PC Health

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by billbo, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As some of you know I recently was attacked by a Trojan that hi jacked my PC. My daughter clicked on a pop up she thought was a game and BAM! With the help of TnTxajun http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...er.php?u=26825 I was able to get back up and running without losing anything. I was very lucky! Again I thank you Jack, a lifesaver!

    Jack taught me that even with Norton running I was vulnerable to attack. It took literally hours over the course of a few days to get back running. Jack helped me install some very simple and free software that will help to prevent another attack from being successful. Malwarebytes, McAfee Site Advisor, Zone alarm, and spyware blaster are a few of the tools I now run to stave off attack.

    I am passing this on as I had no idea how vulnerable I was. I thought I was bulletproof with Norton. Wrong! We all value our machines and the ability to visit SMF. Take some time and make sure you are protected or you could be in the same boat or worse. Internet hackers and terrorists also use these Trojans to try and infiltrate government sites etc. It is our duty to stop this from happening. Look what they did to twitter a while back, brought the site to it's knees for a few days.

    Just my two cents but it sure makes sense to make sure your protected.
  2. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    Its great to see everyone helping each other.

    If your looking for a pretty good anti-virus program www.avast.com does a good time and provides real time scanning of data instead of scanning once a day.
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Bmudd... no luck on being able to download avast from either it's home site nor server site.
  4. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep in mind it's not enough to just have the anti-virus, anti-malware, spyware programs if you don't UPDATE and USE them.

    Remember when it comes to anti-virus programs, they don't play well together usually.

    Personally I use the AVG ant-virus (free) and PC Tools Firewall (free). Also I have installed, but manually run, SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition. Also Registry Mechanic and Spybot Search & Destroy are there as tools to use.

    Keep in mind it's easier to download the tools you need before your machine is decimated and can't go online.

    Run your anti-virus automatically no less than once a week and the other tools on average of once a week to keep from getting bogged down.

    I may sound like I'm preaching, but I've fixed way too many computers not to say something. I think paying for free software is a lot easier than paying for service time to save your computer (hopefully).
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, Bill, those suckers are gettin' sneaky nowdays...

    Once in a while I see a bogus page trying to open on my browser...my pop-up blocker doesn't catch them all either. I close anything which I didn't request. Then, I run a quick antivirus/spyware/malware scan just to be sure.

    I have my PC set for weekly tune-ups: update checks on software/antivirus, full hard disc scan, and defragmentation.

    Do the best you can with what you have, and look for better protection than what you have...know that your best may not always be good enough...do regular back ups of important files.

    I don't store personally identifiable info (credit cards, SSN, phone #'s, address, names, etc) on my PC which a hacker could use for identity theft...that's just a start.

  6. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You should also set your windows update for patches to check everyday. You can find it in your control panel or IExx under tools.
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What Pigcicles said is a mouthful. I also use the AVG anti-virus (pay version), and I've been lucky for the last 6 yrs. now. In reality, nothing is really bulletproof, but you can put the odds in your favor.
  8. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Long time ago I used to use Norton but they became less reliable, so then I switched to McAfee and used them for a while until their services left a lot to be desired.
    Currently I run Avast and it has done a good job.
    Additional programs you can run are PeerGuardian which will block many tracker and government sites that want to collect information from you.
    Also if you run Firefox (which has had its own terrible issues lately) you can run No Scripts. No Scripts will not allow any pop ups to show on sites, it will also block and third party apps from even connecting to you unless you allow the program.
    I feel pretty secure, especially running PeerGuardian you can look at how many sites try to connect to you daily without you even knowing.
    Different Saudi Arabian oil companies, Big companies like Time Warner tracking and watching what videos you view on many sites, have even had different Institute of Technology sites try and connect. Most I can figure from those sites is they are just doing institute studies to see what sites people connect to, but with PG they are automatically blocked from gathering any info (which happens on virtually any site you visit) and you have the option to right click on the IP trying to connect and allow them to talk to your PC if you so choose.

    Maybe we should all get our smokers out and burn some extra wood, then we could send smoke signals and keep each other updated on progress and be sure to be secure.
    Don't think the Qview would be quite the same.
  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I also run Firefox with AGV free, Zonealrm free, Malwarebytes free and Spybot free. With all the free program I just can't see paying good money for other programs.

    PC has been good for quite some time, no infections.
  10. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    I think my home PC did get the Trojan virus, a bunch of writing and stuff came across the screen and the word trojan was used quite abit, now I can't access the internet any ideas to straightin it out or is it a gonner, I am using the work computer so I can check later for any kind of help
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you can't access the internet from the infected machine, take a disk to work and download the following:
    Avast free home edition
    Superantispyware fee version

    When you get home you need to first disconnect from the internet before you fire up your machine, either unplug the cable from your dsl/cable modem to you computer, or turn off power to the modem.

    Next you need to install Avast, hopefully that won't be a problem, immediately after install you need to go into the funky Avast interface (looks like a mp3 player) upper left, there is up arrow click it and find "Schedule Boot Scan" If you are running Vista x64 you can't do a boot scan. So just go ahead and do complete scan if you are can't do boot scan. (If you are running x64 then do the boot scan in Safe Mode, if you don't know what that is do a search on the internet).

    Below is the instruction I gave to another SMF member who had some problems.

    Some quick thoughts on selection of Anti Virus / Security software. In the previous posts a lot of good software has been mention. Personally I try to stick with free version (*see my notes below which free version I paid for). Avast was ranked at the bottom in a shootout in July 09 of AV software, and 3 other free programs were ranked higher. However I read several forums and a high percentage of users that originally used the other 3 programs listed in that comparison switched to Avast for one reason. Avast just plain works day in and day out. Most of the other free programs had problems with consistent updates or profile updates. I can testify on 5 PCs in our house and the many friends and family I have put Avast on, no one is complaining. I am not saying Avast is better than another program, I am saying that Avast will work and work trouble free if you use it.

