Virus and spyware problems

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Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:47 am

I don't know if it is the right place to ask about this, but i want to know what's the best anti-virus and anti-spyware software? I tries many softwares like: KasperSky, AVG, Norton 360, Vipre, Aira, Panda and Microsoft Security Essentials, i think that's all, but no one of them was good.
I'm currently using Vipre but i'm having many problems, so my computer stops responding many times and when i'm using photoshop sometimes it starts moving the picture itself or masks parts of the picture that i don't want to mask, besides these problems, it can't open Youtube, whenever i write youtube.com it says: Internet Explorer can't open webpage and it also happened in google chrome and firefox, even google can't display youtube videos.
Does anybody has an idea why these problems are happening to my computer? is it because viruses and spywares?

Thanks.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Qyot27 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:42 pm

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or a ton of cure, in the case of malware). It's far easier to prevent these things from happening in the first place than it is to fix them after they've occurred. So if the problem is truly bad enough, you may need to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

If your computer is too old, then the problem may be entirely with the antivirus programs themselves - most are notoriously resource-hungry, and on underpowered or bottlenecked systems can be way too much of a burden for everything to run smoothly. Or it could even be the hardware itself - although if a fresh install works great, then it is software bloat.

One, you need to know where the virus is located on the file system. Oftentimes they hide in the Temp cache (C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp, and/or Temporary Internet Files). Generally speaking, Temp doesn't need to have any files in it, and it's safe to delete all of the ones in there*. If some refuse to be deleted (and aren't actually necessary, like the example from the * I gave), then it might be a virus or other malware. When you know that, then you can go into Safe mode and delete the files for good (or better yet, a Linux-based LiveCD like those for Ubuntu, since that ensures that deleting them will work). When using the Linux method, the next time Windows starts it may have to rebuild the file index (this may take several hours if you deleted a lot of junk), but after doing that should be fine.

*Some programs do create and protect files in there; ZoneAlarm does every time Windows starts, but that's only one file, not twenty or thirty or 500.

The other part, the whole preventative angle, is that the most basic protection I've found is a combination of firewall (I personally use ZoneAlarm Free, others will probably recommend other apps), SpyBot S&D, Firefox loaded down with the AdBlock Plus extension, and CCleaner. I also make sure XP is updated to SP3 and some vital post-SP3 fixes from Microsoft Update.

Make sure all components are up-to-date (not too hard, really, although the firewall can be a bitch and require a restart between uninstallation of the current version and new install of the updated version), which means make sure that Firefox has its updates installed and AdBlock's definitions are current, SpyBot's definitions are current, and CCleaner is of as new a version as possible. Make sure SpyBot's Immunize feature is used, and make sure it's used every time a new definition update comes in. In CCleaner, use both the Temp files cleaner and the Registry cleaner. CCleaner can also control the contents of your Startup, so you can trim out unwanted entries from starting when Windows does.

Run SpyBot's scan, remove those infections, and then run SpyBot again. And again. And again. Run it until it does not pick up a single infection. That might be after just two runs, it might be after the fifth. Then use CCleaner's Temp cleaner (for security reasons, you might want to raise the level of file shredding to NSA or even Gutmann level). You can customize some of the things CCleaner trashes, so that you don't lose passwords and such, but I would suggest in this instance to let it run unhindered at first, just to be safe - for maintenance use you can do all the nice customization. The Temp cleaner really only needs to be run once in this sequence, though. Then move over to the Registry cleaner - you don't really need to save a backup when it asks, as I feel confident in CCleaner's level of safety, but if you're paranoid you can. The Registry cleaner you will want to run repeatedly until it detects nothing. Also check the Startup editor to make sure nothing malicious has planted itself there.

After the above is finished, it may simply be a matter of maintaining the cleanliness of the system. Don't use IE, keep Firefox updated to its newest version (AdBlock should update its definitions automatically), make sure Windows itself has at least the newest Service Pack, if not completely updated through Windows/Microsoft Update, don't visit shady websites that are the most common source of infection, check perhaps every 1-2 weeks for new SpyBot definitions and Immunize right afterward (make sure all web browsers are closed when you do that, though). You might also want to defragment the HDD, in which case you could use Defraggler, another program by CCleaner's makers that presents the progress data and so on in a much nicer way that Windows' native defragger does.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Kariudo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:43 pm

Norton being no good is a given, but what makes you say that Kaspersky and the others are no good?

Without more specific information, I can't even begin to guess at what the problem might be.
Even with specific information, I might not be able to.
I'd suggest getting HijackThis and posting the log in the spware warrior forums (the section specifically for hjt logs)
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Qyot27 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:47 pm

Qyot27 wrote:and so on in a much nicer way that Windows' native defragger does.

