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Old Nov 10, 2010, 7:47 AM   #61
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...attack the mother board on the ic level. I am not talking about deleting data I am talking about taking down the entire network on a hardware level and it cannot be recovered without hardware level replacement

Intel is the most attacked chip manufacturer on this planet and are the most targeted for chip series specific attacks.
Specific example, please?
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 8:06 AM   #62
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Concernerning the Intel chip Im with you 100%. I disagreed strongly when Apple went that route. With the purchasing power of Apple surely another Apple excusive chip could be developed with all the power if Intel without the pitfalls. Back in the 80s I was involved with manufacturing clone IMB PCs. But other than helping to create motherboards I dont know the technical side of computing. My main interest was hacking copy protected software with the belief that having purchased software that didnt allow a backup copy was not right. That said, I just rely on the fact my Mac has always been secure and can only hope it will remain so. But you are right, it will be hacked and a lot of Mac owners will be really pissed. Like PC owners are pissed on a continuing basis since day one.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 8:41 AM   #63
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I've only had a virus once in the past 5 years. That's because I know how to run a pretty good defense (unlike a grandma or whatever).
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 8:54 AM   #64
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I've never had a virus. But unless you are spending a LOT of money on security it's as well to assume that you are not working on a secure machine, be it Mac, Linux or Windows.

I have seen too many demos of machines compromised to be under any illusions. :-) Usually these are not overt and do not leap up to announce themselves to the user. Rootkits exist for all OS's and I install enough software that there is absolutely no way I can be confident that my machines are not compromised.

And unless you are running very sophisticated IDS/IPS systems on your network with highly locked-down custom configurations, then nor can you be. Even if you are using a Mac. :-)

But then again I don't have the same kind of locks on my front door as a bank vault. Reasonable measures and all that...
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 9:29 AM   #65
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AVG free, Avira, and Avast were all rated as high as Norton in consumer reports. As a matter of fact they reccomended tree free software packages as best defense (and competition included top paid programs).
http://www.techworld.com.au/article/...ware_best_buy/
Not to say it will defend from everything, but I feel pretty secure. As you said it is impossible to be fully defended.

I think a very handy tool for browsing are site advisors like WOT and Mcafee Siteadvisor (both free). They have saved my rear many a time, are free, and barely add to processing load (just little icons).

I suppose this is all kind of off topic, sorry....
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Last edited by mrpete; Nov 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 10:25 AM   #66
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"Specific example, please?"

The Intel motherboards with the D865 Express chip-set is the first one that comes to mind. Popular board with engineering services companies and defense department manufacturers back in the late 80's. Very stable and the best Autocad performance available at the time. Chip-set specific virus took out better than half of the product line world wide in less than two weeks.

Tracor Aerospace in Austin, Texas lost the entire engineering services network over the course of an afternoon. Eighth largest defense contractor to the US government at that time. Fortune 500 company and it left a mark that could be seen in the price of the stock the next day.

If I had to take a guess I would bet that inside of ten years there won't be any real difference. Mac had a good thing going and they should have stayed with it.

Steve
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 11:29 AM   #67
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I have seen too many demos of machines compromised to be under any illusions. :-) Usually these are not overt and do not leap up to announce themselves to the user. Rootkits exist for all OS's and I install enough software that there is absolutely no way I can be confident that my machines are not compromised.
Yep, no OS is totally secure, especially if you install a lot of software. New trojans are found for OS X on a regular basis, and we're also seeing some for Linux now.

Regardless of OS, I'd make sure all applications are fully patched (Operating System, your Internet Browsers, Adobe Flash player, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and anything else you're running). For Windows users, here's a good free tool for checking to make sure you're fully updated. There are new vulnerabilities found all the time, and if you're not keeping everything up to date, you're asking for trouble.

http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal

Then, make sure you're running adequate anti-malware protection. I use a variety of different products when I run in Windows. For example, I use Avira Antivir as my primary product. It's detection rate is very high, and it's got very fast scanning speed. See this study comparing some of the available solutions.

http://www.av-comparatives.org/image...od_aug2010.pdf

They offer both free and for cost versions, with different levels of features. Personally, I use the Premium Version, which offers some real time web page analysis features the free version doesn't have (to help protect from "drive by" malware):

http://www.avira.com/en/for-home

I also supplement it with ThreatFire. You can get it from here:

http://www.threatfire.com/

In addition, I'm using the Finjin (now M86 Security) browser plugin for real time web page analysis. You can get it from here:

http://www.m86security.com/securebrowsing/

I also use the free version of Malwarebytes and scan with it on a regular basis (booting into Safe Mode first by pressing F8 after a restart). Get it here:

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

I also use the noscript addon for Firefox. Get it here:

http://noscript.net/

I also run new software I want to try through http://www.virustotal.com (where it scans it with over 40 different malware scanning products and gives you the results).

