Tag Archives: difficult to identify

Stay Malware Free (Hopefully!) – Scan With A “Live CD” Regularly

imageI’m regularly asked how often I scan my primary personal machine for malware. The answer is – as part of a layered security approach, I have a formal schedule which I stick to without fail.

Once a day, I quick scan the system drive with both Microsoft Security Essentials, and Malwarebytes’ Antimalware – making sure the databases are updated and current.

Running a quick scan with both these applications, takes less than 5 minutes. For example: Malwarebytes’ – 150,000 objects – 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Microsoft Security Essentials – 30,000 items – 1 minute and 18 seconds.

Much of today’s malware though, can be extremely difficult to identify and remove – despite a user relying on frontline antimalware applications to do the job. So, I don’t see any advantage in running full scans on a live system – instead, once a week I run a Linux-based antimalware application (a live CD), which scans from the outside looking in. Malware generally can’t hide if it’s not running.

I’ve come to rely on the following free live CDs, which I regularly alternate, to ensure (hopefully), I’m operating in a malware free zone.

Panda SafeCD

Click to see larger images

This useful utility comes in handy when you need to clean a malware infected machine. Or, as in my case, to ensure a machine is not infected. It is particularly useful for detecting and disinfecting malware infections which give regular AV products running within Windows a hard time.

Features include: Automatic detection and removal of all types of malware. Boot from CD or USB stick. Supports using updated signature files. Supports 13 languages. Supports both FAT and NTFS drives.

The download consists of an ISO. You can either burn this to a CD/DVD or alternatively, create a Boot USB stick by using something like the Universal Netboot Installer (UNetbootin).

Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10

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Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10, is designed to scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers that have been infected. Particularly useful when the infection is at such level that it is impossible to disinfect the computer using anti-virus applications, or malware removal utilities, running under the operating system.

Note: Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 can be run from a USB device.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System

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Avira AntiVir Rescue System is a Linux-based application that allows you to access a system that cannot be booted anymore. Not only will this application scan the system for infections, but it can be used to repair a damaged system, or rescue data.

If you’re looking for an uncomplicated, reasonably quick booting alternative antimalware scanner/rescue CD, which will update the definition database automatically (assuming you’re connected to the Internet), any one of these freebies will do the job nicely.

In the constantly evolving world of cybercrime, all users are well advised to scan their computers regularly with an antimalware application that does not rely on the native operating system.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Kaspersky, Linux, Malware Removal, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, Panda Security, Software, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Are Mischievous Kids Responsible For Most DoS Attacks And Bots?

imageI frequently read the comments posted to other blogs, and tech forums. It’s an elementary way for me to keep in the loop on what others are thinking, relative to their computing experiences.

Often, I’ll find a bit of helpful wisdom in a comment – but, from time to time, I’ll come across a comment that just rubs me the wrong way.

For example – what’s wrong with the following point of view?

“Most of the Denial of Service attacks and other similar “bots” are written by 10 to 14 year old kids that are just being mischievous or looking for some acknowledgement from their peers”.

Other than the fact that’s it’s fanciful thinking (which is statistically unsupportable), it underplays, or ignores, more than a few basic realities:

Cyber crime has evolved dramatically from the days when it took little effort to be a hacker. The days when antimalware applications were either non-existent, or crude.

Organized crime is  the major player in the cyber criminal field. Money is the motivation – economic gain is the driver.

Cyber crime is a multi-billion dollar industry that encompasses identity theft, monetary theft, social and personal scams, extortion, industrial espionage, state-sponsored espionage, and more.

Today’s malware is sophisticated, extremely dangerous, difficult to identify and remove – and coded by experts who are as talented, if not more so in some cases, as any who are employed in legitimate enterprise.

On the face of it, you may think that this point of view is harmless – but that’s questionable. At the very least, this type of statement helps to perpetuate the myth that hacking, and cyber crime, is essentially an activity engaged in by “kids that are just being mischievous”.

The unassailable reality is – highly organized cyber criminal gangs ransack computers, and computer networks, for data that can be used for criminal purposes – not ten to fourteen year children, or older teenagers, seeking a badge of honor.

Surprisingly, it has been my experience that a lower level computer user is more likely to believe this myth, than not. Little wonder that cyber crime ( carried out by committed professional criminals), is rampant on the Internet, when the real perpetrators are seen by some computer users as little more than wispy netherworld figures that may – or may not – exist.

Something to think about – Do teenage hackers exist in any significant number? More to the point – do they constitute a threat to your security on the Internet?

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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Myths, Online Safety, Opinion, Point of View, Windows Tips and Tools