Vista and the malware situation - Microsoft Windows

This is a discussion on Vista and the malware situation - Microsoft Windows ; Hello everyone, Iíd like to submit a little bit of public commentary regarding Windows Vista and the threat that exists of coming into contact with malicious software (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.). At first I had composed and was planning ...

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Thread: Vista and the malware situation

  1. Vista and the malware situation

    Hello everyone,

    Iíd like to submit a little bit of public commentary regarding Windows
    Vista and the threat that exists of coming into contact with malicious
    software (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.).

    At first I had composed and was planning to post a newsgroup article
    which completely downplayed the threat of malware while using Vista, as
    if Microsoftís new OS had unequivocally brought us into a new era in
    which we donít have to give a second thought to this risk.

    However, I have a slightly different view now, and because I have in
    the past written newsgroup articles where I state that the threat of
    malware under Vista is so incredibly low to the point of being almost
    non-existent, I feel I have to correct myself.

    This is not to say that I think Vista is completely failing us in the
    area of security Ė- this is far from the truth.

    Iíve been using Vista for almost seven months now (Ultimate, 32-bit),
    and Iíve been relying on AVG Free Edition as my virus scanner and
    Vistaís built-in Windows Defender as my spyware scanning utility.

    It is true that up until this point, Iíve expended little energy
    dealing with this matter. AVG and Windows Defender would simply
    perform their chores in the background at the properly scheduled
    moments, and I would happily go on computing, worrying very little
    about this issue.

    However, I recently decided to take a closer look to see if AVG and
    Defender had in fact missed anything. In addition to these two aids, I
    downloaded, installed, and ran the following free programs: PC Tools
    Anti-Virus, Avast! Anti-Virus, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Spyware
    Terminator.

    And, to my chagrin, there were some items that were detected by this
    additional software. (I say ďchagrinĒ because I am a Microsoft fan and
    Windows advocate.)

    If I may put this into perspective though, itís not like my entire
    system was absolutely /plagued/ with malware -- but sure, I admit,
    there were some things that were found. Essentially, the results
    varied. Windows Defender keeps telling me it hasnít found any unwanted
    or harmful software yet. AVG has two files quarantined (one of them is
    an archived file that has existed on my system before I ever upgraded
    to Vista, so Iím not sure if that one even counts). Spybot S&D
    detected dozens and dozens of things Ė but ALL of them were browser
    tracking cookies (which are considered harmless by most people, and not
    even classified as spyware by others). Avast! has isolated a total of
    three infected files (however two of them are the same). Spyware
    Terminator did locate one threat, but it was merely an invalid startup
    item associated with one of the other software packages I have
    installed. And finally, PC Tools essentially gave me a clean bill of
    health, because once again the only thing it found was yet another
    archived file that was already on my system before I ever upgraded to
    Vista.

    So what does this tell us? Well, put simply, it tells us that even
    with Windows Vista, malware is still pretty much a threat that we have
    to take seriously. We are not truly immune to it.

    But you know what?

    The results of the scans that I did could have been so much worse Ė- a
    LOT worse.

    I mean, seriously! First of all, these utilities didnít cost me a
    dime. And they uncovered very few true infections. Theyíve been
    cleaned up now, of course, but Iíve got to say, Iíve been heavily using
    my Vista machine day in and day out for almost seven months now, and
    there doesnít seem to be any evidence of damage that may have been
    caused by these infected files that were found. Malware simply has not
    been a terrible burden throughout my Windows Vista experience.

    What this really does is confirm a belief I have regarding PCs running
    Windows, and that is the belief that by taking the proper precautions,
    the risk of having oneís system comprised by malicious software becomes
    manageable, and the threat can be overcome, even minimized. Itís
    simply a matter of doing the right things. For example, turn on
    Vistaís firewall. Enable User Account Control, or UAC (this feature
    prevents unauthorized programs from running on your computer without
    your permission). Use anti-malware software packages to scan and
    cleanse your system on a regular basis (there are quite a few to choose
    from, even good, free utilities such as the ones that I mentioned).
    And donít open attachments or click on hyperlinks sent to you via
    unsolicited e-mail (these are the typical pieces of advice youíd hear
    from experts on this subject).

    Just because you use a Wintel PC instead of a Mac (or Linux) doesnít
    necessarily mean that malicious software is going to hold you hostage
    all the time, and defending yourself doesnít have to be an expensive
    endeavor either. Simply use common sense and exercise wise computing
    habits, and you can still have a fun time being productive with your
    computer.

    Thank you.

  2. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    In article ,
    "Erich Kohl" wrote:

    > I'd like to submit a little bit of public commentary regarding
    > Windows Vista and the threat that exists of coming into contact
    > with malicious software (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.).


    Thanks Erich, I found both of your threads helpful.



