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blackturbokitty

Prevent viruses

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It's surprisingly very easy to avoid viruses. These are some good points to keep in mind:

1. Try to keep your operating system up to date as much as possible. You're just asking for trouble running a Windows OS that Microsoft no longer provides updates for. Windows XP and on does all of this for you if you remember to set to automatically download the updates.

2. Run up to date viruse scanner from a reputable company. Leave it's real time shields enabled.

3. Dont use Internet Explorer. It never was secure and never will be. Besides, things work better in pretty much every other browser and your safer from viruses.

4. Be careful what you install and if it seems very strange, dont use it.

5. Be careful what you click on.

6. Avoid porn, and sites providing torrents or warez as much as possible.

7. Facebook applications and games can be full of viruses, you should pretty much avoid most of those. They provide no value anyways.

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4. 5. 6. 7. If it sounds too good to be true, it will probably harm your computer. :D

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I'll add that 7zip might help finding a lot of hidden malware as you can open most exe with it and see if there is some malicious exe inside.

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A great online virus scanner is found at virustotal.com, which scans files up to 32MB in size. They scan each file with 40-45 top antivirus engines. As they say, they "analyze files to quickly detect viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware". I scan *everything* I download (before opening it) with VirusTotal. (And that even includes JPEGs.) They analyze and give results back very quickly.

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It's surprisingly very easy to avoid viruses. These are some good points to keep in mind:

1. Try to keep your operating system up to date as much as possible. You're just asking for trouble running a Windows OS that Microsoft no longer provides updates for. Windows XP and on does all of this for you if you remember to set to automatically download the updates.

Patches are great at fixing known vulnerabilities, unfortunately you need to consider 0day exploits and unknowns.

2. Run up to date viruse scanner from a reputable company. Leave it's real time shields enabled.

This is reactive, not security.

3. Dont use Internet Explorer. It never was secure and never will be. Besides, things work better in pretty much every other browser and your safer from viruses.

*If* you know what you're doing, IE is the most secure browser for Windows. I'm not a fanboy, but IE doesn't deserve most of the hatred.

4. Be careful what you install and if it seems very strange, dont use it.

Common sense. Unfortunately eveything seems strange at some point.

5. Be careful what you click on.

Why?

6. Avoid porn, and sites providing torrents or warez as much as possible.

Don't go on the Internet?

7. Facebook applications and games can be full of viruses, you should pretty much avoid most of those. They provide no value anyways.

I don't actually know anything about FaceBook apps. I guess this is correct.

Rather than relying on common and ineffective security theory, why not actually create an effective layered system? Use ACLs to deny execute permission on temp folders for the standard users, configure your browser(s) to run under alternate credentials without read/write access to sensitive areas of the system, and the same alternate credentials technique can be used to run services that do not actually require NT Authority\Local System or other unusual priveleges.You can also use GPO to limit application access to other areas of the system and/or user accounts.

The ACLs I specified to deny execute permission on temp folders can be applied to autorun/load locations in the registry. This I why I specify separate accounts; if by some miracle a malicious application exploits something, even with administrative priveleges write access to locations can be limited to specified accounts instead of groups.

Also remember that every realtime security application you add to a system increases the complexity and attack surface of the system.

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[The ACLs I specified ...

With all due respect :) you didn't specify anything, you vaguely cited ACL's, temp folders, alternate credentials, sensitive areas of the system, services that do not actually require NT Authority\Local System or other unusual priveleges and GPO's.

I do like the approach :thumbup , but it would be interesting if you could provide some examples, lists of the services, etc.

jaclaz

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[The ACLs I specified ...

With all due respect :) you didn't specify anything, you vaguely cited ACL's, temp folders, alternate credentials, sensitive areas of the system, services that do not actually require NT Authority\Local System or other unusual priveleges and GPO's.

I do like the approach :thumbup , but it would be interesting if you could provide some examples, lists of the services, etc.

jaclaz

Touche

I did a rather involved writeup of the general concept a few years ago, I'll see if I can dig up a copy tonight. If I can't, I'll post it when I get back home tomorrow morning-ish. I listed out the various autorun locations, permission examples, and some general guidelines for this.

Unfortunately, this approach can sometimes require tailoring to specific environments; the concepts remain the same though.

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7. Facebook applications and games can be full of viruses, you should pretty much avoid most of those. They provide no value anyways.

7... I can't play facebook games because (for some reason) Facebook says it is OK for app developers to use XSS. Since my browser security blocks XSS, none of the programs work properly. Those games were fun when they were written responsibly. And to think, Zynga actually says "enable an XSS exception for Facebook domains" No way pal...

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I did a rather involved writeup of the general concept a few years ago, I'll see if I can dig up a copy tonight. If I can't, I'll post it when I get back home tomorrow morning-ish. I listed out the various autorun locations, permission examples, and some general guidelines for this.

That would be very nice :).

Unfortunately, this approach can sometimes require tailoring to specific environments; the concepts remain the same though.

Well, I don't think that anyone is pretending to deliver (or get) the "ultimate solution to all virus/malware problems", but having both the concepts and some practical examples may help to put some corks in the bigger holes, the boat would not become "perfect", but still it would ship less water ;).

jaclaz

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