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How to prevent malware in the future?


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After a recent bout with multiple nasty trojans.. I figured I would ask you guys how to prevent this from happening in the future.

This is not my first time dealing with malware - which is why I have a paid subscription for over a year now :huh:

But my Malware always seems to "execute" or pop up when I am browsing Pirate Bay. I didn't download anything (if I did I would understand where it came from), but I'm just reading the lists of items then I clicked on a posting to read the ratings / reviews of the other users ... and this trojan was able to execute. Then the fake popups start and they hijack my pc, stop malwarebytes from executing, etc.

Now looking back

I didn't have Malwarebytes "start with windows" checked --- do you think that is how this dammn thing got on my pc ? would this have prevented this trojan from executing?

How does this thing execute if i'm not downloading anything? I'm just browsing a forum. Malwarebytes runs a scan every night - so I think it would have found something if it was just dormant on my PC then "woke up"

I have peerguardian and McAfee running on startup, running XP and explorer 7

How can I prevent this in the future?

use firefox, login with an ID that does not have admin privileges, have malwarebytes start with windows?

Thanks for guiding me through this

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Yes you need to have that checked so MBAM starts and is running in the background. And yes it would have probably prevented the Trojan from running!!

You don't have to DL anything for this stuff to get on your machine.

Also make sure you upgrade to IE 8 and also make sure all your windows updates are current...Keep checking and installing till it doesn't show any...

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cpaesq,

Layered protection is great, and is what I use :huh:

Just to add to what others have said here,

Have an active, up-to date antivirus program with updates done at least once daily

Mbam pro is a GREAT program to have :lol:

Yes, likely the trojan would not have gotten in had you opted to have Malwarebytes protection start with Windows.

However, Mbam and your AV program may not update properly from the limited account on XP, so please log onto the admin account at least once a day to update until you are sure you are getting updates either from the limited account or you can continue to log onto the admin account to ensure that you are getting daily updates :P

I would recommend staying far, far away from the pirate bay website :huh: and any similar sites.

In addition to the above, a HOSTS program would also do you well, I use HostsMan, which I would be more than happy to assist you with in getting onto your machine and answer any questions you may have about it.

What HostsMan HOSTS file does is block baddie websites and most advertisements, adding further protection to your machine.

Of course, nothing, like anything in life, is 100%, but combining all these things greatly reduces the risk & makes your machine very difficult to infect :)

Of course, practicing safe browsing habits, staying away from questionable websites, and not using P2P software also is good!

When replying, please use the ADD REPLY button at the bottom of the page, as this makes the forum easier to read.

Thank you :)

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HostsMan does not block baddie websites and most advertisements but it permits the automatic update of the system HOSTS file that blocks them.

The companion application HostsServer is a browser speedup proxy that will log the effectiveness of the HOSTS file if this is set up in its Preferences settings.

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cpaesq,

Layered protection is great, and is what I use :huh:

In addition to the above, a HOSTS program would also do you well, I use HostsMan, which I would be more than happy to assist you with in getting onto your machine and answer any questions you may have about it.

What HostsMan does is block baddie websites and most advertisements, adding further protection to your machine.

so this is sort of like a peerguardian type of program that uses a "list" of sorts to keep track of the bad websites and block them?

What about using a virtual machine if one did have to wander into the land of the baddie websites... at least I could always wipe out that machine and not infect my main computer.

I have upgraded to explorer 8, and have been reading and researching all of your suggestions - please keep them coming. :)

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cpaesq,

Sort of. Here is some more information on the Hosts file:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file

Under other uses, see "Internet resources blocking"

This is what the HostsMan hosts file manager does, blocks baddie websites and the like.

Special entries in the hosts file may be used to block online advertising, or the domains of known malicious resources and servers that contain spyware, adware, and other malware.

