Real system restore??

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by blah, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. blah

    blah Guest

    Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    environment) infecting peoples computers. Whether it be spyware, adware,
    Trojans or/and viruses its a pain in the arse to disinfect. Traditionally
    you go about patching systems , real time scanning, host editing and user
    education as a first line of defence. I have found that if you give a home
    customer a limited user account they will ring you every time they want to
    install something new. If you tell them to only log in as admin to install
    stuff they just end up using the admin account all the time. Then comes
    removing the infection. As every body know this can be time-consuming often
    taking longer than it would take to backup then format the system.

    What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on one
    hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden. You have all the settings and
    individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my documents) stored and accessed
    from part 2 . When the customer uses the computer it seems like a normal
    windows xp installation. When there is an infection you just re-image
    partition 1 ( in 1 step?) with the pre configured image. None of the
    settings will be lost because the xp installation will still look for
    settings and psts, ie6 favourites, my document on part 2 ? Does anyone know
    of any software that can help me do this???
    blah, Oct 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. blah

    smerf Guest

    Search for Acronis True-Image.

    "blah" <0m.4u> wrote in message
    news:45266551$0$8376$...
    > Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    > environment) infecting peoples computers. Whether it be spyware, adware,
    > Trojans or/and viruses its a pain in the arse to disinfect. Traditionally
    > you go about patching systems , real time scanning, host editing and user
    > education as a first line of defence. I have found that if you give a home
    > customer a limited user account they will ring you every time they want to
    > install something new. If you tell them to only log in as admin to install
    > stuff they just end up using the admin account all the time. Then comes
    > removing the infection. As every body know this can be time-consuming
    > often taking longer than it would take to backup then format the system.
    >
    > What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on
    > one hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden. You have all the settings and
    > individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my documents) stored and accessed
    > from part 2 . When the customer uses the computer it seems like a normal
    > windows xp installation. When there is an infection you just re-image
    > partition 1 ( in 1 step?) with the pre configured image. None of the
    > settings will be lost because the xp installation will still look for
    > settings and psts, ie6 favourites, my document on part 2 ? Does anyone
    > know of any software that can help me do this???
    >
    smerf, Oct 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. blah wrote:

    > What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on one
    > hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden. You have all the settings and
    > individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my documents) stored and accessed
    > from part 2 . When the customer uses the computer it seems like a normal
    > windows xp installation. When there is an infection you just re-image
    > partition 1 ( in 1 step?) with the pre configured image. None of the
    > settings will be lost because the xp installation will still look for
    > settings and psts, ie6 favourites, my document on part 2 ? Does anyone know
    > of any software that can help me do this???


    Hm.. what should stop the malware to plant itself into arbitrary executable
    settings locations?

    Anyway else, why do you think any special software was needed for such a
    scenario?
    Sebastian Gottschalk, Oct 6, 2006
    #3
  4. From: "blah" <0m.4u>

    | Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    | environment) infecting peoples computers. Whether it be spyware, adware,
    | Trojans or/and viruses its a pain in the arse to disinfect. Traditionally
    | you go about patching systems , real time scanning, host editing and user
    | education as a first line of defence. I have found that if you give a home
    | customer a limited user account they will ring you every time they want to
    | install something new. If you tell them to only log in as admin to install
    | stuff they just end up using the admin account all the time. Then comes
    | removing the infection. As every body know this can be time-consuming often
    | taking longer than it would take to backup then format the system.
    |
    | What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on one
    | hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden. You have all the settings and
    | individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my documents) stored and accessed
    | from part 2 . When the customer uses the computer it seems like a normal
    | windows xp installation. When there is an infection you just re-image
    | partition 1 ( in 1 step?) with the pre configured image. None of the
    | settings will be lost because the xp installation will still look for
    | settings and psts, ie6 favourites, my document on part 2 ? Does anyone know
    | of any software that can help me do this???
    |

    When it comes to malware, this is NOT a good scheme. The second partition data can/will be
    affected by malware.

