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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 05:26 PM   #21
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

I've been looking into using something like Knoppix, where you put a DVD or CD into your computer, reboot to the Knoppix system, browse to banks and brokerages, then reboot to windows for day to day stuff.

Knoppix runs off the CD, not from your hard drive, so would be much harder to get and keep a virus or keylogger. Ideally, I'd like to have it not touch the hard drive in any way, so that there is no way something left from a windows surfing session can become a keylogger when I'm running Knoppix.

Haven't figured out yet, how to completely disable hard drive when booting Knoppix. But even as-is, it seems immeasurably more secure than windows.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 05:28 PM   #22
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
That's your PC firewall software, not your ISP. Some apps need to fetch info from the internet. For example, "Sonic" is probably a music player looking for title info. "Dell support" is an annoying program that will "help" you with support issues. Personally, I remove all of that bloat as soon as I get a new machine. You can safely ignore them -- they're just chewing up cycles and space on your computer.
So is there any way I can get them to stop trying to get me to let them in? I get sick of the pop ups.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 06:42 PM   #23
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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Originally Posted by Martha
So is there any way I can get them to stop trying to get me to let them in?* I get sick of the pop ups.
Yes, if you want to keep the offending software, then you should be able to tell the firewall to allow internet access for those apps, and it'll then stop prompting you.

Or, if you don't want to keep the software, go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and then select the programs for removal. The Sonic thing might be a CD burning app, so it could be useful (if you haven't installed something else). I'm pretty sure the Dell Support app is worthless. At least, I don't miss it.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 08:42 PM   #24
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Another way to guard against Spyware is to have two partitions in your PC, one for Windows and the other Linux. Use Linux for browsing the internet.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 11:00 PM   #25
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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Originally Posted by Spanky
Another way to guard against Spyware is to have two partitions in your PC, one for Windows and the other Linux. Use Linux for browsing the internet.
Whoa! Galactic forces in alignment! I just set up my main home computer with a dual boot of windows and SUSE linux. Konqueror is a pretty slick web browser. I think anyone serious about LBYM should definitely check out linux, you get the OS, office, browser, email, cd-burning software etc. etc. in one package, with continuous updates for free! No more "oh, I have to buy the latest version of Windows for $300.". Once Windows XP becomes obsolete, I will probably go exclusively linux from that point on. It's easy to install, too, autodetected everything, no more 300 page tomes just to get the OS to see the video card!
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 11:03 PM   #26
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Sounds to me like someone's been visiting porn sites.

Well . . . I hope it features US porn and isn't one of those outsourced porn sites we're hearing about on one of the other threads.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-20-2005, 11:48 PM   #27
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Whoa!* Galactic forces in alignment!* I just set up my main home computer with a dual boot of windows and SUSE linux.* Konqueror is a pretty slick web browser.* I think anyone serious about LBYM should definitely check out linux, you get the OS, office, browser, email, cd-burning software etc. etc. in one package, with continuous updates for free!* No more "oh, I have to buy the latest version of Windows for $300.".* Once Windows XP becomes obsolete, I will probably go exclusively linux from that point on.* It's easy to install, too, autodetected everything, no more 300 page tomes just to get the OS to see the video card!
d00d, Linux is free, which means it's the favorite OS of Romanian black hats. I just did a search of CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) and got 1641 hits for Windows, and 1585 hits for Linux. Linux is defintely not a security panacea.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 01:13 AM   #28
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
d00d, Linux is free, which means it's the favorite OS of Romanian black hats.
I would think all operating systems are free if you're a Romanian black hat.

Found a "nofstab" cheat code to use when starting Knoppix, wonder if that will keep the hard drive from being touched.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 03:01 AM   #29
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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So is there any way I can get them to stop trying to get me to let them in? I get sick of the pop ups.
My firewall has a box that I can check on the pop up labeled "Remember this setting". If I check the box, the firewall will automatically deny access to the program in the future, without bothering me. (After checking the box, click deny access.)

Your firewall probably has something similar. If you ever change your mind and want Sonic to access the net, you can change the setting manually in your firewall control panel. With this method, you won't risk uninstalling a program that you may need.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 07:49 AM   #30
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
d00d, Linux is free, which means it's the favorite OS of Romanian black hats.* * I just did a search of CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) and got 1641 hits for Windows, and 1585 hits for Linux.* *Linux is defintely not a security panacea.
Ah! Sacrilege! Bow before the almighty Linux!* Plus, I'm reporting you to the NAARP (...advancement of Romanian people?) for your obvious prejudices against Romanians!*

Ya, I know it's free, I just wanted the nice CD and the book.* Ya, it's not a security panacea, the more user friendly they make it, the more vulnerable it becomes. One has to be knowledgable if your going to have a shot against those dirty Romanians, no "black box" solution is going to cut it.* Unix based OS' just makes it easier to get under the hood....plus, o.k., I have to learn to administer it for work anyway....