    Here, I am a "Mac guy", so have been subjected to all sorts of
    propaganda from fellow Mac users as regards how bad Windows is
    supposed to be.

    Nice to hear a balanced view on the subject, for a change.


    I run Vista Ultimate on two of my Mac computers.

    A MacBook Pro with 4 GBs of ram.

    A Mac Mini (most recent version) - with 2 GBs of ram.


    In both cases, the 40 GB Vista partition was set up by
    using Leopard's included so-called "Boot Camp" utility.

    "Leopard" is Apple's nickname for OS 10.5.0

    Very easy and very intuitive to set up the Vista partition.



    So far, I have been very hesitant about exposing Vista
    to the Internet, because of the propaganda fed to me by
    my fellow Mac users.

    Thanks to your threads, I finally got the nerve to place
    Vista onto the Internet.

    Have the regular Vista firewall turned on in its
    default configuration, likewise left Windows Defender on.

    Guess what, nothing bad happened, nothing.

    My belly button did not fall out, as my Mac friends had
    insisted would happen.

    I do not yet own a virus protection app'.

    Guess I better look around to find a copy of AVG.


    Thanks again for your two threads.

    Mark-

  3. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    "Erich Kohl" wrote in news:OUJ6j.69530$RX.21309
    @newssvr11.news.prodigy.net:



    > Just because you use a Wintel PC instead of a Mac (or Linux) doesnít
    > necessarily mean that malicious software is going to hold you hostage
    > all the time, and defending yourself doesnít have to be an expensive
    > endeavor either. Simply use common sense and exercise wise computing
    > habits, and you can still have a fun time being productive with your
    > computer.


    I've had the exact same experience with Windows XP.

    Why ? Because I don't use IE or OE. Simple as that. Seems to be that the
    single greatest cause of problems is/was IE <= v6.

  4. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    "Alias" wrote in message news:fjgr87$mvi$1@aioe.org...
    > Steve Thackery wrote:
    >
    > Just cleaned up an XP machine. 19 viruses which took seven virus scans
    > to finally remove from the system. 26 spywares. No Windows updates since
    > January. Java out of date. Real Player out of date. Quick Time out of
    > date. No AV. No Firewall.
    >
    > Oops.
    >
    > Alias



    Sounds like a PC administered by a 13 year old

  5. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    "Steve Thackery" wrote in message
    news:e$qa%23amOIHA.5860@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    > I'm amazed at the intensity of the anti-Microsoft brigade's FUD campaign.
    >
    > Read the thread entitled "I don't think you need anti-virus with Vista",
    > dated 5th December in .vista.general. In it I describe how I've had my PC
    > connected to the Internet continously for TWO YEARS - the first year
    > running XP SP2, and the second year (actually, 11 months) running Vista.
    > For those two years I have not had any anti-virus software installed.



    Then you have been completely irresponsible and stupid. It's people like you
    who are responsible for all the SPAM and trojans washing round the internet.
    You have absolutely NO WAY of knowing whether your computer has been
    infected or not.

    And I am a MS user as well.



  6. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    Mark Conrad wrote:

    > In article ,
    > "Erich Kohl" wrote:
    >
    >> I'd like to submit a little bit of public commentary regarding
    >> Windows Vista and the threat that exists of coming into contact
    >> with malicious software (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.).

    >
    > Thanks Erich, I found both of your threads helpful.
    >
    >
    >
    > Here, I am a "Mac guy", so have been subjected to all sorts of
    > propaganda from fellow Mac users as regards how bad Windows is
    > supposed to be.
    >
    > Nice to hear a balanced view on the subject, for a change.
    >
    >
    > I run Vista Ultimate on two of my Mac computers.
    >
    > A MacBook Pro with 4 GBs of ram.
    >
    > A Mac Mini (most recent version) - with 2 GBs of ram.
    >
    >
    > In both cases, the 40 GB Vista partition was set up by
    > using Leopard's included so-called "Boot Camp" utility.
    >
    > "Leopard" is Apple's nickname for OS 10.5.0
    >
    > Very easy and very intuitive to set up the Vista partition.
    >
    >
    >
    > So far, I have been very hesitant about exposing Vista
    > to the Internet, because of the propaganda fed to me by
    > my fellow Mac users.
    >
    > Thanks to your threads, I finally got the nerve to place
    > Vista onto the Internet.
    >
    > Have the regular Vista firewall turned on in its
    > default configuration, likewise left Windows Defender on.
    >
    > Guess what, nothing bad happened, nothing.
    >

    .... yet.

    Cheers.

