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Are programs like AdAware still recommended? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Are programs like AdAware still recommended?


Save Ferris
11-07-11, 11:46 AM
My recent project continues: I'm cobbling together a PC as a gift for a family I know who can't afford one. They have an old win98 or somesuch computer that is awful and loaded with spamware and probably a few viruses. I have tried to save it for them but it's long gone.

Anyway. The new computer they're getting will have new antivirus (kaspersky-I had an extra license) but what about anti 'ad ware' programs? Are they still useful? More trouble to upkeep? They are novices.

Any advice you guys have would be appreciated.

Raul3
11-07-11, 11:50 AM
I only use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Timber
11-07-11, 01:00 PM
I only use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Same here.

RichC2
11-07-11, 01:10 PM
I use MSE as well, I have Avast installed for viruses and such. Generally if you do get something just run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and you're good.

wmansir
11-07-11, 01:41 PM
I don't think the malware real time scanners are very effective, but Malwarebytes and SuperAnti-spyware are both good for one time scans, scheduled scans and removal.

Jay G.
11-07-11, 03:32 PM
"adware" and "viruses" have been merged into the more overall term "malware," which covers any type of bad software. Even programs like Kaspersky that still use the term "anti-virus" are more appropriately "anti-malware" and work to catch adware, spyware, trojans, etc.
http://usa.kaspersky.com/products-services/home-computer-security/anti-virus

It's very hard to say which anti-malware tool is the best, but AV Comparatives has some good reports on tests they ran on the most popular tools. They typically catch at least 90% of known malware, but do less well on unkown malware, which is why definition updates are so critical:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/

No single scanner is going to catch every piece of malware though, and malware authors are constantly trying to find ways to skirt detection. It's generally though to be not good to run two or more real-time scanners simultaneously, as they may interfere with each other. However, running the occasional manual scan with a secondary scanner like Malwarebytes free is a good idea.

In addition to anti-malware, there's always good practices to try and minimize exposure. Use a different browser than Internet Explorer; regardless of what MS does to secure it, it's just too big a target. Make sure that the software is up to date, and aim for automatic updates if possible. Make sure they know how to update programs as well; I've often seen other people's computers with a wildly out of date Adobe Reader because they don't know to click on the icon in the system tray to update it.

If using Vista or Windows 7, make sure UAC is on and set to the highest level. Then make sure they know not to just blindly click "yes" when the UAC prompt comes up.

Save Ferris
11-07-11, 04:22 PM
Yeah I remember the days when you needed the adware blockers. I am much more careful when surfing however.

printerati
11-07-11, 08:56 PM
I use MSE for real-time and Malwarebytes for manual scans.

Philly30
11-08-11, 04:43 AM
I use MSE for real-time and Malwarebytes for manual scans.

4KRG
11-08-11, 09:03 AM
"adware" and "viruses" have been merged into the more overall term "malware," which covers any type of bad software. Even programs like Kaspersky that still use the term "anti-virus" are more appropriately "anti-malware" and work to catch adware, spyware, trojans, etc.
http://usa.kaspersky.com/products-services/home-computer-security/anti-virus

It's very hard to say which anti-malware tool is the best, but AV Comparatives has some good reports on tests they ran on the most popular tools. They typically catch at least 90% of known malware, but do less well on unkown malware, which is why definition updates are so critical:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/



Well stated :)

Just want to stress 90% really means you are 10% wide fucking open!!! That is a huge hole.


No single scanner is going to catch every piece of malware though, and malware authors are constantly trying to find ways to skirt detection. It's generally though to be not good to run two or more real-time scanners simultaneously, as they may interfere with each other. However, running the occasional manual scan with a secondary scanner like Malwarebytes free is a good idea.

In addition to anti-malware, there's always good practices to try and minimize exposure.


Again, well stated. ALWAYS use a secondary scanner run on some scheduled basis (once a week/month/etc) It is not really that important what exactly the second scanner is, but just use one (Malwarebytes free is an excellent recommendation IMO)


Use a different browser than Internet Explorer; regardless of what MS does to secure it, it's just too big a target.


This point I will disagree with 100%. Firefox is just as big a target these days. This statement was true back in the IE 6 days, but not correct for IE8 + 9. If you are using an older IE, upgrade immediately.

I will also stress that IE8 or 9 is better for the novice while Firefox is probably better for an advanced user. No one size fits all here. If your users are novice, put them on the newest IE ***read my asterisks below


Make sure that the software is up to date, and aim for automatic updates if possible. Make sure they know how to update programs as well; I've often seen other people's computers with a wildly out of date Adobe Reader because they don't know to click on the icon in the system tray to update it.

If using Vista or Windows 7, make sure UAC is on and set to the highest level. Then make sure they know not to just blindly click "yes" when the UAC prompt comes up.

