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  1. #1
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    MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Since many people are talking about how great MS AntiSpyware is I thought that even if it is a beta release I will try it.

    Whenever I first try to use a new program such as anti-spyware or anti-virus I first look at the different kind of settings, the help file and then do a complete scan (obviously with new definition files. In this case I can't get MSAS to connect to Internet, but first some other thoughts/questions).

    Then if I decide that it's a program to keep using, I look at the real-time protection to decide if it's of any use. That is, I normally don't activate real-time protection in the first place. Only in the case of anti-virus (some people even don't do that, but anti-virus is not the issue for my post).

    So after install of MS AntiSpyware, I looked at settings and turned of real-time protection and scan schedule. At some point late yesterday I thought I also saw some setting about load at start, but now I can't find any such. I think it was the enable/disable Security Agents under Settings>Real-time protection.

    Now I have MSAS at start and in the tray (notification area, whatever). Is there a setting inside the program that can stop start on boot? I found a setting that will hide icon in tray. Why should I have a process running if I have turned of real-time protection? The pop-up say "Microsoft AntiSpyware - Active", oh how secure I'm feeling. A right click tells me security agents are disabled.

    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37>
    It shall be interesting to see the final product. It was a long time ago since I saw such a complete lack of consistent interface! If you look at first view "System summary" and under "Spyware scan" right side click "Scan options" you find scan settings, OK. Then top right an arrow and "Back to Spyware Summary" now you're "back" but not from where you came, you're viewing Spyware Scan (one of the three main views). If you then click "Scan Options" to the left you will not get the same view as previously etc. Scan result can be presented in many different ways etc. OK, it's a beta release, sometimes they change a lot when final products ships, but sometimes they don't.
    <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>

    As to updates, new definitions, I don't now what to do. I disabled auto update, that's all, to try manual at first. With a working connection to Internet I clicked File > Check for updates. Result: could not detect an Internet connection. Tried to add the program manually to ZoneAlarm Program Control, either the updater or the main program, it didn't find any Internet connection. Either I am doing something wrong or the site isn't up.

    ZoneAlarm, some versions ago it would add almost every program running needed or not. Now that is not the case, only programs trying to connect to Internet, so it's working OK with e-mail, anti-virus update, SpywareBlaster etc.

    Regards,
    Argus

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Hi Argus, there is a list of files that need to have access through the firewall from:- options / settings / then click on SpyNet antispyware community, there you will find a link to "information for software firewall users" this gives a list of all the files that need access to the web. HTH. gws.

  3. #3
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Hi gws,
    Yep, found the list, thanks. First, after adding the files to firewall, it didn't work. Then closed Firefox (that was open in background) and opened IE, and update worked! No definition files needed. Then later, tried again, now it downloaded the latest def. I sure hope they will fix some way to show download progress, since you don't know if it's 50 kB, 500 kB or 1-2 MB.

    Now if I only could stop the program from start at boot.

    Regards,
    Argus

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Hi Argus, If you go to http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/fr...autoruns.shtml and download their autorun utility you should be able to disable the auto startup at boot time.Otherwise you will find the registry key at HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer ShellExecuteHooks. Cheers gws.

  5. #5
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Hi,
    Thanks for advice. I already have Autoruns and some other of their great programs. So I did think of that possibility, but thought at first maybe there is a way inside the program.

    Regards,
    Argus

  6. #6
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Another way of disabling programs which run at startup time is to start Spybot - Search and Destroy in "Advanced" mode, where you get a list of options in the left-hand pane including Tools. Click on that, then on System Startup, and remove the tick in front of each program you wish to prevent running at startup time... You can always restore the ticks on a later run if you find you actually need the program.

    On my XP Pro box, only roughly half of the programs now have a tick in front of them...

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

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    I have (or had) MS loaded at work, alongside AdAware SE personal and SpyBot.
    I conducted a completely unprofessional experiment to see which was 'better' between MS and AdAware.
    I ran a full sweep using MS and it found 0 objects. I then loaded the latest definitions, just to be sure, and ran MS again. Again, it found absolutely nothing.
    Then I ran AdAware SE Personal (I neglected to configure my proxy server so I couldn't download new definitions - I was using defs from last October) and AdAware found 22 objects it considered dangerous.
    Granted, it's all a matter of what MS vs. AdAware considers a 'dangerous object', but the idea that AdAware found 22 things that MS didn't - with definitions 6 months old - gave me reason to wonder.
    I uninstalled MS - this wasn't the only reason, though. At work we're required to use McAfee AV and are also required to do all software updates via SMS - a Microsoft product, I believe. Yet every time I received a McAfee def file, SMS was blocked by AntiSpyware - I got the prompt to allow it to access the internet, and there was the checkbox to tell MS to let it access the net all the time without blocking it - but the thing is, that checkbox HAS been checked since I installed MS AntiSpyware and it apparently does nothing. So rather than going to get a cuppa while McAfee or any other SW update loads, I have to sit here and wait for MSAS to ask me if it's ok. So goodbye, MSAS.

    And that's the way it is. Nothing definitive, really just my 2 cents' worth.
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  8. #8
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    Re: MS AntiSpyware, some thoughts and questions

    Don,
    If what AdAware found (that MSAS didn't) were dataminers/cookies - which AdAware defines as 'critical' - then the reason MSAS didn't find them is that MSAS isn't actually programmed to look for them! According to what I've read over the past few weeks on the MS Newsgroups, it would seem that MS haven't yet made up their minds whether to include scanning for dataminers/cookies in the full release (whenever that might be).
    If AdAware actually found 'malicious' spyware that MSAS didn't, then that's an entirely different matter, and one that we should all be concerned about.
    Following (excellent) advice in this forum, I've been running MSAS, in conjunction with AdAware and Spybot S&D for some time now and the combination (touch wood) seems to be working for me.
    HTH
    Keith

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