Facebook Introduces Anti-Virus Marketplace

Yesterday in a post about security, Facebook introduced what it calls a Anti-Virus Marketplace. It reccomends and links users to download from a list of anti-virus software.

The five software that Facebook recommends are McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton Anti-Virus, Sophos AV for Macs and finally Trend Micro Internet for PCs and Macs.

A majority of these anti-virus software are free while a couple of them are free on a 6 months trial basis. There are some notable exceptions in this list like Kaspersky, BitDefender and AVG Anti-Virus.

The pessimist in me would probably say Facebook has just found another way to sell more advertisements but fact is personal computers are usually not as well protected as they should be. So if Facebook is recommending free anti-virus to users and giving them a single page to access it, I guess it is beneficial.

Will Facebook start selling software?

Facebook earns a lot of money by showing advertisements and also through online gaming. But this landing page for anti-virus is curiously named Marketplace, which makes be suspect that they might get into selling software in the future.

What are your views on Facebook’s recommended list of anti-virus? Do drop in your comments.

Microsoft Tags Chrome as ‘Malware': Honest Mistake or Playing Dirty?

I like using Microsoft Security Essentials – mainly because it is a good enough anti-virus and added incentive is that it is free.

Recently, Microsoft Security Essentials had started ‘mistakenly’ identifying Google Chrome as ‘Malware’.

This meant some users with Microsoft Security Essentials, got a rude shock with their Chrome browser being removed.

Did Microsoft Play Dirty with Chrome?

A short answer to this question is ‘No’. Apparently Chrome browser was tagged malware after an update from Microsoft Security Essentials. This might have happened because Chrome does download small updates automatically, which might have been picked up by the update as ‘Malware’.

To Microsoft’s credit, they did fix the issue and newer update of Security Essentials should fix the issue.

Unfortunately, people affected with this will have to uninstall and reinstall their Chrome browser.

Microsoft’s second goof up of the year

Previously Bing was accused of copying search results from Google. This turned out to be true but not as dramatic as it was being made out to be by Google. The search results were picked up from third party add ons which tracked search usage and sent them back. It is something both Bing and Google do, but Bing ended up getting the bad publicity.

Similarly this time a goof up by Microsoft will surely start people suggesting that they did this on purpose to hit Chrome growth story which is coming pretty much at the cost of Internet Explorer.

What are your views? Do drop in your comments.

Source: Chrome Blog

Get Rid of Autorun Virus with USB Immunizer

Autorun.inf, the very well known virus carrier can now be immunized using Bitdefender’s USB Immunizer. This Autorun technology (introduced by Microsoft) has grabbed lots of hatred from security experts. Autorun.inf is a configuration file which knows what actions to perform when a new removable device is attached, but this is used by malware for spreading virus on to other computers (when the same USB is plugged into another computer).

BitDefender USB Immunizer

  • Using Bitdefender’s USB Immunizer you can immunize your computer and USB, thus no more virus spread. USB Immunizer actually disables the Autorun feature and deactivates the Autorun.inf file thus the malware can’t modify it.
  • The only disadvantage I found is you can’t activate Autorun once you deactivate using USB Immunizer, so think twice before you take action. :-D

Alternatives

  • One of the best alternatives to USB Immunizer is Panda Research USB Vaccine. Even it does the same i.e. disabling Autorun but I would prefer USB Immunizer to USB Vaccine as USB Vaccine needs installation while USB Immunizer is a portable app (doesn’t need installation).
  • There may be more alternatives but think twice before downloading any such apps because there are many fake apps which promise to immunize Autorun.inf file but do the reverse (checkout Lavasoft’s rogue apps page).

Another interesting thing I found is, even though I immunized my computer using USB Immunizer, USB Vaccine still shows my computer is not immunized, strange!

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Bitdefender USB ImmunizerPanda Research USB Vaccine

Danger: the new Kamasutra Virus!!

