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Question Regarding Login to sites such as FB, etc, after PC infection


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I was wondering if anyone might be able to answer this question for me. I've been thinking about it and puzzling over it in my head for a few weeks, and I think the answer is probably no, but I wanted to see if anyone might know more than me :)

If a computer was infected by a virus and/or other malware (and it may or may not have been cleaned prior to login), and then someone logged into their email account, facebook account, favorite discussion forum, etc on that computer... and then later logged onto the same account on an uninfected computer, would it be possible for that uninfected computer to contract a virus and/or malware simply because they logged onto/visited the page on the clean machine after having visited it on the unclean machine?

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  • Root Admin

Well I wouldn't be too quick to answer that one Exile. If the mail is infected and continues to be infected on a remote system (not too likely as most mail systems scrub pretty rigorously for stuff now days) then if your clean system does not have ample protection to prevent it, then its possible to get infected from that infected mail (such as a Yahoo / Live mail account).

However, in general Exile is correct in that, aside from rare scenarios the two systems don't have anything to do with each other.

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Yes, that's very true, an infected email itself would certainly have the possibility of infecting any computer if not properly infected, but simply logging in when you've logged into it with a computer that was infected would have no effect (as long as the infection came from elsewhere and not the email account).

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  • 2 weeks later...

AdvancedSetup & Exile:

Thank you very much :)

Hmm. So I assume I am safe then?

As for an email account, well my question was about logging into the email on a computer that is infected and/or has been cleaned after being infected, but not having opened any attachments on the uninfected computer. Er, well, is it possible to have an email account that is actually infected? I am a little confused by your answers.

The other question was about sites such as facebook, myspace, and messages forums such as this one.

Lets say I signed onto my facebook (or a forum or myspace) on a computer affected by malware/avirus/etc (either it was present on the computer and I didn't know it or had recently been cleaned off) and then I signed onto facebook, etc... on a computer that is clean... could that uninfected computer then get infected?

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Nope, you can't have an infected email account, just an infected email attachment or message. The same goes for sites like us and facebook, you wouldn't get infected just because you'd logged in with an infected computer previously. There is however a risk to your online passwords if you logged into anything that required a password for access on an infected computer because often trojans and keyloggers will attempt to steal such info. Best practice is to change all passwords from a known clean computer after such an incident occurs :) .

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Exile:

Thank you much!! Hmm so can an email be infected then even without an attachment? So as long as that message is not opened you'd be good to go?

& thank you about the password advice :) I pretty much knew that but it was good to hear it from you too! When in doubt, I change my password.

:)

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It is possible for an email to be infected without an actual attachment if images and html are enabled in your email website (although most disable it by default for security reasons). To be safe, I never open emails from anyone I don't know or didn't request and I don't open forwarded emails from people I do know. My friends and family know this now so they don't send me the chain letters and "cute stories" and such any more :) .

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ah, this is true!

I basically had all the forwards go into a junk folder I made or had them go straight to the trash in most of my emails (I have a few different email accounts, lol).

I never used to see any harm in them, but mostly I found them annoying, then I realized that they could potentially be infected. The only person I really get them from anymore is a coworker, and I haven't even been opening those lately, especially if they have an attachment. I don't really see the harm in the text-only ones, but I suppose that there could be. They are cute and nice and have a good message sometimes, but are just probably not a good idea to open, huh?

Oh, and I see there is a new Java update today!

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Yeah, with the way most online email accounts are set up now you're relatively safe from anything actually executing any kind of code just by opening them, but I still don't take the chance. Most worms are known to spread via email, as well as peer-to-peer programs like bittorrent clients and limewire.

Yup, get your fresh Java while it's hot :) !

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blech on the worms spreading via email :) There's also a nasty one apparently going around mainly to Facebook users... you get a youtube link, then your browser wants you to "update" something and BAM! worm. ugh! nasty stuff. I don't open ANY links on facebook or any videos either now after learning about that. I didn't really anyway, but especially now.

disgusting, disgusting.

haha :) Hot Java :) I don't drink coffee, but I don't mind getting fresh hot virtual Java :)

Yeah, with the way most online email accounts are set up now you're relatively safe from anything actually executing any kind of code just by opening them, but I still don't take the chance. Most worms are known to spread via email, as well as peer-to-peer programs like bittorrent clients and limewire.

Yup, get your fresh Java while it's hot :) !

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  • Root Admin

Install ALL Microsoft Critical Updates

Install IE7, then IE8 but don't use as default browser

Use Firefox as default browser

Remove Java or Disable it in Firefox for all sites except trusted

install NoScript add-on

install AdBlock Plus add-on

Use Avira AV with Guard enabled

Use MBAM with Protection Module enabled

If you still get an infection you're one heck of Pr0n surfer, WaReZ grabber.

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@ AdvancedSetup:

Thank you :)

I have IE8 Already, and as far as I know I am up to date on Microsoft. I already use AVG Internet Security Suite, so should I just not do Avira or?

How do I do the disable except for trusted in Java? My husband for example, the other day went to a site to calculate tires for his new truck and Java was used, so wouldn't things like that not work if I do that?