I know the amount of malicious code written for windows vs. Linux/Unix is on the order of 10 to 1 at least, just because a system has a vulnerability doesn't mean people are exploiting it. Black hat Romanians are interested in highest return on investment. Largest platform = largest target.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 08:28 AM   #31
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

I won't log into bank or investment accounts except on my home PC or my work PC, and I'm thinking about restricting it to home only since my work PC automatically has company software installed and has a higher likelihood of someone else using it when I'm not there.

It's been a while since I ran a spyware checker at home, but the only things it caught were the things that Windows has when you install it and a couple of ad cookies. (Media Player ID and Alexa "what's related".) I use Mozilla Firefox for all internet browsing, and that's helped keep the spyware and ads away, but its use is increasing and it's getting targeted more I think. I'm probably due for another good spyware scan and rootkit check.

By the way, hardware keyloggers exist and are the size of your keyboard plug. Probably not something to worry about at home, but at work you might trace your keyboard cord every now and then. But some keyboards have keyloggers built in, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyday
I've been looking into using something like Knoppix, where you put a DVD or CD into your computer, reboot to the Knoppix system, browse to banks and brokerages, then reboot to windows for day to day stuff.

Knoppix runs off the CD, not from your hard drive, so would be much harder to get and keep a virus or keylogger. Ideally, I'd like to have it not touch the hard drive in any way, so that there is no way something left from a windows surfing session can become a keylogger when I'm running Knoppix.

Haven't figured out yet, how to completely disable hard drive when booting Knoppix. But even as-is, it seems immeasurably more secure than windows.
Knoppix doesn't write to the hard drive unless you change the volume to read-write mode. The exception is if you have a linux swap partition on your drive it will use that unless you boot with "knoppix noswap" (no quotes).
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 10:20 AM   #32
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

BMJ, thanks for reply.

I'm not as worried about Knoppix (or other livecd) writing to the hard drive, as reading from it.
Here's my paranoid scenario:

Some crime group finds a vulnerability for someone who uses both Windows and Knoppix, and writes a Linux keylogger.
When I'm using Windows, a Windows keylogger gets installed on my systsem (no biggie for me), but while they're at it, they also install their Linux keylogger in case I use Knoppix.
Then, when I start up Knoppix, when Knoppix looks at the hard drive (either to figure what my partitions are, or some other time) the keylogger is activated because of the Knoppix vulnerability. Maybe it runs only in memory, and phones home before I shut down.

My plan is to boot to Knoppix, only surf to bank/broker, then reboot without surfing more. This seems pretty safe to me, but not perfect if my paraniod scenario above is possible.

I was thinking nofstab and noswap might help, but haven't found details online yet that I understood.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 10:31 AM   #33
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

What do you all recommend for SpyWare "cleaner" or prevention programs? Any shareware programs that are safe and good?
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 01:27 PM   #34
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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I'm probably due for another good spyware scan and rootkit check.
Some of the new rootkit programs can migrate onto your video card. This prevents detection, and reformatting the hard drive won't remove them.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 01:30 PM   #35
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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Any shareware programs that are safe and good?
Here is a list of some freeware that is pretty good:

http://castlecops.com/t116539-Guide_..._for_Free.html
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 05:00 PM   #36
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

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Originally Posted by Michael
Some of the new rootkit programs can migrate onto your video card. This prevents detection, and reformatting the hard drive won't remove them.
I'm pretty gullible...actually almost believed that for a half second. Today my girlfreind said that the day after thanksgiving is called Black Friday, cause the day after the feast, the whites turned round and slaughtered many of the natives. She got me.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-21-2005, 11:52 PM   #37
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

http://castlecops.com/a6355-Windows_...velations.html
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-22-2005, 01:23 AM   #38
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Sorry, I really thought you were kidding.

Quote:
Nonetheless, there may be Rootkits which can infect hardware components such as the video chip. These would be immune to any form of detection and removal as are currently available.
Doesn't make sense to me. But, the little bit of PC knowledge I had is long outdated.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-22-2005, 10:07 AM   #39
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Thanks for the tips. I downloaded a couple of them and they both found about the same things with some slight differences. Spydoctor was slow in scanning and then they want $$$ to clean your drive. No thanks, the free stuff found the same things only faster, and then cleaned them up for free.

I like free.
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware
Old 11-22-2005, 12:34 PM   #40
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Re: 72% of PCs have Spyware

Me too.
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