link Clicking Habits Suck!

imageEarlier this month, I wrote an article Twitter, Tweets, Cyber-Criminals And You, in which I set out the potential security pitfalls associated with Facebook and Twitter, and described the type of wonky security behavior (based on personal anecdotal evidence), generally demonstrated by social networking users.

Realistically, one of the problems in using anecdotal evidence is – while the conclusion may be true, (in this case it is true), it doesn’t always follow directly from the evidence.

A few days ago, when BitDefender passed along the results of its new study on Facebook and Twitter users’ link clicking habits, which revealed that 97% of respondents will click on links shared within social networks without checking them for malware, which confirmed my anecdotal evidence, I must admit, I got that “Cheshire Cat” grin.

A quick overview of the test methodology:

BitDefender created Facebook and Twitter test profiles and built a circle of 1,900 friends interested in reading about the latest news from various domains covering an assortment of hot topics such as accidents, security news, entertainment industry news, and scientific discoveries.

In the span of one week, three URLs leading to malware were shortened and modified to make the malicious pages unavailable and harmless, then sent out to the list of friends.

Despite countless awareness campaigns aimed at  warning users about the possible dangers behind shortened links, ninety-seven percent of the test profile’s friends admitted to clicking the bad links.

More details on this study are available at MalwareCity.com

I’m by no means a luddite when it comes to social networking sites; quite the opposite in fact. On balance, social networking is a good thing – it’s opened new doorways of opportunity to stay connected.

But here’s the rub – with those positive opportunities, comes a new set of opportunities for cyber-criminals. So now, more than ever,  social network users need to be aware of the risks. And, quite obviously, reassess their link clicking practices.

If you are a Facebook user, you can you can increase your safety margin by using the free BitDefender safego application designed to keep social network accounts from being exposed to malware, and spam.

Update: Cosme, brought to my attention that there is a Firefox add-on designed to expand shortened URLs – Xpnd.it!

From the Mozilla site: Automagicallly expand and analyze any tiny URL so to avoid clicking on potentially harmful, malicious links! It supports more than 500 services and it is very fast, thanks to local caching plus three layers of remote caching on the server-side. Download here.

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Filed under BitDefender, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, FaceBook, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Reports, social networking, Social Networks, Twitter, Windows Tips and Tools

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.”

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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

Free Stuxnet Removal Tool From BitDefender

imageBitDefender an award-winning provider of innovative internet security solutions, has just released a free removal tool targeting Win32.Worm.Stuxnet.

This tool is capable of removing all known variants of Win32.Worm.Stuxnet, as well as the rootkit drivers that are used to conceal critical components of the worm.

Win32.Worm.Stuxnet is a new breed of e-threats that emerged in mid-July. Although it infects all Windows-based systems alike, it primarily targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems which run the Siemens WinCC software.

The worm spreads by taking advantage of a multitude of zero day exploits in the current versions of Windows. Moreover, it can execute itself from an infected removable medium as soon as the .lnk file on the drive which has been read by the operating system. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability results in the injection of a backdoor, as well as the installation of two rootkits that will conceal both the .lnk files and the accompanying .tmp files.

“BitDefender added generic detection covering all variants of Stuxnet on July 19, thus protecting our customers since day zero. As part of our constant efforts to help worldwide users fight against e-threats, BitDefender has also created a Stuxnet Removal Tool. Computer users who are not protected by a BitDefender security solution can now eliminate Stuxnet from their infected systems as well,” said Catalin Cosoi, Head of the BitDefender Online Threats Lab.

The tool can be run on both 32- and 64-bit installations, and it will eliminate both the rootkit drivers and the worm. Stuxnet Removal Tool can be downloaded from the Removal Tools section of www.malwarecity.com.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, BitDefender, cybercrime, downloads, Freeware, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Removal, rootkits, Software, Windows Tips and Tools, worms