Avast! replacement

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Robert Baer, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    I understand a large amount of virus protection can be obtained by
    using a router.
    So my questions are: how much protection (WRT Avast!)?
    And,which router is best for that?
    Robert Baer, Mar 21, 2014
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  2. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    Router = NAT
    = small amount of protection from worms
    = no protection from viruses/trojans
    = no protection from rootkits

    Some routers themselves, can be "tipped over" from
    the Internet side. Some routers have such poor security
    from the Internet side, it "would make Jesus cry". A hole
    was recently found in some Asus products, where a disk
    drive connected to a USB port on their routers, could be
    viewed by people on the Internet (when it wasn't supposed
    to be visible). For that particular issue, if you don't
    connect a hard drive to the USB port on the router, there
    is no problem.


    You buy a router, for the routing function. If using
    NAT to connect to the Internet, you want a router with
    "stateful packet inspection". SPI checks sequence
    numbers on packets, on a particular connection, as
    a means of detecting some kind of spoofing.


    NAT makes it less likely, that unsolicited connections
    from the outside, will be able to do things to your LAN
    computers. If you punch holes in the NAT, with Port Forwarding
    or by enabling the DMZ (demilitarized zone for gaming servers),
    then that protection is diminished. Some protocols will require
    doing things to the router, that weaken the overall level of
    protection (thin as it is).

    As far as I know, things like Skype can punch through a NAT
    router, so you don't have to worry about Skype. But some
    other protocols, would need help to get through.

    This is what your router stops, in terms of malware.
    Just things like Sasser.


    Much of the malware, you download it, then run it on
    your PC and then your PC tips over. An AV can do a
    real time check, scan the file as the OS tries to load
    it, and stop the action in its tracks (with certain
    kinds of heuristic detection). If you have a habit of
    clicking on any ole thing, you want a strong (subscription
    based) AV present on the computer.

    Sites like AV-Comparatives, can provide comparisons of
    how effective the various AV programs are. So you can then
    judge for yourself, whether the "free" ones are good enough.


    I would say, for a "click monkey" (careless Internet surfer),
    no protection is strong enough. In tests, people have sat at
    computers, and just clicked all the buttons they could find
    on poker sites, porn sites, hacker haven web pages, and the
    like, and after about a day, the computer is so infested,
    mouse clicks no longer register. So if you're that idiotic,
    nothing is going to help. If you see a button that says "Download",
    think for a moment about what site you're on, and how safe it
    might be to click. Also make sure you've disabled certain
    "direct execution" options.

    To give an example, PDF files are allowed to contain
    Javascript code inside them. Adobe thought it would be
    a good idea, to extend the attack surface on a PDF, by
    adding another form of code to them. You can go into
    the Acrobat Preferences, and disable Javascript. You can also
    go into the browser MIME settings, and set the PDF file type
    to be "Save as" rather than "View in browser window". Some of
    these options, make viewing the PDF slightly less convenient,
    but safer.

    I've had several attempts here, to infect my computer with
    Javascript in a PDF, and the main thing that stopped them,
    was the too-aggressive delivery method. Some web sites, as
    soon as you visit, a "Save as" dialog pops up, expecting you
    to save some random PDF. This is a sure sign that kiddies
    have loaded up an infected PDF for your usage.

    That's just one example of things you can do yourself, to
    very slightly reduce the risk.

    There's so many ways to get tipped over, it's really
    a hopeless task to stop it. If you've been "targeted" by a
    national government or a criminal organization,
    your chances of not "falling for it" are about zero.

    If you have intellectual content of great value...
    disconnect from the Internet now. Seriously.

    Paul, Mar 21, 2014
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  3. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Sounds like using a router is a poor substitute.
    I have had to move from one AV program to another because AV support
    for Win2K was stopped.
    I am rather careful as to what i download; i use webmail as a good
    layer of protection and found Gmail to get rid of almost everything.

    Avast! is an excellent AV program, but they added a lot of what i
    will call junk and others will call bloat.
    They say it is not for Win2K,but it does run,it does protect - the
    problem is that it ranDUMBly locks a file; there is no way to unlock the
    file (even if you know exact place & name) as the handle associated with
    it cannot be detected by any program.
    And the older versions are not available and Avast! refuses to help
    even while they take your money to extend your subscription.

    All i need is a fairly decent AV program that is NEVER "upgraded" AKA
    made obsolete for older OSes; and signatures to continue.
    Pay or "free" is not the issue; work for Win2K necessary.

    Robert Baer, Mar 22, 2014
  4. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    If there's a reason to stay in Win2K, you should be dual booting,
    and installing new compatible AV software on the second (new) OS. And
    do your web surfing and "dangerous computing" in that OS. Maybe you
    could just disable the network interface on the Win2K OS, so accidentally
    surfing with an unprotected OS is not possible.

    I don't know what the market share of Win2K is now, but it
    can't be very large. Windows 7 has half of the Windows market.
    It's even possible that Win98/Win98SE users outnumber Win2K users.

    I use Win2K occasionally, when doing maintenance operations on the PC.
    Such as certain flavors of backups. (I use more than one method.)
    I very occasionally use it, if comparing the behavior of a bug in
    the various OSes.

    Really, support for Win2K and WinXP should end at around the
    same time, due to the similarities of the two OSes. If they're supporting
    one of the OSes, the other one shouldn't be as hard to support. So
    when they plan to end WinXP support, is when they should also drop Win2K.
    The same would be true of Vista/Win7/Win8, which have a lot in common.
    They could support those as a group as well.

    On the plus side, even the malware writers will switch targets,
    and move to writing malware to take advantage of Windows 7
    weaknesses. So some good comes from the passage of time. It's only
    if some buggy code existed from the WinNT days, up to the present, that
    an exploit might conveniently attack all of them. If a malware writer
    spent the extra time to write a special version to attack Win2K, there
    would be poor cost/benefit in that.

    How many times has your Win2K been tipped over ? Do you see
    mostly tool bars (removable with Adwcleaner) ? Or are you getting
    actual viruses/trojans from email attachments ?

    I've only had one tipping here, when I was browsing a commercial site
    that had been hacked, and a redirection placed at the top level of
    the web site. I used Kaspersky to remove that. It took several tries.
    I eventually reinstalled the OS, because after I used a Kaspersky
    subscription, it was the easiest way to clean up the mess.

    I've managed to dodge all the toolbars. Never had a toolbar on
    this computer.

    Paul, Mar 22, 2014
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