Tag Archives: pc-security

Windows Antivirus & Security

Honestly, I receive several questions every day related to Windows security software. What’s the best? What’s the worst? Why isn’t this one working like it should be working? I’ve already told you what you can do to cut your chances of getting infected by 90% – the answer is simple, and it doesn’t cost you anything. That’s right: your best defense is absolutely free.

(1) Stop surfing for porn, and (2) stop downloading products illegally.

If you still feel unprotected (no pun intended in relation to my first suggestion), you might take a look at BitDefender products. My friend Rick over at One Network Direct just sent me a batch of new links, including one for 10% off your entire purchase:

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Windows Firewall is Useless

And if you think you’re already completely protected in Windows with its default tools, think again. This morning, after months of regular Firefox use, I get this security warning from the Windows Vista Firewall. Again, this was far from the first time I had used Firefox on this installation of Windows. Not only is the dialog ambiguous, it’s here too late.

Virtual PC Security

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Community members Sven writes:

I'm running Vista as a host machine and Virtual PC 07 which has XP Pro installed on it. The virtual hard drive is saved on an 80GB partition separate from any Vista files. If my XP caught a virus or some nasty spyware on it could it transfer itself onto my Vista partitions or will it be regulated to just the virtual PC?

This depends on how your Virtual Machine is set up and what infection you get. If your VM is networked in any way to your real machine it is possible that the infection could spread via that network connection.

Also, it's possible that viruses and spyware are being authored to exploit flaws in virtual machine software. While it appears to be theoretical right now, this is something you should keep in mind.

The best thing you can do to safeguard yourself from an infection on your real machine is to not network that virtual machine at all: don't share folders, don't let it see your real machine on the network, and in fact, remove its Internet connectivity.

As always, make sure you are running antivirus on both your real and virtual machines.

Community member Icy chimes in:

As per your video a couple days ago on using Virtual PC on a Vista machine to prevent against viruses, a friend of mine did get a virus that hacked through the virtual machine (he was using vmware player) and infected his hard drive. Besides transmitting a virus from a virtual machine over the network, is it possible that if a virus wrote a bunch of bits of data to RAM and overflowed the allocated RAM for the virtual machine, that extra bits would be written to RAM allocated to the real machine. Then, those bits could potentially be executed, transmitting the virus to the physical machine. Is this possible? Is there another way a virus could exploit a vulnerability in VMWare or any virtual machine while running on a virtual machine?

Do you have any advice for Sven?

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Hidden Microsoft Security Gem

So, Max has been fun to play with – if only for its basic photo slideshow capabilities. The newspaper-styled feed reading is a bonus, although I’d like to see its layout aesthetics merged with FeedJournal functionality (which pumps out PDFs of your feeds for free). This is the kind of “Windows” I just can’t wait to see on the desktop.

But as the title of this entry states, there’s a Microsoft security tool that really hasn’t received the attention it deserves: DropMyRights. Bad name, great idea. With it, you can easily run programs outside of Administrator mode:

DropMyRights is a very simple application to help users who must run as an administrator run applications in a much-safer contextâ€â€?that of a non-administrator. It does this by taking the current user’s token, removing various privileges and SIDs from the token, and then using that token to start another process, such as Internet Explorer or Outlook. This tool works just as well with Mozilla’s Firefox, Eudora, or Lotus Notes e-mail.