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  1. #1
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    Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    This fortnight's edition of Windows Secrets Newsletter continues the account of anti-spyware and anti-adware software started in the previous fortnight's edition, pointed to by Big Al in <post#=447496>post 447496</post#>.

    It is <big>well</big> worth reading these Newsletters IMHO, perhaps even paying as much (or as little!) as you like for the paid-for version!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  2. #2
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    It's a good article, John. The more I read of the growth of the malware problem, and the apparently widening gap between -ware and anti-ware, the more I tend to think in terms of education and knowledge to prevent/ solve the problems, rather than trying to play catchup with software solutions.

    There are some basics mentioned in that article, that seem to remain the mainstay for manually dealing with these threats:

    - Safe Mode
    - Run, RunOnce registry keys (+ other StartUps)
    - Browser and e-mail program security settings
    - BHO objects and ActiveX
    - Firewall
    - Reinstating winsock

    My point is that if a user has knowledge of these aspects, they are in a position to block out an awful lot of malware or, failing that, to regain sufficient control of an afflicted computer to start to move on specific problems from there. Even if they go no further (clean the junk out etc.) they can still disable the parasites and get their computer "back".

    <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>
    Alan

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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    There is just no substitute for "safe computing". It's like seatbelts in automobiles. If you don't use them, YOU are responsible for the damage, no matter who you try to blame it on.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    So true. I saw a gem of wisdom once, saying something like "Security is not an operating system or a piece of software. It's a mindset, a philosophy, code of practice." I too get sick and tired of people grasping out for someone to blame (other than themselves). More often than not it ends up being Bill Gates. Lucky he's got the money to replace his shirt collars on a regular basis. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    The worst ones are those who pick up on some snippet of BS, then preach it without having the vaguest inkling as to what the drivel actually means.
    A "loud" relative at Xmas time: "Windows is a 32-bit patch for a 16-bit GUI shell running on top of an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company who cannot stand 1 bit of competition."
    ME: "What's a bit?"
    Relative: No reply, your honour... takes another drink.

    Anyway, I'm starting to winge from my soapbox again, aren't I Charlotte? <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> Time to go <img src=/S/hushmouth.gif border=0 alt=hushmouth width=16 height=16>

    Alan

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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    <hr>Security is not an operating system<hr>
    That, would depend on your OS, wouldn't it <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23> <img src=/S/hiding.gif border=0 alt=hiding width=70 height=24>. I spent a few hours on Friday downloading and running the MS beta anti-malware product. I avoid MS stuff, out of principle, but decided to download this per the recommendation in the Window's secrets newsletter. It found one obsure thingy that ad-aware and S&D had missed??? Since I had much too much time on my hands while it was running I began to think about the relevance of MS coming out with (yet another) <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware product that will likely become so popular (i.e. as did VHS vs. betaxax) that all the other will disappear from view. That will leave only MS with a (likely no-longer) <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> product to protect your MS OS. Wouldn't have been nice if they had build an OS that was (mostly) bullet-proof. Ooops - I'll get off my soapbox too, and spend a few more hours surfing with Safari ... <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

  6. #6
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    <hr>That, would depend on your OS, wouldn't it <hr> but then <hr>... an OS that was (mostly) bullet-proof<hr>I think you might see the point behind the original statement "Security is not an operating system". You shouldn't be depending entirely on an OS (or any other combination of components) to "automatically" take care of security for you. The onus must ultimately fall back on the user, which in turn requires education, <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23>, safe hex practices etc. I liken the situation to some drivers who, rather than learn to drive properly, will buy a Volvo because it supposedly provides the best protection when all those accidents just "happen". Any OS security can be breached if the attacker is determined enough and if there is a way in available to them.

    Just a note on the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware definition. Depending on where you're coming from, freeware is software offered at no cost, with no conditions and no strings attached whatsoever. I think you'll find that most/ all MS "free" software doesn't pass these criteria, since the EULA always includes some legal requirements. Just a bit of pedantry, but the purists would argue about the new MS AV being true freeware.

    I recall "guessing" in another post that you were a "Beta-man" when VCRs first appeared, but you didn't comment. I presume that is correct?

    Alan

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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    I have seen NOTHING that states that this MS beta spyware is going to be <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware, if you have please provide link.

    Having just installed it found on one entry that Ad-aware did not find.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  8. #8
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    Actually I never owned a VCR until long after the demise of betamax. Now I have to sort out the challenges of finding VCRs that handle the UK version of PAL (apparently the audio is different) here in Swizerland (Mrs. Bowlie likes to save stuff of the UK Sattelite channels.) However I do use both beta and VHS ... er make that both OS X and XP in my private and professional life. Our IT team in the office is very good, but I am finding that I have to spend much more time on 'routine maintainance' in the office than at home.

    Sorry Dave, I shouldn't have suggested that the MS product was <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware. It isn't, as I'm sure we will all become aware when they are the only product left.

  9. #9
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    This goes along with ALL of the other products that MS is the ONLY supplier of, NONE.

    The only OS - NO
    The only browser - NO
    The only email program - NO
    The only media player - NO

    Can anyone name any product type that MS is the only supplier?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    For most loungers, no Dave, but ask your 'average Joe' computer user, and it's a fair bet that MS software IS all they know. And I'm not even going to try and discuss all the reasons why this should be so & whether it's a good or bad thing- I'll leave that up to everyone else!
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
    <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18> Ducking the arrows in Robin Hood country <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Lyra_J_sig.gif ALT="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!" title="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!">

  11. #11
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    Unfortunately MS is a very big target, and gets more than it's fair share of all the BS floating around:
    - largest installed base, so it's the easiest target for hackers to aim at.
    - big corporation, so it is 'politically correct' for the press and any activists to try to knock it down.
    - most used OS, so it's all that most users know anything about.
    Unix (some flavour of) is often touted as a "safe" OS. I use Unix off a server at work, and our techies are frequently adding security patches, but these don't get mentioned anywhere.
    I'd be willing to bet that if firefox (or another browser) were to take over as the "standard" the hackers would turn their attention to breaking it, and they WOULD be able to.
    It's a tough world out there.

  12. #12
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  13. #13
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    You are right Dave, but do you know what really worries me;

    MS buying the makers of Virtual PC, which allows Macs to run XP (and other versions of Windows) (of which MS is now the only provider)
    MS buying up (left, right and centre) spyware and antivirus companies
    MS being convicted in US courts and by the Europen Commission of breaking anti-trust laws,
    MS paying their fines, but 'apparently' not changing their behaviour

    What do you call a 200kg Gorilla? <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Sir! <img src=/S/frown.gif border=0 alt=frown width=15 height=15>

  14. #14
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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    OK, children, let's not degenerate into a thread on Microsoft's alleged misbehaviors, please. <!rule=11>Rule 11<!/rule> is waiting to get you. <img src=/S/scold.gif border=0 alt=scold width=50 height=15>
    Charlotte

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    Re: Windows Secrets Newsletter (again!)

    Yes your highness <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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