    --
    Remove Vista Activation Completely ...
    http://tinyurl.com/2w8qqo

    Frank - seek help immediately! Visit ...
    http://www.binsa.org/


  7. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    forty-nine wrote:

    > "Alias" wrote in message
    > news:fjgr87$mvi$1@aioe.org...
    >> Steve Thackery wrote:
    >>
    >> Just cleaned up an XP machine. 19 viruses which took seven virus scans
    >> to finally remove from the system. 26 spywares. No Windows updates since
    >> January. Java out of date. Real Player out of date. Quick Time out of
    >> date. No AV. No Firewall.
    >>
    >> Oops.
    >>
    >> Alias

    >
    >
    > Sounds like a PC administered by a 13 year old


    Nope, sounds like a PC administered by your ordinary Windoze user (99% of
    them?). Remember, few Windoze users can be as computer savy as you are
    forty-nine. I mean, come on, you're the computer expert around here. It's
    only when you move over into a Linux ng, that your stupidity is exposed to
    the world.

    Cheers.

    --
    Remove Vista Activation Completely ...
    http://tinyurl.com/2w8qqo

    Frank - seek help immediately! Visit ...
    http://www.binsa.org/


  8. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    "NoStop" wrote in message
    news:%7W6j.7181$jq2.5380@pd7urf1no...
    > forty-nine wrote:
    >
    >> "Alias" wrote in message
    >> news:fjgr87$mvi$1@aioe.org...
    >>> Steve Thackery wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Just cleaned up an XP machine. 19 viruses which took seven virus scans
    >>> to finally remove from the system. 26 spywares. No Windows updates since
    >>> January. Java out of date. Real Player out of date. Quick Time out of
    >>> date. No AV. No Firewall.
    >>>
    >>> Oops.
    >>>
    >>> Alias

    >>
    >>
    >> Sounds like a PC administered by a 13 year old

    >
    > Nope, sounds like a PC administered by your ordinary Windoze user (99% of
    > them?). Remember, few Windoze users can be as computer savy as you are
    > forty-nine. I mean, come on, you're the computer expert around here. It's
    > only when you move over into a Linux ng, that your stupidity is exposed to
    > the world.
    >
    > Cheers.
    >
    > --
    > Remove Vista Activation Completely ...
    > http://tinyurl.com/2w8qqo
    >
    > Frank - seek help immediately! Visit ...
    > http://www.binsa.org/
    >



    I see I influenced your sig.
    Plagiarizing is like 2nd nature to linux fans, huh ?

    Exposed to the world ?
    You mean the 30 people that regularly post there ?
    alt.os.linux.ubuntu death valley


  9. Re: Vista and the malware situation



    "forty-nine" <49@linux.p-u> wrote in message news:fjh0d0$4id$1@aioe.org...
    > "Alias" wrote in message
    > news:fjgr87$mvi$1@aioe.org...
    >> Steve Thackery wrote:
    >>
    >> Just cleaned up an XP machine. 19 viruses which took seven virus scans to
    >> finally remove from the system. 26 spywares. No Windows updates since
    >> January. Java out of date. Real Player out of date. Quick Time out of
    >> date. No AV. No Firewall.
    >>
    >> Oops.
    >>
    >> Alias

    >
    >
    > Sounds like a PC administered by a 13 year old


    Actually, sounds more like a PC administered by a 50 year old with no clue
    about computers.

    Most 13 year olds I know are more savvy.

    Mic


  10. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    In article , Alias wrote:

    > Just cleaned up an XP machine. 19 viruses which took seven virus scans
    > to finally remove from the system. 26 spywares. No Windows updates since
    > January. Java out of date. Real Player out of date. Quick Time out of
    > date. No AV. No Firewall.


    So - as always - the lesson is keep your OS and apps up to date. Keep
    your AV up to date.

    Bob Campbell

  11. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    > Then you have been completely irresponsible and stupid. It's people like
    > you who are responsible for all the SPAM and trojans washing round the
    > internet. You have absolutely NO WAY of knowing whether your computer has
    > been infected or not.


    Hah! You prat! Read my message: I did a full Kaspersky scan after playing
    around on the so-called dodgy site.

    In the previous thread I described how I've done three on-line scans each
    year from the major AV vendors, and they have all reported a completely
    clean PC. Ditto with PC Tools Anti-Spyware.

    Don't slag people off without knowing the facts.

    I'm prepared to bet that you've got NO experimental evidence whatsoever to
    demonstrate the need for AV software. You're just mindlessly repeating the
    marketing paradigm.

    I, on the other hand, have done the experiment and got the data. I CAN
    speak from the evidence.

    SteveT



  12. Re: Vista and the malware situation

    Mark Conrad wrote:

    > In article ,
    > "Erich Kohl" wrote:
    >
    > > I'd like to submit a little bit of public commentary regarding
    > > Windows Vista and the threat that exists of coming into contact
    > > with malicious software (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.).

    >
    > Thanks Erich, I found both of your threads helpful.
    >
    > [snip]


    Thanks for the compliment, Mark. I'm glad you enjoyed reading what I
    had to say.

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