Author Topic: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???  (Read 3776 times)

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Offline Golden

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Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« on: January 30, 2012, 08:29:53 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I've been a member over at SevenForums for a while now, and on occasion I try to help out some people with malware threats in the Security sub-forum - mostly it seems to be advising people NOT to attempt Combofix on their own (I seem to be successful at this!), or calling in the experts (our own Corinne gets regular requsts from me!). Other than that, it would be just general advice that I hope keeps some poeple out of trouble.

I've watched Corinne at work, and her knowlege is impressive to say the least. The only time I have never seen Corinne make a reply is in the ubiquitous "Which anti-virus is the best?". I've learnt enough now to know that any single product is not neccessarily foolproof, and the signature databases outdated quickly by the rapid emergence of new threats/varaints. For the record, I've layered myself with MSE, Malwarebytes, WinPatrol, hardware+software firewall and a bootable Bitdefender in case its needed. I was using Norton Safe Web Lite until recently, but have uninstalled that with the problems that Symantec are having keeping their business secure.....I'm not sure WoT is all its cut out to be either.....

My question really I suppose is why don't trained malware fighters recommend off-the-shelf anti-malware/anti-virus solutions? Do they know something us mere mortals don't? is it because they have the knowlege to run Combofix and other hardcore tools if required? Are all these products pretty much the same? Or is it simply because they are more aware than others, and tend not to get into "trouble"?

Regards,
Golden

Offline Corrine

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Re: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 04:10:07 PM »
G'day Golden!

First, thank you so much for the compliment.   :hug:

You're right, the "Which anti-virus is the best" topics at Seven Forums are indeed ubiquitous -- to the point of being viral at times.  Some of the posts appear to be the OP's need for reassurance that they are protected.  Others are more along the lines of pushing their personal favorite.  (I'm sure you've noticed the repeated reference by some long-time members of their particular favorites.)

One reason I try not to "pass judgement" on another person's choice of A/V and other security software is that it is their computer, their investment.   Unless I am aware of something questionable about the program of choice, if it is working for them, it isn't my place to try to get them to change.  In fact, it irritates me no end when I see someone with a paid (licensed) A/V installed and someone comes along recommending that they replace it with something else -- generally their particular favorite.

Certainly, we have both seen in the BSOD topics at Seven Forums and Tech Support Forum that there are instances where the A/V being used can be pointed to as the cause of the BSODs and replacement by MSE solves the problem.  That isn't to say that using a different A/V would also solve the problem -- which is most likely due to some conflict with other program(s) installed on the computer.  Otherwise, the problem would be universal.

There are products I no longer recommend when asked, which has reduced the free options that I recommend when asked to MSE and Avast (see Products with Ask Toolbar - Calendar Of Updates). 

If you spend time in various security forums other than here, of course, (i.e., Bleeping Computer, Geeks to Go, What the Tech, Malware Removal) you'll note that some analysts post a standard "closing speech", while others will tailor it to the security software that the person is already using, which is my preference.

Do I have favorites?  You bet, and I have frequently indicated that MSE is my favorite free A/V and that ESET is my favorite licensed program.  It isn't a matter of the products being essentially the same, although of course there is an overlap in definitions because each vendor will attempt to get the latest threats into detection as quickly as possible.  Some products seem to be targeted more toward Enterprise customers than consumers.  Others have a more complex interface. 

Another point is that those of us who have been around the security arena longer well remember the days of product wars.  In particular, that applies to the "LandzDown Team". 

Bottom line, no, it has nothing to do with any training in using specialized tools or some kind of insider knowledge.  Rather, it is (or should be) both helping getting the computer cleaned and, just as important, providing information for keeping it that way.

BTW, from your replies at Seven Forums, Golden, I know that you have already picked up on the fact that having an up-to-date A/V and software/hardware firewall are not sufficient to protect your computer.  You've also learned the importance of updating third-party software such as Java and Adobe products as well as safe surfing and the dangers of P2P programs and your recognition of issues seems to be increasing all the time.  Have you considered malware removal training?

__________

P.S.  I just discovered the links to the topics at Seven Forums.  I guess I'd better head over that way and see if they're under control yet.  I seriously dislike "pile-on" threads where several people have already recommended multiple suggested fixes and, unless they've totally missed something key, I tend to avoid responding there.  I've learned that unless the OP returns saying nothing worked, its better staying away from the free-for-all situations.


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Offline Golden

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Re: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 11:14:47 AM »
Hi Corinne,

Thank you very much for the reply - its exactly the mature, well-thought through reply I wanted to hear, and its completely answered my question. It's one of those specialised questions that couldn't be asked on a general purpose forum.

Concerning malware removal training, actually yes, it has crossed my mind more than once. I've never really followed it through for a few reasons:

- Am I sufficiently qualified to even consider it? I have no formal computer qualifications at all - everything I have leant has been as a hobby in my own spare time, and I've always assumed that some formal qualifications are a pre-requisite.

- I have a full-time job as a geologist. Is it possible to undertake malware removal training on a part-time adhoc basis?

Perhaps you could offer some insight?

Thanks for the compliments by the way : I entered SevenForums thinking that I could simply recommend a scanning a with a batch of different malware software, but shortly after watching yourself, and also Jacee, at work, I very quickly realised there was far more too it. The little I have learnt in this area can be directly attributable to you and Jacee. Its quite entertaining watching you guys at work.....I will occasionally attempt to read a DDS output when you guys request it, but its like ancient Greek to me  :blink:

Thanks again for your thorough reply,
Golden

Offline Basil

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Re: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 04:13:41 PM »
- I have a full-time job as a geologist. Is it possible to undertake malware removal training on a part-time adhoc basis?

Hi Golden,
As I am a drop out from the Malware Removal University, http://www.malwareremoval.com/university.php I thought I will try and give you my opinion and my experience on the issue of malware removal training.

I am self taught in computing and, about 4 years ago, and while I was holding a demanding full time job ( I am now retired), I applied to the malware removal university and got accepted for training.
I found that the training was absolutely first class, but after about a year, I had to drop out. The reason was that, at the time, I could not give the time and particularly the commitment needed  for successfully completing the course. I found that I had to give many hours of very hard work and this was not possible for me.
As I am very interested in computer security, I feel very sad that I had to take that decision.

I understand that a lot of people underestimate the commitment required, and as a result the drop out rate from such courses is quite high.

As a result of the partial training I had, and although I am not able to help people clean their infected machines, I think I am a lot more aware of the dangers of getting infected, and how to minimise the risks. I have not suffered any infection of any kind for more than 3 years.

I must admit, however, that having tried the training, I now have immense admiration and respect for al those volunteers that help us improve our knowledge and keep our computers safe.... :flowers:

By all means, consider training but, please, do not underestimate the commitment and the dedication required.

I would, of course, love to read Corrine's valued opinion on the mater.



Offline Golden

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Re: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 12:47:48 PM »
Hi Basil,

Thanks for an honest and informative reply. Its answered a lot of my questions. I agree it would be interesting to see Corinne's view on this.

Regards,
Golden

Offline Corrine

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Re: Recommended anti-malware/virus products???
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 02:09:47 PM »
The training at MRU is most definitely first rate.  The site was specifically created for training analysis and malware removal rather than as a "sideline" that evolved. 

As to training on an "ad hoc basis", there are certain time constraints when in training, but they are not unreasonable.  In other words, once you begin a practice log, there is a time requirement for completing it.  There is also a required waiting period after completing a log so that the trainee takes a break and doesn't burn out.


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.