Here's a similar site using multiple scanners:

http://virusscan.jotti.org/en

I also scan my PCs using Linux based scanners periodically, including from Live CDs. That way, I'm not booting into a potentially compromised operating system while scanning, as boot sector viruses and root kits can be very hard to detect as they're designed to evade scanners when running. Here's one scanner that you can run from a Linux Live CD (but, don't rely on it by itself, as I'd also scan with others).

http://www.freedrweb.com/livecd/?lng=en

Basically, download the .iso file you'll see in the folder that comes up. Then, use something like iso recorder to burn it to CD. After you install isorecorder, when you "right click" on the downloaded .iso file from windows explorer (go to the folder you saved the Dr. Web .iso file to using "My Computer" and right click on the .iso file), you'll see a new menu choice labeled "Copy Image to CD/DVD" that can burn the .iso file to CD.

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Then, after you burn the Dr. Web .iso to CD, reboot your PC with the CD inserted. If it doesn't boot into the CD, you may need to go into your PC's BIOS setup and change the boot order so that it looks to the CD first.

I also scan periodically with the Avira Rescue CD. It works on the same principle. Basically, you're bypassing your installed Operating system entirely when you boot into a Linux Live CD. So, you can scan and disinfect without malware being loaded (since you're booting into an operating system running from CD). Here's where you can get the .iso file for the Avira CD:

http://dlpro.antivir.com/package/res...-common-en.iso

Here are two more similar products that have available Linux Live CDs (Kaspersky, Bit Defender)

http://devbuilds.kaspersky-labs.com/.../RescueDisk10/

http://download.bitdefender.com/rescue_cd/

For Windows 7 users, I'd also suggest using a non Admin (Standard) Account to reduce your vulnerability. If you press your Windows start button, and type "Create Standard User Account"(without the quotes) into the search box, you'll see a link to set one up. That way, malware can't install as easily.

But, nothing is foolproof (especially given the number of new vulnerabilities criminals are taking advantage of that pop up all the time). So, make sure you have full disk image backups of your configuration. That way, if you ever have an issue, you can restore the entire system (Operating system, programs, and data) to the state the machine was in before you backed up last.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 11:41 AM   #68
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But, nothing is foolproof (especially given the number of new vulnerabilities criminals are taking advantage of that pop up all the time).
BTW, Sophos reported seeing 60,000 new malware samples *per day* the first half of this year, as compared to 40,000 per day during the same period last year. See this mid year report for more:

http://www.sophos.com/sophos/docs/en...-2010-wpna.pdf

I've seen Eset quoted as seeing as many as 200,000 new samples in one day.

Now some of it is the same malware, encrypted diifferently to fool malware scanners that use signatures to find it. But, there is a *lot* of new malware coming out every day now.

Much of the new malware is in the form of trojans designed to do things like log your keystrokes and steal login names, account information and passwords. So, you may not ever know you're infected until your bank accounts have issues.

That's one reason I keep so many different layers of security software running on my PCs (and even then, new zero day vulnerabilities can be taken advantage of and missed by most scanners).

It never ceases to amaze me how much malware can be missed by well known anti-virus products. There is simply too much new malware coming out for them to keep up with. So, just because you're using a popular anti-malware product and think your PC is malware free, doesn't mean that it is.

As time passes, I suspect we'll see more and more malware targeting OS X users, too. Ditto for other operating systems.
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 11:43 AM   #69
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That's a great list JimC! It'll be easy to pass along.

Note: I would add Spybot Search and Destroy along with Malwarebytes,
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Old Nov 10, 2010, 11:55 AM   #70
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I haven't used it lately (Spybot Search and Destroy), although I did use it for years.

In addition to Malwarebytes (and I'd make sure to use Safe Mode when scanning to reduce the chance malware is loading and able to hide from scanners), another product you can use that finds some malware others miss is SuperAntiSpyware

I scan with it from time to time, too.
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