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by mchainmchain - 8/7/12 9:58 PM
In Reply to: What bugs me by ladamson
A part of what I do is investigate internet malware, what it is, where it is, and how it spreads.
One of the ways it can spread is without user intervention.
Meaning you, the user of your computer, do not have to do anything to get infected. Just by visiting a site you have trusted in the past does not mean at the next visit is not compromised with, say, a Blackhole exploit kit, (a very nasty exploit engine), and it will silently check for security weaknesses and exploits in your system while you are there. Many times an user will indirectly arrive at this server through a redirect from a site that has the Blackhole pointing to it, and that is sufficient to initiate and download malware into your system if a known or unknown exploit exists; many times this is newer malware your antivirus or antispyware (if active and running in real-time) cannot detect, as in this case, the definitions for it are not in existence, and thus not on your machine.
What you, the user, can do:
1.) Use a program to keep all of your software up to date; this means updating Adobe, Java, Office, and any other software you have installed on your system.
Secunia has free software and a website scanner that can do this for you here: (link to both at these two web pages) http://secunia.com/products/consumer/psi/ & http://secunia.com/products/consumer/osi/online/
2.) Get WOT installed in the browser you use (IE, Firefox, Chrome) World Of Trust here: http://www.mywot.com/ As a test after installing, google screensavers and look at the ratings WOT has listed.
3.) Get AdBlock Plus installed as above here: http://adblockplus.org/en/ Not only will your webpages load faster than they used to, it will also prevent malicious ads from ever downloading onto the page you are viewing and visiting. You cannot click an ad you cannot see, and one that, in retrospect, led to an infection on your system you decided to click because you were curious or other.
Just these three things alone will help you surf more safely than you do now.
All antiviruses have one major limitation: The bad guys always are ahead of the good guys; catchup is the operative word here, and definitions for any malware is always behind the curve. Someone must be infected first, the new malware must be detected and captured, then analyzed, and then the definition for it is issued out to users by that a/v vendor. You will not be protected until this is done.
So by removing security vulnerabilities in your system, establishing a reputable rating system you can view for sites you visit or are considering visiting, and removing the possibility of ever seeing a malicious ad, you will be safer than before.
Note: If you are not backing up your system in case of disaster, please consider this option. Even the best of us cannot avoid getting stuck; the difference may be that awareness of what can happen is the difference between recovery and the total loss of all our important files. That is why we back up.
To ensure your system is completely rid of Complitly malware (note the spelling) you can go to any a/v forum (Avast! user forum does not care who you have for an a/v vendor) and have a malware specialist have a look in to see if remnants are still there.
It is an annoying experience, isn't it? What if it was worse?
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