Been antivirus free for a little while now

Discussion in 'Security and Anti-Virus Software' started by Hungry Man, Mar 17, 2011.

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  1. Sirhcz0r

    Sirhcz0r Notebook Deity

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    Occasionally I read through threads like this and realize how bad some of my habits are.

    I always use an administrative account, and never have UAC on. I like convenience, and was one of those people who freaked out when Vista was released. I put installed XP after I'd had enough (half my programs wouldn't run unless I right clicked and selected "Run as Administrator", even in an administrative account). I can't explain it very well, but UAC feels much more invasive than the Linux equivalent. When running Linux, there need for an administer password to be entered has always been warranted, but with UAC I feel like it's a waste of time and comes up at unnecessary times. I'm sure it can be beneficial, but if it's going to make me less efficient I'd rather not use it.

    Other than those two things, I'm fine. I always have a realtime antivirus (either ESET NOD32 or Avira Free), along with Malwarebytes. I run the latest Firefox with Ad Block Plus and WOT, and keep all programs as up to date as I can. I make images of my drive and store them on an external drive that is only connected for backing up and restoring things. I have two internal drives with Windows installations, so any malware related downtime can only last as long as it takes me to swap the drives.

    Personally it has been a while since anything has happened, and recently I've even willed it. A friend who had a Vista machine so infected it wouldn't boot correctly needed help, and I made do with my limited hardware resources. There was much drive swapping, and at one point I was holding his files on my own internal drive. After wiping his and reinstalling Windows, all was well. I ran ESET NOD32 on my machine and found upwards of twenty viruses. They were all cleaned, and did nothing to my system, but that's not the point I'm getting to. I transferred his still infected files back to his system from an external drive before that scan, so I can only hope he listened and got the ESET NOD32 trial and ran it. I haven't heard any complaints, so at least I know it still boots.

    Now to get to the point. It's horrific how many competent, intelligent, otherwise brilliant people run such poorly maintained systems. Half of my immediate family is like this as well. My father and I are fine. He's absolutely paranoid about running anything, so if anything was to happen to him it would be something that didn't need user interaction. My mother is awful. I do all the system maintenance. Her machine was running McAfee, and after installing Avira Free, I found a large number of viruses. I can't remember exactly how many, but that's besides the point. That also happens to be a machine where a lot of online banking, as well as credit card purchases are done. Not good. I have Malwarebytes and a trial version of ESET NOD32 on there presently. I just updated Firefox too. My sister recently bought a new Dell Latitude E5410, and so far things have been okay in Windows 7. On her last system, I got so tired of cleaning out her Windows XP installation that I set her up with Ubuntu, which hopefully won't have to be done on this new system. I've been looking into making an updatable flash drive antivirus installation for dealing with all these messes. I think Kaspersky has something like that.

    Hungry Man, I think there's a better way to look at this. I'm not going to be the best person to advise the masses, since I condone having UAC off, but I do have one thing I'd like to bring up. What's to be lost by running an antivirus program? I mean other than the three minutes to set it up and configure it. The RAM usage and CPU time are low enough to be unnoticeable, and if they aren't, you're either running a bad antivirus program, or using a machine it need of replacing.

    The only way I could ever agree with what you're doing outside of experimentation is if you're unable to find an antivirus program that doesn't hinder your efficiency, which I suspect is not the case.
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Notebook Virtuoso

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    What's to be lost? Nothing. Running an AV would be a great idea. I just want to try not running it lol

    MSE worked wonderfully. It used something like 60MB of RAM in the background, RAM I sure as hell wasn't using anyways. But I see no reason to run it.
     
  3. Lithus

    Lithus NBR Janitor

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    I think this thread has run it's course. Everyone knows that AV is useful, and if Hungry Man is willing to be willfully negligent about it, then so be it. No amount of arguing is going to change his mind, I mean this is the internet after all. We'd rather die than change our mind.
     
  4. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Notebook Virtuoso

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    Erm, please read the topic. You seem very confused. I know AV's are useful. I've said AV's are useful. I'm just posting that I don't run one and I don't seem to have any viruses (except for the super rootkits that are apparently floating around the internet and are 100% undetectable.)

