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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Deal With A Malware Infected Notebook

Malware Analyst's Cookbook and DVD: Tools and Techniques for Fighting Malicious Code
Malware Analyst's


tips and trick, virus, anti virus, windows, software, malware
There should be a corollary to Murphy’s Law expressly for business travelers. Perhaps something like this: If something’s going to go wrong with your notebook, it won’t go wrong at the office, when the IT department is just down the hall. No,it’ll crash at the worst possible time—at 2 a.m., just hours before a huge, out-of-state business  presentation.

Most of the mobile computers in the field today are running Windows XP, and while the operating system is far more stable than past versions, malware can still bring your notebook to its knees. The important thing, however, is not to stress out over spyware and malware infections while you’re on the road, but rather to deal with them effectively. We’ll show you a few simple ways to make sure your notebook stays up and running while you’re away from home

The Right Tools
Most of us have some antispyware and antivirus software installed on our business notebooks, but these programs aren’t really going to be a whole lot of help unless they are updated frequently. Even the outstanding Spybot Search & Destroy (free; www.safer-networking.org) needs your help to do its job properly.

When a user notices a problem, a common first reaction is to run the antispyware and antivirus programs on your machine to see if that helps. That’s a great idea, of course, but be sure to update the software before you run them. This can save you a bit of time and will help root out the newest infections you may have picked up while surfing the Web.


You can set the enterprise-level antivirus programs from McAfee and Symantec to update automatically, but with some programs, it’s a good idea to manually update before you start the lengthy scanning process.

For example, when using the aforementioned Spybot Search & Destroy, all you have to do is click the Update icon on the left side of the screen to download the newest malware definitions. After you’ve downloaded the latest definitions and detection rules, click the Search For Problems icon and follow any prompts to complete the update.

Also, it’s a good idea to run more than one antispyware program. Ad-Aware from Lavasoft (free; www.lavasoftusa.com) is a good option. Again, this excellent program can only run as well as you let it, so click the Check For Updates Now link at the bottom of the screen before scanning your machine.

The Best Defense
One of the best ways to keep your computer from getting loaded down with malware is to never let the stuff in the door. Windows includes a basic firewall (it’s activated by default), but added protection helps.

First, let’s check to make sure your Windows Firewall is up and running. To access the firewall in Windows Vista/7, click the Windows icon, select Control Panel, and select Windows Firewall; in WinXP, click Start, Control Panel, and then Windows Firewall. If the firewall is set to Off, simply select the radio button or link for On and click OK.

Now comes the step of adding another layer of protection. There are several free firewalls available on the Web that do a marvelous job of protecting your computer from unwanted intrusions. One of the most reliable is ZoneAlarm (free; www.zonelabs.com). Once installed, ZoneAlarm will prompt you to determine which programs are authorized to access the Internet. After that, ZoneAlarm will block the rest (or at least seek permission to allow a new program to access the Internet).

Of course, the enterprise-level offerings, such as Symantec’s Sygate Enterprise Protection and McAfee Total Protection For Enterprise, include powerful firewalls, so if your company uses programs similar to those, make sure they’re up and running before you leave for a business trip. You can also try out the antivirus and personal firewall solutions from F-Secure (www.f-secure.com) free for 30 days. Click the Evaluations icon at the left side of the home page.

Don’t Click That
Automated spyware and antivirus tools are great, but they’re no substitute for a little bit of vigilance on your part. After all, Spybot Search & Destroy won’t automatically protect against a program you installed on the machine yourself, and ZoneAlarm won’t block a program you secured for Internet access.

A little watchfulness goes a long way. Got an email from someone you don’t know? Immediately trash it without opening it. Even if your email program automatically opens your new messages in a reading pane, it’s a good idea never to download an unexpected attachment. Consider using Yahoo! Mail (mail.yahoo.com) for your personal email, as it adds an extra layer of protection by immediately scanning all incoming and outgoing attachments for virus threats.

Also, no matter what the pop-ups tell you, don’t click anything that jumps unsolicited onto your screen claiming to be able to fix a virus or spyware problem. These pop-ups are more often than not carriers of spyware and viruses in the guise of an actual message from your OS. A general rule of thumb is that if it opens in a browser window and you didn’t specifically point your browser toward it, don’t click it. Just close the window and go about your business.

Thankfully, the newest version of Internet Explorer, IE8, blocks most of these pop-ups. If you have not already upgraded from IE6 or IE7, take a few minutes and visit www.windowsupdate.com. If you prefer to use Mozilla’s Firefox browser instead, drop by www.mozilla.com and pick up the latest version of the browser. Both IE and Firefox offer excellent security just out of the gate, and both are great at making sure you don’t see pop-ups.

Hacking Exposed: Malware & Rootkits Secrets & Solutions
Malware and Rootkits
Know What You’re Running So,
your system is armed to the teeth with regularly updated antivirus and antispyware utilities, but you’re still having troubles? There are some simple fixes you can run in Windows to help you at least get around spyware problems.

First, you can simply monitor and control the programs your computer is running at startup. To do this in WinXP, click Start, then Run, and then type msconfig into the window that appears. Click OK and then click the Startup tab. See anything with a blank entry? If it refuses to identify itself, it’s a pretty good bet you don’t need it to start up your machine. Deselect suspicious checkboxes (you can also streamline your computer’s startup routine here, if you wish, by deselecting programs that automatically load that you rarely use). Click OK and restart when prompted. In Vista, open the Windows Defender program. Choose Tools and Software Explorer and then click Startup Programs from the Category menu. Your startup programs will display in the left pane. Simply click a program to highlight it and then click the Disable button. Alternatively, you can permanently terminate a program by clicking the Remove button.

It’s also a good idea to set a restore point when you know your computer is working well. That way, you can always restore your machine to a time when it was functioning properly. To do this, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and System Restore. Click Create A Restore Point and then follow the wizard that appears. To restore your machine, click Restore My Computer To An Earlier Time instead.

Computer Viruses and Malware (Advances in Information Security)

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