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Author Topic: Any recommendations for good Malware/Spyware blitzer  (Read 7767 times)

Offline imatfaal

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Hello Everyone

Could anyone recommend a good anti-malware/-spyware programme?  I must have picked something up I shouldn't and I am a bit worried about possibility of key logger etcs. Done malwarebytes (no hits) and zonealarm superdeepscan (also no hits); so it's either very sophisticated or someone got my gmail details through another source (which is probably the most worrying).


 

Offline RD

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Any recommendations for good Malware/Spyware blitzer
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2011 16:44:33 »
... someone got my gmail details through another source (which is probably the most worrying).

There is malware which “harvests” (steals) a copy of the contacts list from an individuals online email account, e.g those provided by Gmail and Yahoo (etc). The email addresses on the contacts list are then sent spam, which in addition to advertising bogus products also tries to harvest their contacts lists if the email is opened. 

That type of malware does not infect your computer, it infects the online account, so it won’t be detectable by scanning your computer (coz it isn’t on your computer). If someone who had your email address in their contacts list had their online email account compromised in this way it could result in you (and everyone else in their contacts list) getting sent spam emails.

BTW

Malwarebytes is good, if anything oversensitive , (I’ve had a couple of false positives with it).

If you are using a Windows system you could try the free Microsoft Security Essentials.
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/
« Last Edit: 23/03/2011 16:49:04 by RD »
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2011 17:28:41 »
Thanks RD,

So it could be that someone harvested my gmail addressbook - but had access to nothing else?  Your first suggestion is exactly what happened to me; is there really anything that can be done?  Apart from apologising to those that have been spammed in my name, and changing my logon details.

Will try the MSE

 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2011 17:39:15 »
I can also vouch for MSE....it does a very admirable job !
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #4 on: 23/03/2011 18:05:20 »
... is there really anything that can be done?  Apart from apologising to those that have been spammed in my name, and changing my logon details.

Will try the MSE

You could report it to Gmail to have them check your account is malware-free ... http://mail.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=gtag_headers&group=hijack_spam

MSE (nor any other anti-malware on your computer) would not have stopped your Gmail online account being compromised.
The harvesting of your contacts could have been done by clicking on a spam email (like I described above), or by you logging in to a false Gmail page (a.k.a. "phishing"). If it's the latter then changing your password is essential, use a strong password: 14 characters of gibberish (don't use a word which is in a dictionary).  
 
Unfortunately erasing your Gmail contacts list would be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, (the spammers already have a copy).

Gmail does offer connection by HTTPS which is more secure than HTTP (avoids phishing and eavesdropping), you can select "always use https" connection in your Gmail "general" settings.
« Last Edit: 24/03/2011 00:06:50 by RD »
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #5 on: 24/03/2011 13:38:29 »
Thanks all your help RD - it seems to be confirming my ideas.  Still at a loss as to how - I just don't tend to click on links, already use HTTPS, had 10 character gibberish password etc. 

Someone suggested that iphone connecting over public wifi and then downloading from my gmail account could be possible - but seems very sophisticated.  I normally keep my iphone from attempting to logon to public wifi hotspots but, a few days before I was hacked, I had to restore my iphone after it corrupted and the default (try to access new networks) was re-instated.  Is this really possible? 
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #6 on: 24/03/2011 14:27:57 »
Still at a loss as to how - I just don't tend to click on links

You don't need to click on links, just opening the spam email can permit contact-list harvesting ...
 http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=57cb9ec55b6914f9&hl=en

If you didn't open any spam emails, or get caught out by phishing, it could be an exploit (security hole) on the Gmail side, (i.e. not due to your actions), that's happened before e.g. ...

http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/20/whoa-google-thats-a-pretty-big-security-hole/

[ BTW Yahoo email, unlike Gmail, requires that you have to re-enter your password before doing things like exporting your contacts list, which is an obstacle to contact-list harvesting ].
« Last Edit: 24/03/2011 15:01:58 by RD »
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #7 on: 25/03/2011 03:43:41 »
After doing anything a bit risky I like to run Exterminate It! just to make sure, I have Microsoft Security Essentials anti virus running which is always quick to send me warnings.
« Last Edit: 25/03/2011 03:49:15 by syhprum »
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #8 on: 25/03/2011 11:35:02 »
Thanks Syhprum - might give that a go as well. 