Sure, if you want to use a virtual machine for surfing, that's a good idea. I don't know much about virtual machines at all but if you do and you are comfortable going that route, by all means do so :huh:

Is your McAfee free or paid? Reason I am asking is because I don't really recommend McAfee, so if you have a free version, I have some other ideas for you :)

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cpaesq,

Is your McAfee free or paid? Reason I am asking is because I don't really recommend McAfee, so if you have a free version, I have some other ideas for you :unsure:

It is paid - I get it through work - they have a licence that covers our PC at home as well. I don't like it much either - and think I should upgrade.

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Okay, so the machine in question is your home computer, correct? As you should not be making any changes to a work machine without prior authorization.

Please just use the ADD REPLY button when you reply, I'll know what you're referring to as long as you make it clear :unsure:

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  • Root Admin
Also a firewall such as Online Armor or Outpost are good.

Yes they are, but if you're on Vista or Windows 7 they both come with an excellent built-in firewall that supports both incoming and outgoing communications. The interface and usage might be a bit more complex than the other 3rd party versions, but the built-in works quite well all on its own. Windows XP on the other hand only supports incoming traffic which is not so good.

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mountaintree16 --- This is my home PC we are talking about. Work gives me McAfee (paid) which I have installed on my home pc. It is not mandatory that I have to install it, but I figured if they were giving it to me - it wouldn't hurt to use (it was better than the "free trial version" that came with the Dell). I don't like it - it seems to let a lot of malware infect my machine. Do you think I should get rid of this and use something else?

I'm trying to learn how to set up a virtual machine - using VMWare / VMServer. I downloaded the software today - but will ask the IT guys on monday a little bit more about it. I could use that machine to browse those questionable sites.

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  • Root Admin

Avira or Avast in most cases would be a good choice for Anti-Virus on your computer. Much lighter on resources and reasonably good detection rates.

Use of a Mozilla browser like Firefox and NoScript and AdBlock Plus would go a long way in helping to reduce infections as well. Using the paid version of Malwarebyes would also help greatly.

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Hello again, cpaesq :)

Are you looking for a free or a paid antivirus product?

I personally would never recommend that anyone use McAfee if they could help it :)

And of course, paid Malwarebytes is also a wonderful way to protect your system alongside an antivirus program against malware that antiviruses are not designed to catch.

Below is a canned message about different AV options out there, both free and paid. Let me know if you have any further questions!

The following are my recommendations for antivirus protection along with links to downloads for them (free trials for those that require a purchase so you can try them before deciding):

Note: If you decide to use one of the trial versions of one of the paid antiviruses then you will either need to purchase it or uninstall it completely and install a replacement antivirus before the trial expires so that your PC is not left unprotected.

MSE Downloads:

Definitions Installers:

Note: if installing the definitions in Windows Vista or Windows 7 you MUST right click the definitions installer and select Run as administrator and click Continue at the User Account Control prompt.

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ah! Well, when you register it, it should, by default, start protecting right away/start with Windows.

Make sure the active protection is in place via you altering the settings for that, and then restart your computer.

Do you have any questions about any of the Antiviruses mentioned thus far? :)

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You're welcome!

Great :) Avast! would be a good choice :) If you have any questions about it, their forum is here and also YoKenny1, one of our regulars here, uses it and is very knowledgeable about it as well :)

Also, it would not hurt to add exclusions to Avast! for Malwarebytes as outlined here. Even though its not AVG, the same files should be excluded :)

Let us know if you have any other questions!

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So while it would run a scan at night - it was not protecting my PC when I was on the web.
avast! has Web shield that protects your system while on the Web: :)
Only the clean data is delivered to the browser, every malware is stopped before it gets saved on your PC.
http://support.avast.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=19
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Bit of a problem.

1) uninstalled the anti virus. however McAfee Agent 4.? is still on my machine.

went to run MCPR and says "McAfee Enterprise detected. Cannot continue."...

I can't uninstall it via remove programs, same case. I have also tried Revo (regular Uninstall and get the same message "it is being used" - I have not yet tried a forced uninstall in Revo) - but figured I should check back in with you guys first before I take the next step

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