    --
    Dave
    http://www.claymania.com/removal-trojan-adware.html
    http://www.ik-cs.com/got-a-virus.htm
    David H. Lipman, Oct 6, 2006
    #4
  5. blah

    Moe Trin Guest

    On Sat, 7 Oct 2006, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <45266551$0$8376$>, blah wrote:

    >It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home environment)
    >infecting peoples computers. Whether it be spyware, adware, Trojans or/and
    >viruses its a pain in the arse to disinfect.


    Yes, it's amazing the crap that users install, and then blame the Mal-ware
    Fairy for sneaking in during the night, waving the magic wand, and installing
    viruses, spyware and the like.

    >Traditionally you go about patching systems , real time scanning, host
    >editing and user education as a first line of defence.


    We've found that patching and user education is all that is needed. The
    problem is nearly all users have no desire to learn anything and as a
    result are at or beyond their skill level just trying to turn on the
    computer.

    >I have found that if you give a home customer a limited user account they
    >will ring you every time they want to install something new.


    Yes, they don't get the connection of "installing something" (that they
    have absolutely no idea what it might be) and all that mal-ware.

    >Then comes removing the infection. As every body know this can be
    >time-consuming often taking longer than it would take to backup then
    >format the system.


    Yes, I miss the good old days of really destructive viruses that trashed
    the hard disk, and having the _user_ have to find the floppies that had
    the last good backup (yeah, right) or the original applications. Some
    users actually learned after the fifth or sixth incident that blindly
    installing crap might not be the best idea.

    >What I was thinking (which is nothing new)


    What, you thinking, or the concept below? ;-)

    >is having two partitions on one hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden.
    >You have all the settings and individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my
    >documents) stored and accessed from part 2 .


    How do you plan to keep the data from being corrupted when our hero
    installs the latest malware de heure, yet still allow the user to save
    my documents, or what-ever?

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Oct 6, 2006
    #5
  6. "blah" <0m.4u> wrote in message
    news:45266551$0$8376$...
    > Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    > environment) infecting peoples computers. Whether it be spyware, adware,
    > Trojans or/and viruses its a pain in the arse to disinfect. Traditionally
    > you go about patching systems , real time scanning, host editing and user
    > education as a first line of defence. I have found that if you give a home
    > customer a limited user account they will ring you every time they want to
    > install something new. If you tell them to only log in as admin to install
    > stuff they just end up using the admin account all the time. Then comes
    > removing the infection. As every body know this can be time-consuming
    > often taking longer than it would take to backup then format the system.
    >
    > What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on
    > one hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden. You have all the settings and
    > individual data (psts, ie6 favourites, my documents) stored and accessed
    > from part 2 . When the customer uses the computer it seems like a normal
    > windows xp installation. When there is an infection you just re-image
    > partition 1 ( in 1 step?) with the pre configured image. None of the
    > settings will be lost because the xp installation will still look for
    > settings and psts, ie6 favourites, my document on part 2 ? Does anyone
    > know of any software that can help me do this???
    >

    You are looking for a technology solution to a human failing.
    If a customer refuses to educate themselves, and decides on
    convenience rather than security there is nothing you can do about it.
    Perhaps just enjoy the extra work and income which the stupidity will
    generate for you.

    If they choose the convenience of web surfing with an admin account,
    you can not protect them from their own stupidity. Same as leaving
    a wallet or computer on the front seat of an unlocked car.

    It's also about our warped notion of a bargain - we shop for cars by
    'glitz' and low cost. It would only cost about $100 per car to make it
    totally
    theft proof, but the public does not place value on that.

    The whole computer security problem will go away as soon as those
    responsible for computer purchases insist on having security built in, and
    the expense of 'neat features', instead of added on by extra costs programs
    and patches.

    Stuart
    Stuart Miller, Oct 6, 2006
    #6
  7. blah

    Guest

    blah wrote:
    > Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    > environment) infecting peoples computers.