    Be advised, the below info was the result of a SMF thread, in a post there was a link with a trojan, there was 609 views of that thread, Avast on my main PC caught it and reported it. So either there are a lot of people who think they have protection and don't or Avast reported a false negative (which is possible).

    My guide to another SMF member
    I also added CCleaner. CCleaner can be used last to clean up all the files and junk that is accumulating as you cruise the internet. Further it has a registry cleaner. (backup your registry before you use it). After awhile or so the registry cleaner will notice which files are unlinked in the registry meaning deleted and no longer of use. Those tags in the registry will be cleaned or deleted and this can speed up your system slightly.

    Also someone mentioned Firefox, use it, it is slightly safer than IE.

    Good luck, I hope this helps someone.
  12. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great info all! Thanks for sharing!
  13. swindler

    swindler Fire Starter

    Another good program that cleans rogue antivirus programs and other maleware is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.40.
  14. the iceman

    the iceman Smoking Fanatic

    Or you could just buy a Mac. [​IMG]
  15. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  16. tntxajun

    tntxajun Smoke Blower

    Even though it was a lengthy task to eliminate your recently violated PC, I was delighted that we were able to stop and eradicate this troublesome intrusion at an early stage of infection. Your prompt request for assistance
    was what prevented a much more involved process of removal and/or a loss of your OS and complete stored computer contents.

    It was great working with you and your following the somewhat confusing array of instructions and steps we had to follow for your specific situation.

    It was a pleasure to work with both you and your super sweet wife in your absence.

    I mostly appreciate your sounding the wake up alarm for those members
    who are still running their systems without security programs to thwart or remove malicious and extremely dangerous breaches.

    Bill, as I showed you on the log of what we removed, a variant of those 'Trojans' are the most dangerous because they are the silent, dormant type that can be remotely controlled and actively engaged in DOS attacks in tandem with thousands of pc's directed at our national economic, and security infrastructure.

    As a contributing member of US-Cert,' http://www.us-cert.gov/nav/t01/ ', you can see on our tech page that the threat on our national airlines is a soon to be launched attack. We are providing tools to all security vendors to be distributed ASAP, to prevent this attack from being successful.

    These tools are free but you must have a security program on your system updated in order for them to be passed on to you. That is why it is vital to keep your OS and security products updated and run frequently.

    As citizens, we all have a responsibility to help preserve and protect our vibrant freedom, to be apathetic and negligent in not doing so is simply acting stupidly 'Un-American' and giving easy assistance to those with catastrophic intent toward us as a nation.

    All that is asked of INTERNET users is to use security programs and current updated files on a frequent basis. A small inconvenience but with awesome importance to us all.

    Later today I will post a partial listing of free security tools that are easy to use and require limited resources to operate. We would be so very proud if everyone would stress the importance to all family, friends and associates and pass the information and links.

    Please don't wait for adversity to strike before doing your part. The threat is REAL !!!! AND IT IS NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    This is the same warning bell heard in 1776 only of a different type. Let Freedom ring loudly with appropriate responsible action.

    Send up the SMOKE signals guys & gals, there is a real fire blazing.


    Jack~ and from all your US-Cert team members.
  17. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    It's a shame when innocent people get attacked by malicious software and it causes problems. HOWEVER, it's even more of a shame that those same innocent people are doing their best to educate themselves AND anyone else that uses their equipment. No, I'm sure nobody ever clicks on those things deliberately to destroy a computer, I know because I have an 18 y/o blonde airhead for a daughter. In two days of having her own computer even tho she assured me that she knew what she was doing, brought down my entire home network consisting of A LOT of hardware and two servers. Why?

    Because she wasn't educated enough to know the way a computer works and how it works with direct influence from the internet on a "always-on" connection. Her failure to know is my failure for assuming that I didn't have to stress two very important facts about the computer:

    1. STOP - Stop clicking on every damn thing you see and that you think you need to click on. Generic or not, not everything needs to be immediately clicked on. If you CAN'T stop clicking on everything that pops up or that you see, you don't need to be on the computer unless supervised.

    2. Unless it is a SPECIFC software design such as Symantec or Mcafee, your computer just ISN'T going to throw random windows up for you to one click fix your computer problem. The most common one is that your computer has a gigabillion registry issues and click here to fix them. Folks it DOESN'T work this way. If your registry was really that jacked up, your computer more than likely wouldn't even start.

    You can throw all the software in the world into a computer, especially security software but remember this much, that's all it is, it's software. Easily hacked or overwritten to accomdate anything and any function. I have seen, dealt with, more computers both in the civilain sector and in the military, that the software was "the best" AVG, or Zone Alarm or Symantec or whatever, where the software itself had gotten hacked and therefore it didn't do it's job. It's a joke. Unless you're running a high speed Faraday Cage or something along those lines that completely isolates you from the outside world, doesn't matter, you're going to get something. What it boils down to is it's not the computer, or the software, it's the USER. The enduser's habits are the cause of the problem, not the computer or the installed software.

    Again, i know it's rough and it really sucks when it happens, but it happens and it's going to continue to happen until users start educating themselves on how things work with a computer/internet and stop treating the box on the desk like it's a disposable device.

    Just for kicks, here it is, i've already covered most of what's there:


    MY stay away from Geek Squad and any other place that will charge you BY THE SERVICE to fix the problem website. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there's so much more.

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