I plan to add on NoScript and AdBlockPlus as soon as I can :)

I plan to buy MBAM Pro soon too. I just had been waiting on it because the computer was slow and I wanted to get that taken care of before I added on anything else. I'm going to buy it soon :) <<EDIT: I now have MBAM Pro :)

I am updating my Adobe right now.

I ALWAYS use Firefox unless manually checking for microsoft updates or if I am getting a DL from the microsoft site that I can't get with Firefox.

What are warez? and pron?

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  • Root Admin

Just my own personal opinion and not based on scientific analysis - I think Avira does a better job of protecting your system than AVG

If you have not heard of WaReZ or pr0n then I'd guess you don't surf the Web all that much into the darker side of the Web.

Both are derived from: leet

You would use NoScript to disallow Java unless you trusted the site. It can be a bit of a chore training NoScript but once you have it working well on the sites you visit most and get comfortable using it, then it can protect you in ways that other software can not.

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@ AdvancedSetup:

Okay. Hmm. I am paid up till the end of February with AVG though. I thought it was the best but I dunno now. I've had my doubts about it before.

I don't surf the web too much, especially lately after learning about all these online dangers. I used to do a lot of searching and research on things. But I haven't lately after learning that any page could potentially be infected.. has rather scared me from surfing at all.

Definitely haven't looked into the darker side of the web as far as I know!

Ah, okay. As far as I know we don't use Java ALL that much, but I think that NoScripts would be a good idea. The only problem would be sometimes my husband uses sites when I am not here, and I don't think he'd know what to do if NoScripts gave him trouble or the page didn't display what he wanted/needed. Such as yesterday, he went to a page to do some tire calculations and Java asked for permission to get past the firewall, he hit block, it didn't work of course. I told him he needs to let Java through :) He closed Firefox, reopened the site, and then it worked fine. Hmm do you know how long it would take to train NoScripts?

Just checking, those links you gave me on the info on warez and pron safe?

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Ah, okay.

I am not sure which sites I use that Java is needed. I know some are that my husband uses. I just don't want him to get all frustrated with it.

Hmm so when you install it, then go to a page that uses Java and its blocked, what happens?

If you have the latest Java update, are you still at risk? Including if you don't have NoScripts ?

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  • Root Admin

You could be because Java can be told to do stuff and if you agree then it will do it. Hopefully there currently is no exploit code but there are still Windows that can popup that you can't close because they won't let you and they keep asking/telling you to install something, the same with Flash... Many ways to annoy a user but if you use NoScript and you're not on a trusted site then they can't use those dumb tactics against you unless you say okay to allow it to load.

Basically go to the NoScript site and do a bit of reading, install it and give it a try. If you don't like it then take it out. No harm done.

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@ AdvancedSetup

Hmmm.

I'll tell him to be on the lookout for a box that might pop up. I have to get up early in the morning tomorrow so I actually need to go to bed in about an hour and a half so I don't really have the time to try it out now, but I will next time I have some time :) Thank you.

I did start a download of it a while back, and this warning popped up with a snake icon... which freaked me out a little bit, do you know if that is normal?

Also, in case there was some exploit in Java, would mbam pro protect me or would that really only be the job of NoScripts?

Miekiemoes actually first told me about NoScripts :): http://noscript.net/

I'll go read a little more about it now :)

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  • Root Admin

There is no 100% foolproof method of prevention aside from taking the network cable out, the CD ROM out, and the USB ports out so that the system is isolated.

Well..... we know that's not going to happen so that is where using multi-layered tools helps us to prevent infections in most situations.

Good AV, Good Anti-Malware, Good Browser and a couple good plugins and for the most part unless something very new and tricky comes along you're very unlikely to get infected.

NoScript only pops up a box for the installation, after that it sits as an icon on the bottom right of Firefox and does not do anything. You right click it to interact with it or choose who/what you want to do.

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@ AdvancedSetup

Thanks!

True true. :)

So if something tries to install, NoScripts blocks the installation of things? Or it blocks Java completely from working? I'm just a little confused. "NoScript only pops up a box for the installation, after that it sits as an icon on the bottom right of Firefox and does not do anything. You right click it to interact with it or choose who/what you want to do."

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  • Root Admin

It is mainly meant to block Java Scripts but works on some other items too. It is not really there to block Java completely and Java in and of itself is not bad and neither is JavaScript, but as with other software someone found a way to be bad with it and uses it against you

Best way to learn it is to install it and try it out.

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@ AdvancedSetup

Ah, okay.

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

That site is the tire site he was using yesterday, for example. Java starts loading, AVG asks permission, and then I see the icon in my taskbar. Would NoScripts block something like that do you think?

I will try it out when I can :)

Thanks again!

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  • Root Admin

Blocks it for me since I've never been there and by default no site is trusted until you say it is (well a couple are by default but you get my point)

(Note: If you don't see the Java calculator below, make sure you have Java enabled in your browser. If it still doesn't work, you may need to upgrade or install the Sun Java Runtime Environment. Or you can try using our older version.)

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@ AdvancedSetup

Do you have a Java calculator in your last post to me in this thread or are you talking about the webpage that I gave you a link to? I'm just checking because I do not see one in your post.

Would you be able to answer some questions for me about NoScripts and what it blocks/prevents and if MBAM Pro would also block these infections or is that only the job of NoScripts?

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