Again well stated, you have most of what you need to know in the above post.


now for the ***

Use a service like OpenDNS for your DNS servers on their router (and/or all their computers) it's free

http://www.opendns.com/

This will drastically close the 10% hole the anti-malware tools leave open.

if you want to go a little tighter and have more control, use DYNDNS (sign up for an account, I beleive they still have a free limited one)

http://dyn.com/dns/

On this service your end users may ask why url123.com is blocked, and you might have some 'training' to do of the users and the DNS service, but worth it in the long run.

If you want to go really extreme on them and lock them down so they can't hurt themselves and or cause you any greif, put BlueCoat K9 on their machine :)

http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

Free for home use, is really a netnanny software for kids, however, it blocks a ton of malware as well just due to the nature of what it was designed to do. I am sure your users will have problems/questions for the first several weeks of use, but once you have their must have facebook bullshit programmed in as allowed, it is usually smooth sailing from there.



So to directly answer your question, yes, some additional second manual scanners are still used, but the new edition is DNS or content blocking of some type like I stated above.

Just simply using the openDNS server IPs instead of your ISP DNS servers is a HUGE advantage over Malware.

My kids have never infected a windows machine in 7-8 years of use. Novice users are = kids IMO :)

Jay G.
11-08-11, 10:54 AM
Just want to stress 90% really means you are 10% wide fucking open!!! That is a huge hole.
To be fair, I stated "at least 90%" (although looking at the latest test, a few lesser known products didn't reach even that). There are plenty of products that capture significantly more. For example, Kaspersky caught 98.3%, while the best detection rate was 99.5%.

Also, the test doesn't really factor in the relative popularity of the given samples, i.e. how widespread each one is. It could be that a given anti-malware program captures only 90% of the given samples, but those samples cover 99.99% of infected websites. And that's not even factoring in the relative popularity of the websites.

Of course, detecting more malware is going to make you more secure, and certainly can't hurt. But even with a low detection rate (on this test) of 90% doesn't mean that a user of that software has a 10% chance of being infected when visiting a compromised page.

This point I will disagree with 100%. Firefox is just as big a target these days. This statement was true back in the IE 6 days, but not correct for IE8 + 9.
This is mainly anecdotal evidence, but I've dealt with people who've gotten infected while using IE 8, while I've never seen an infection via Chrome.

Part of the IE vulnerability may be based on the OS it's running on. For example, IE 8 has more advanced security features on Vista an 7 than it does on XP.

However, Firefox is nowhere near as big a target as IE. This article shows that IE still accounts for around half of all browser usage, while Firefox is nearer to a quarter of all browser usage, meaning IE is twice as big a target:
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/11/the-end-of-an-era-internet-explorer-drops-below-50-percent-of-web-usage.ars

Other usage stats show that IE is clearly more popular:
http://www.impressivewebs.com/browser-usage-stats/

In addition, you have to factor in the OS that's being targeted. IE users are almost all exclusively Windows users (there may be some Mac users running IE 5, while some Linux users run IE under Wine, but they're an extremely small percentage over the overall userbase). Meanwhile, with Firefox, Chrome, or even Safari, the usage is spread out over several OSes.

Aside from how attractive a target a given browser is though, IE is often considered to have more unpatched vulnerabilites than other browsers, with them going unpatched for much longer, on average, than other browsers as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_browsers#Vulnerabilities

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
11-08-11, 11:13 AM
FYI: IE 9 has an ad blocker-built in that uses the same rule sets as AdBlock.

http://jimcofer.com/personal/?p=7603

RichC2
11-08-11, 11:19 AM
I just use Chrome, it's still a fairly small target and is a shitton faster than IE or Firefox. Not sure of the ins and outs of it but I never have the issues I have with Firefox and it appears safer and faster than IE :shrug:

Save Ferris
11-08-11, 12:17 PM
Amazing amazing advice in here. Thank you all!

kefrank
11-08-11, 12:39 PM
For what it's worth, I second the recommendation of using OpenDNS as a general security measure. It takes almost no time to set up and is a really great service that offers a lot for free. If you have kids, it offers pretty good controls for limiting access to specific websites or categories of sites (adult, chat, etc). You can also do handy things like set up aliases for URLs and enable typo correction (google.cmo gets resolved to google.com).

4KRG
11-08-11, 01:23 PM
To be fair, I stated "at least 90%" (although looking at the latest test, a few lesser known products didn't reach even that). There are plenty of products that capture significantly more. For example, Kaspersky caught 98.3%, while the best detection rate was 99.5%.


:lol: let my comment rest, even 2% means you are wide open. The percentage isn't really that relevant, it only takes 1 malware to get you.




This is mainly anecdotal evidence, but I've dealt with people who've gotten infected while using IE 8, while I've never seen an infection via Chrome.

Part of the IE vulnerability may be based on the OS it's running on. For example, IE 8 has more advanced security features on Vista an 7 than it does on XP.