Than. Fixed.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:03 pm

Qyot27 wrote:(I personally use ZoneAlarm Free, others will probably recommend other apps)

First Thank you very much for your replay.
I searched for temp files but i didn't find many, i only found one and i deleted it. And by the way, my computer isn't old, i'm using Sony Vaio VGNCR410 with Windows Vista and i bought it at the end of 2008.
I'm downloading the softwares you mentioned, but you didn't buy ZoneAlarmfull version, you just use ZoneAlarm Basic Firewall for free, right? and should i remove Vipre antivirus before i install these softwares you mentioned?

Kariudo wrote:Norton being no good is a given, but what makes you say that Kaspersky and the others are no good?


Thanks for your comment Kariudo, well KasperSky and the others didn't catch the viruses and spywares on my computer.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Kariudo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:37 pm

Mysterious Pharaoh wrote:
Kariudo wrote:Norton being no good is a given, but what makes you say that Kaspersky and the others are no good?


Thanks for your comment Kariudo, well KasperSky and the others didn't catch the viruses and spywares on my computer.

This strikes me as odd. Kaspersky has historically performed very well, though it seems others have beaten Kaspersky out recently based on this site's testing. It's a good idea to get CCleaner, Zone Alarm and Spybot S&D, but if you weren't using a firewall before (windows firewall doesn't count) or checking for spyware before I'd really recommend getting HijackThis and posting the log to see if you're still infected with something.

You shouldn't need to uninstall Vipre to install ZoneAlarm Free (which is also what I use)
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:09 pm

Kariudo wrote:This strikes me as odd. Kaspersky has historically performed very well, though it seems others have beaten Kaspersky out recently based on this site's testing. It's a good idea to get CCleaner, Zone Alarm and Spybot S&D, but if you weren't using a firewall before (windows firewall doesn't count) or checking for spyware before I'd really recommend getting HijackThis and posting the log to see if you're still infected with something.

You shouldn't need to uninstall Vipre to install ZoneAlarm Free (which is also what I use)

You mean i can install ZoneAlarm Free, Spybot S&D and CCleaner beside Vipre? But that is too much for my computer O.O it will be slow, is it okay if i uninstall Vipre?
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:28 pm

I Installed ZoneAlarm Free but only the firewall security works but the anti-virus and anti-spyware is off, do i have to buy them? or you only use the firewall? and ZoneAlarm is really annoying whenever it doesn't allow my programs to access the internet, is it the same with everybody? or are there some settings to change?

Thanks.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Kariudo » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:54 pm

The free version only gives you the firewall, hence why you should still keep vipre.
The only programs that are (or could/should) be constantly running are Vipre and ZoneAlarm.
CCleaner and Spybot S&D don't run continuously, so you shouldn't really see any more slowdown than what you get from running vipre.

ZoneAlarm will pester you with prompts for a while, until you get all your regular programs ok'd. (then you'll just get the occasional prompt.)
For stuff like firefox you can click "remember this" before you click allow so you don't have to give the go-ahead to firefox (that is, until you update firefox.)

Annoying, yes, but don't just blindly allow everything access to the internet. Take the time to read what program is asking for internet access, and google what you don't know. Stuff like your editing program probably doesn't need to connect to the internet (or if it does, it should be so infrequently that you can just ok it for one time.) A poorly configured firewall is worse than no firewall at all. When in doubt, deny.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:21 am

Thanks for the useful information Kariudo, but today i reinstall my Windows so Vipre was already uninstalled. My computer already came with Norton 360, and since you said it's not good then what anti-virus and anti-spyware do you recommend? which one do you use?
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Kariudo » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:51 pm

Kaspersky, Avira and Eset are all good subscription-based antivirus
Avast! professional is pretty darn good too. Personally, out of all the free antivirus programs, I think that Avast! free antivirus is the best.

For anti-spyware... Spybot Search and Destroy, Malwarebytes, Ad-Aware are the big (free) ones.

Personally, I use Avast! free, Zone Alarm free and Spybot S&D
If you do decide to get the professional editions of Avast and Zone Alarm you should know that they have conflicted with each other in the past (only happens when you install the paid versions of both AFAIK.) They may have resolved this issue since last I checked, but it's just something to be aware of.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Qyot27 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:45 pm

Kariudo wrote:For anti-spyware... Spybot Search and Destroy, Malwarebytes, Ad-Aware are the big (free) ones.

I'd not bother with Ad-Aware, personally...I used it for years alongside Spybot, and eventually it got to the point that Ad-Aware couldn't find anything that Spybot couldn't also. And considering Ad-Aware does run in the background at all times and when you launch the GUI interface it eats up resources like nobody's business, I just ditched it and went with Spybot only. A few years ago it was different - the two of them together could find and handle different problems (and Ad-Aware was actually the first anti-adware program I ever used, didn't find Spybot until later), but the need for it has kind of shrunk drastically, at least for me.




