Monthly Archives: July 2011
July Newsletter – Diving into Malware, What are the Risk and How Can I Prevent it?
Last month’s Newsletter covered the topic of Malware and Blacklists, this month we want to dive into malware a bit more to really understand it. Malware is known as malicious software and simply means that code (scripts, active content, and other software) are downloaded, executed etc on your computer to cause major problems. These problems include but are not limited to disruption of services, gathering information that can lead to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware, scareware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software or program. (Wikipedia.com)
How do I get it?
Malware, spyware, and other junk software typically makes it onto a computer for a number of reasons:
- Downloading something you really shouldn’t have, from an untrustworthy source.
- Thought you were installing a “reputable” application but it actually bundles “optional” features that are actually malware.
- You’ve already managed to get yourself infected, and the malware installs even more malware.
For a malicious program to accomplish its goals, it must be able to run without being shut down, or deleted by the user or administrator of the computer system on which it is running. This concealment is also how malware gets installed in the first place. Malware is often lurking behind a “reputable” source but disguised as something innocuous or desirable. This technique is known as the Trojan Horse.
Once a system has been compromised most malware softare will install a backdoor. This allows for other malware or harmful things to be easily installed in the future. This method is typically used by a malicious individual to gain secure remote access to a computer, while attempting to remain hidden from view.
All of these reasons and more make it harder to “hand remove” the malware. Even using all of those “cleaner” programs out there (that may actually install malware on your machine…) you may not get to the root of the issue. Also note that these are just a few ways to get a malware infected machine, there are always new ways to be aware of!
How do I avoid it?
The best method for avoiding malware is to have the correct protection! Most of us have a good Anti-virus program but that is like locking the front door but leaving a window open. These days most threats are actually web browser based and your Anti-virus probably doesn’t protect you!
MxToolbox has partnered with WebRoot (May 2010 Newsletter) to offer Web Filtering to protect your network from attacks through the web browser. Our Total Security Solution includes Business Email Perimeter Security in combination with Web Security to provide additional layers of protection to combat Email and Internet threats. Webroot eliminates spyware and viruses with best-of-breed scanning engines and offers a 100% guarantee.In addition to protecting against malware you have the ability to enforce web access policies and it generates detailed reports.
Vulnerability Scanning and Spyware Detection
Webroot is the only Web Security Service to include Vulnerability Scanning, which is an extra layer of protection. This tool scans endpoints directly from the Desktop Web Proxy (DWP) to identify known vulnerabilities including operating systems, browser versions, media players, office programs, and other installed software
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