    It's just interesting that people think that if you don't have an AV you automatically have a virus.
     
  5. Lithus

    Lithus NBR Janitor

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    I've read every post. Here, I'll summarize:

    Hungry Man: I don't use AV.
    Someone: You should use AV.
    HM: No.
    S: You should use AV because ...
    HM: No.
    S: AV is useful.
    HM: Yes.
    S: Then use AV.
    HM: No.
    Repeat x20
    Me: We're not going to change his mind.
    HM: You're confused. Read the thread.
    Me: I did. Let me summarize:
    Infinite loop.
     
  6. hakira

    hakira <3 xkcd

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    It doesn't mean you have a virus, but it does mean that IF you had one, you may never even know. Just so you know, there are things besides your generic trojans that just mess up your system or grab your keyz - if your computer was a zombie in a botnet, you might see nothing wrong at all until the master/homecall happens, which depending on the writers' intent could literally be years in the making. Even then, without an AV in that situation, the only thing you would notice is odd port requests, and if you aren't running an AV I don't think you are running port interference/detection.

    I think what people here are "interested" in (baffled at) is that you seem to want to run a portable solution once every full moon on your main computer, even though you could easily run MSE (good, free and light on resources), while putting up a weak front line to prevent attacks? It's kind of a case of 'make up your mind', and I kind of see it as putting a screen door on your house, and then removing the main door (or just leaving it unlocked all the time). Should someone (who requires no skills or tools) open your door, they have free roam of your house. In this case an AV should act like a dog, they will at minimum warn you, and at maximum will defend your house.

    By all means, run a malware lab/farm if it gives you kicks or interests you, but doing it on a live machine (is this your only machine?) is, as someone as said, playing with fire. I hope you'll run an AV or at least be extremely cautious on Apr 1...

    @lith, lol.
     
  7. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Notebook Virtuoso

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    I realize why I should use an AV. I still won't use one because I want to see whether it's necessary or not. So far it doesn't seem to be and this is apparently really bothering people because the internet is a scary place and hackers want to eat my ram.

    Uh, yes I know that there are multiple types of malware. Hence me not simply checking for malware with a single tool. Using AV's that check for weird behavior you can find even kernel rootkits. And maybe you can't find all of them. It doesn't really matter because I'll find 99% of them and the chance of me being infected by the 1% is... well I guess somewhere around 1%.

    The majority of viruses are trojans. The big loud trojans that say "BUY THE ANTITROJAN SOFTWARE FOR TEN DOLLARS TO REMOVE THIS" and I'm pretty sure I'd notice that one.

    Running MSE defeats the purpose. I'm not looking to secure my computer (though I'd love to hear some non-av security tips =p) I'm trying to see how much my AV is actually being used. If I go a while without problems I'll just continue, no reason not to if the program isn't doing anything.

    Running portable av's once in a full moon (if even! I'll probably not bother for months at a time if this keeps up as well as it has) is enough for me to consider my machine secure. I could miss something, but I don't think I will; it just wouldn't make sense for me to get one of the few viruses that would be missed especially since the most common viruses are the most easy to catch.

    As for this being my only rig it is my main one. I have another laptop that rarely gets use as well as my CR-48.
     
  8. Sirhcz0r

    Sirhcz0r Notebook Deity

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    It's not your RAM they're after; it's your file system. :p

    Here's an idea: gauge how much use you get out of antivirus programs by running one. Run a realtime antivirus program scan from time to time, and if you don't have any detections, you can conclude you would've been fairly safe had you not been, and continue using it anyway.
     
  9. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yes =p I was joking about the RAM, of course. I had hoped it would be clear >_>

    Running a program is no way to see if it helps. If I keep my disk defragged 100% of the time how will I know that fragmentation will effect performance?

    Not the best analogy, but my point is that I haven't had MSE pop up any warnings saying "Hey we just blocked this" for anything legitimate.

    Why should I run an extra program if it's literally useless to me? Whether or not it is in fact useless to me is what I'm trying to determine.
     
  10. Sirhcz0r

    Sirhcz0r Notebook Deity

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    Of course running it determines if it helps! Detections mean it did, a lack thereof means it didn't.

    [​IMG]
     
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