ZoneAlarm Free (firewall) - the more in-depth advice on that was already given
SpyBot S&D (anti-spyware, perhaps some general anti-malware capabilities - I seem to remember it detecting Trojans before) - remember to update definitions and Immunize!
Firefox (currently 3.6, but whatever the current version happens to be at the time), with AdBlock Plus extension. Do not use IE.
CCleaner (for later Temp, Registry, and Startup maintenance)
Defraggler (for optional defragging)

...and keep Windows itself updated with the relevant Service Packs and updates from Windows Update/Microsoft Update. If you don't want to worry about doing this, set Windows to use Automatic Updates (which I believe is the default anyway; just let it do its job).

After all that, then it's entirely up to you to pick an antivirus. You'll find suggestions for Avast!, AVG, Kaspersky, or so on. Or you could use HijackThis and get more specific instructions for your problems. I don't use an antivirus, haven't in years - but I know what I have to do to avoid them, and remove them manually if I have to (although I used the free version of Avast! to help with troubleshooting my sisters' computer back in October). Avast! seems pretty solid, at least to me.




A wholly-different route, but less error-prone, is to install Linux. Since Linux, like Mac OS X, is pretty much immune to this crap, you don't have to worry about junk getting in. Unlike the Mac, Linux can be installed on a regular PC and is typically completely free of charge (typically, because there are some business oriented distributions that are actually sold, but this price tag is mainly for the tech support and/or certain pieces of patent licensing if you get a distro loaded down with DVD software and so on - this latter point only applies is you get such software packaged with the distro, however). The downside, like the Mac, is that the software selection is different than on Windows. You can use Wine to run Windows programs, but how well they work is up in the air (Wine is also available for the Mac, either in a vanilla form, which I've honestly never gotten to work right on Tiger, or as Crossover; the Linux version is the original, though). But if all you need the computer for is internet, email, word processing, and watching videos/listening to music, then these software availability issues aren't something you need to worry about.

Internet (Firefox)
Email (Evolution - or Thunderbird, but you have to install it separately)
Word Processing, spreadsheets, and other 'office' stuff (OpenOffice.org)
Watching videos (SMPlayer or VLC)
Listening to music (Rhythmbox, Banshee, Amarok, Audacious, Songbird...there's tons of these apps, most of which bear a passing resemblance to iTunes - except Audacious; it looks/acts like Winamp).
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Mysterious Pharaoh » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:31 pm

I did all you told me about, but i still have problems besides youtube is still not opening =( i think i'll go to HijackThis to get more information.
But just one more question, what's Ad-Block used for? why is it useful?

Qyot27 wrote:But if all you need the computer for is internet, email, word processing, and watching videos/listening to music, then these software availability issues aren't something you need to worry about.

I don't think using Linux or Mac is good in my case, because i don't use computer for things you mentioned only, i always edit amvs using video softwares such as: Sony Vegas, After Effects and also photo softwares: Photoshope, illustrator and such programs. Besides i used to Windows and it's not easy to change the whole system.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Qyot27 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:34 pm

AdBlock does exactly what it says - block ads. Which makes A) the page load faster, and B) plausibly prevent malware transmitted through insidious forms of advertising from getting into the computer (although Firefox itself has other preventative measures for this as it is anyway).


As for the problem with YouTube not loading and what all, this is seriously starting to sound like an issue with a proxy, whereby it is actively blocking you, rather than your computer blocking it. Or maybe it's a bit of both.
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Re: Virus and spyware problems

Postby Elcalavero » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:49 am

Well I didnt read the above posts, I just read the title "Virus and Spyware problems". Best Solution is below. If it helps in any way good, if it doesn't oh well.

For spyware/malware

Get Malwarebytes Anti Malware. It is simply the best free spyware remover in my opinion.

http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-A ... ?tag=mncol

Once the download is complete, it should update automatically. First run a "Quick Scan", Once the scan is over delete ALL threats, After that, run "Full Scan", Once the scan is over delete ALL threats again.

If you cant install the program Anti Malware due to viruses,etc... Boot in SAFE MODE, Install the program and do a "Quick Scan" .....After that restart the computer and boot normally and run "Full Scan".

PS. You can enter SAFE MODE (with F2 or F6 or F8? I dont remember, depends on the brand/computer your using, press one of these buttons immediately when you turn on the computer or when the computer is booting)


For antivirus

Get Avira AntVir.

http://download.cnet.com/Avira-AntiVir- ... ?tag=mncol

You should use this software after using AntiMalware.

Download, install, update, and run a COMPLETE SCAN. That is all.
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