However, Firefox is nowhere near as big a target as IE. This article shows that IE still accounts for around half of all browser usage, while Firefox is nearer to a quarter of all browser usage, meaning IE is twice as big a target:
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/11/the-end-of-an-era-internet-explorer-drops-below-50-percent-of-web-usage.ars

Other usage stats show that IE is clearly more popular:
http://www.impressivewebs.com/browser-usage-stats/

In addition, you have to factor in the OS that's being targeted. IE users are almost all exclusively Windows users (there may be some Mac users running IE 5, while some Linux users run IE under Wine, but they're an extremely small percentage over the overall userbase). Meanwhile, with Firefox, Chrome, or even Safari, the usage is spread out over several OSes.

Aside from how attractive a target a given browser is though, IE is often considered to have more unpatched vulnerabilites than other browsers, with them going unpatched for much longer, on average, than other browsers as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_browsers#Vulnerabilities

Since you are great with googling links, how about finding a link that specifically states IE 8 or IE 9 is the "THE MOST VULNERABLE browser" that one could use?

The rest of your post is really just your opinion of IE8 + 9 based on assumptions of other data. Firefox is targeted these days, just like IE, the size of the user base itself was not the point of my comment.

X
11-08-11, 01:42 PM
Since you are great with googling links, how about finding a link that specifically states IE 8 or IE 9 is the "THE MOST VULNERABLE browser" that one could use?

The rest of your post is really just your opinion of IE8 + 9 based on assumptions of other data. Firefox is targeted these days, just like IE, the size of the user base itself was not the point of my comment.I think simply turning off ActiveX in IE makes it as secure as any other browser. I'm considering changing IE's signature to look like Mozilla so sites don't even try to use ActiveX and will render better.

kd5
11-08-11, 05:10 PM
I use MSE as well, I have Avast installed for viruses and such.

A general rule of thumb is to never run 2 real-time antivirus applications simultaneously, they will fight with each other at your expense.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a real-time antivirus/anti-malware application, as is Avast. If you're using the real-time antivirus protection in one, disable the real-time antivirus protection in the other or uninstall it.

Microsoft Security Essentials purports to do it all, so running any other real-time anti-malware applications may be hit or miss until you find one that plays well with MSE (and vice versa).

I don't typically trust any suites that purport to do it all, until I read glowing reviews from multiple sources, I can't recommend them, and I'll never recommend Norton or McAfee (overrated bloatware). Trend's suite disables Windows Defender because it wants to do it all. V-Com (now Avanquest) System Suite wants you to buy each new application version they pump out (they won't renew AV subscriptions on any prior versions anymore).

Personally, I use Avast for my real-time antivirus/anti-malware protection, SpywareBlaster for IE/Firefox protection, Windows Defender for an additional layer of real-time anti-malware protection, the free versions of SuperAntiSpyware & MalwareByte's Anti-Malware to scan my computer periodically and make sure nothing has breached the perimeter, and all this only because I'm a computer geek. On a customer's computer I install all but MalwareBytes (overkill in most cases), with plain & simple instructions on how to use them.

As far as IE is concerned, which browser you use is a personal choice. I've used both IE and Firefox, prefer IE, but will use FF if the need is great enough. Whichever browser you use demands safe surfing habits from you, the user. If you visit the seedier side of the internet, you're as likely to pick up nasties regardless of which browser you use. How you deal with what pops up on your display will determine the longevity of your operating system integrity.

Never click on popups, especially if it tells you your computer is infected with some ungodly number of trojans, etc. Instead, hit Ctrl/Alt/Del, bring up Task Manager, highlight the offending popup, and End Task. Then immediately clean up junk files, and update/scan your computer with SuperAntiSpyware (or equivalent) to be certain nothing is hiding in wait for you to restart your computer (because that's typically when the fun really begins). Clicking anywhere on the popup (even the little X in the corner to close) will (in most cases) immediately infect your computer with the very thing you're trying so hard to keep off of it.

I used to use AdAware and Spybot a long time ago, don't anymore. AdAware used to be a decent antispyware application until they started trying to "improve" it. Seems like each time they tried to "improve" it, they actually made it worse. Spybot's interface is so antiquated it isn't funny. They've been working on a new version for over 2 years, still haven't released it. Until they do, the Immunization and SD Helper features in their current version don't play well with IE 7/8 (maybe even 9). I can't really find much good to say about Spybot until they release their new version (whenever that might be).

Just my humble opinion for what it's worth, -kd5-

Groucho
11-08-11, 05:38 PM
I use MSE for real-time and Malwarebytes for manual scans.

X
11-08-11, 05:48 PM
I use MSE for real-time and Malwarebytes for manual scans.As do I.

wmansir
11-08-11, 06:23 PM
I switched from MSE to Avast because the combo of MSE + uTorrent in my system caused a DPC Latency buildup which eventually led to audio popping. There was an MSE support thread that said the support team was able to reproduce the effect with IIS, but it was going on 2 years without a fix so went back to Avast.