    <snip>
    >
    > What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on one
    > hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden.

    <snip>

    Unless you fundamentally change the way the content is stored there is
    no advantage to doing this - that means either encrypting the backup or
    writing it in such a way that the malware has great difficulty in
    reading it.

    AIR, Norton Ghost allows you to encrypt the backup and you can boot up
    a slim Ghost environment from floppy disks.

    The way I've done it before is to have Linux and the backup residing on
    a Reiser or ext3 filesystem along side the backup and using 'dd' to
    image the drive. Its not the most robust solution for recovery but it
    gives great isolation at very low cost. If you set Linux as the
    default, you can get it to restore in the middle of the night. I never
    found an easy way of rebotting to Windowds afterwards though.

    C.
    , Oct 8, 2006
    #7
  8. wrote:

    > blah wrote:
    >> Hello people. It seems these days that there is just more crap (in a home
    >> environment) infecting peoples computers.

    > <snip>
    >>
    >> What I was thinking (which is nothing new), is having two partitions on one
    >> hdd. Part 1 = windows Part 2= hidden.

    > <snip>
    >
    > Unless you fundamentally change the way the content is stored there is
    > no advantage to doing this - that means either encrypting the backup or
    > writing it in such a way that the malware has great difficulty in
    > reading it.


    I'm still puzzled about the inability of many people to read content. So,
    once again, what he wrote:

    c: - Windows
    d: - settings and data, transparently mounted on C:

    In case of infection: replace c: with backup from external media, keep d:


    Actually the real clever people would separate the Windows installation,
    the boot partition, a swap partition, a partition with all settings, a
    partition with all programs and a partition with all data + Windows
    Desktops + temporary data, so one can backup each one separately, including
    making image backups of all, no backups of the swap partition and
    incremental backups of the data partition..

    And the problem with mixing settings and data would be that there are
    various way to change settings though that included malware can be easily
    launched.
    Sebastian Gottschalk, Oct 8, 2006
    #8
  9. blah

    Han Guest

    If you keep all partitions on 1 hard drive, you need good backups in case
    of drive failure. Better to have several drives, and/or computers.
    --
    Best regards
    Han
    email address is invalid
    Han, Oct 8, 2006
    #9
  10. Han wrote:

    > If you keep all partitions on 1 hard drive, you need good backups in case
    > of drive failure.


    Indeed, that's what the careful partitioning is good for.

    > Better to have several drives, and/or computers.


    Hm... what about notebooks? Hard to get an additional drive in there, and
    carrying around one isn't a good option either.
    Sebastian Gottschalk, Oct 8, 2006
    #10
  11. From: "Sebastian Gottschalk" <>

    | Han wrote:
    |
    >> If you keep all partitions on 1 hard drive, you need good backups in case
    >> of drive failure.

    |
    | Indeed, that's what the careful partitioning is good for.
    |
    >> Better to have several drives, and/or computers.

    |
    | Hm... what about notebooks? Hard to get an additional drive in there, and
    | carrying around one isn't a good option either.

    With USB based multi-GB Flash RAM drives sub-minature hard drives, this is becoming a more
    viable option on portable computing platforms.

    --
    Dave
    http://www.claymania.com/removal-trojan-adware.html
    http://www.ik-cs.com/got-a-virus.htm
    David H. Lipman, Oct 8, 2006
    #11
  12. blah

    Notan Guest

    Sebastian Gottschalk wrote:
    >
    > Han wrote:
    >
    > > If you keep all partitions on 1 hard drive, you need good backups in case
    > > of drive failure.

    >
    > Indeed, that's what the careful partitioning is good for.
    >
    > > Better to have several drives, and/or computers.

    >
    > Hm... what about notebooks? Hard to get an additional drive in there, and
    > carrying around one isn't a good option either.


    iPod?

    Notan
    Notan, Oct 9, 2006
    #12
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