Of course I never do anything dodgy ahem ahem
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #9 on: 19/05/2011 07:37:15 »
Sorry this is a little late.

I haven't done much with the Microsoft Stuff lately.  But, here are the FREE utilities that I've used in the past.

Spybot.  Pretty basic Spyware program. 
http://www.safer-networking.org

Adaware.  Also a Spyware program.  Looks like it now contains Antivirus info.
http://www.lavasoft.com/

Microsoft Windows Defender.  I didn't like the "real time" options, but it does scan your HDD.  Maybe only Win XP.  What does the new versions of Windows use?
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender/default.mspx

AVG Antivirus
http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage

Avira Antivirus
http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus

Zone Alarm Firewall.  A bit cumbersome to use, but it will tell you what is trying to hit the internet.  May give some helpful info.  At least a couple of years ago, it would take some time to set it up to allow the "good" programs.
http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-pc-security-free-firewall.htm

Sometimes there would be some odd pop-ups that would have some very specific removal software.  If you have a website or message that is popping up, put it into an internet search.

YOU CAN SCAN WITH MULTIPLE PROGRAMS.  HOWEVER, DON'T CONFIGURE 2 DIFFERENT ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS TO DO REAL-TIME SCANNING AT THE SAME TIME.  It is generally ok to have an Antivirus, Firewall, and Anti-Spyware program running at the same time, although I tend to only do the real-time scanning with the antivirus.  Others I set up to scan on-demand.

Other programs.

MSCONFIG.  Should already be installed on your machine.  It will list the programs that are starting up on your machine at startup/logon.

I've snagged a couple of "live viruses" in the past.  One of the things that I've done is to search the directories:

C:/Windows
C:/Windows/System

Look in particular for anything that is a hidden-system file.  Be careful not to delete actual Windows files.  But...  perhaps post any file names you find here, or do a web search.  I can't remember, I think I used "Attrib" in DOS to page through the files pretty quickly.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #10 on: 19/05/2011 10:36:40 »
Thanks Clifford.  My experience with ZoneAlarm is that its gone from being sharp, quick and useful to bloated, resource hungry, and useless (I have heard that before...oh yeah last argument with the ....)

MSE has caught a few things that have otherwise been missed - and it doesn't seem to affect performance.  I use Avast Anti-v at home and on laptop and it seems pretty good - better than ZA
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #11 on: 19/05/2011 18:46:03 »
Clifford - I tried MS Defender, and it was not much use, but MSE

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx

seems to be a different story.
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #12 on: 19/05/2011 23:55:16 »
Clifford - I tried MS Defender, and it was not much use, but MSE

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx

seems to be a different story.

I cleaned off all the Microsoft Software from my computer years ago.  Defender was specifically anti-spyware, and perhaps isn't being maintained anymore.  MSE is probably the updated version, but also appears to include an antivirus program.

It never hurts to do periodic scans with multiple software versions, but you don't want to do real-time scanning with everything under the sun.
 

Offline Ryan Mercer

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« Reply #13 on: 26/05/2011 12:07:10 »
My arsenal is this. Spybot Search and Destroy over at safer-networking.org, Malwarebytes anti malware over at malwarebytes.org, and Microsoft's Windows Defender. Then of course a good anti-virus, if you want free I prefer Avast but AVG is good too, if you want to pay I hand's down recommend nod32.
 

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Any recommendations for good Malware/Spyware blitzer
« Reply #13 on: 26/05/2011 12:07:10 »

 

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