Don’t just get too excited if you receive an email containing a PowerPoint presentation claiming to contain lovemaking techniques from the Indian book “Kamasutra”! It may not be as healthy for your computer and a trojan named “Troj/Bckdr-RFM” shall get installed in the background to let hackers gain control of your system and steal all your personal information. Your computer may even be used to host attacks on websites or send spam. This was published in an online report of a computer security agency “Sophos”.

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The presentation file is sent as an attachment usually with the name “Kamasutra.ppt.exe”. Beware if you receive any such email and report it immediately.

Get McAfee Antivirus Plus 2011 FREE for 6 Months!

With the onset of the new year, retailers and manufacturers are trying to attract more consumers. One such awesome deal has been offered by an Online e-Commerce portal. It is offering a 6-months FREE subscription to the Plus 2011 version of the McAfee Antivirus software.

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Image Credit: Offer retailer website

About McAfee

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Image Credit: McAfee Official website

McAfee boasts of surpassing Norton and Kaspersky in terms of PC protection through its #1 technology to detect and defunct Viruses, Spyware and Malware. This is just not a statement and is even a proven fact. See McAfee official website for details.

Save Rs. 520!

McAfee Plus 2011 is available for Rs. 1040 in India and $49.99 in the US, for 1 year & 1 PC. With this offer, you are saving a total of Rs. 520 (in India). So what are you waiting for? Grab it immediately, the offer ends on 10th January, 2011 at midnight.

Link: Offer

4 Free websites to scan files for virus

Many times we do not have a Anti-Virus installed on our computer. Some times such Anti-Virus applications give false alarms about a certain file or script. Sometimes we suspect that there is nothing wrong with a particular file and that the Anti-Virus software is raising a false alarm.

Most times in such cases it is better to scan your computer for viruses, trojans and malware scripts. Online websites which scan for viruses are great mainly because there is no need to keep updating the anti-virus database as its done by the website offering this service. ;-)

Below are 4 websites which will allow you to scan files your computer for trouble and that too for free.

#1. NoVirusThanks


  • This website allowed me to scan a particular file for a virus by scanning it with 24 Anti-virus programs which includes AVG, TrendMicro, Panda, Kaspersky, Vipre scanned form the website directly.
  • The only limitation is that the file size of NoVirusThanks is 20 MB.

#2. VirusChief

  • Pretty much like NoVirusThanks I could simply upload any file from my computer and scan it online with VirusChief portal.
  • It uses multiple anti-virus scanners for scanning a file like AVG, AntiVir, Avast, Bit Defender and others.
  • VirusChief also requires no registering to scan a file and it a free service.

#3. Dr.Web File Scanner

  • No registration required for using Dr.Web file scanner for viruses.
  • It is very useful for scanning a file for Mac or Linux users who are sending certain types of files to Windows users which might be defined as malware or suspicious.

#4. ActiveScan from Panda

  • ActiveScan 2.0 is powered by Panda Cloud Anti Virus. It allows you to scan your computer for viruses, trojans and malwares.
  • It can also carry out a quick scan of essential files on your computer.
  • It scans for more than 2.7 million viruses and trojans.
  • Active Scan can also be integrated on a website with a API being available for developers.

These 4 websites should be able to look up and diagnose a corrupt file on your computer. But it is not really a replacement or alternative for anti-virus applications installed locally on the system. Read up 3 free anti virus programs for Windows for getting options of having a Antivirus software locally.

These websites can more or less be used for diagnostic purposes but not for defending yourself from having infected files.

If you know any more alternatives do share with us through your comments.

How to Improve IE8 Self-protection in Windows 7?

The IE homepage is changed by Trojan, though I have installed XX antivirus and this is a common problem for Windows users.

For this problem: Is there any thorough solution?

My answer: No.

The only good way to prevent the IE homepage from being changed by Trojan is not to visit the unknown source of websites or read email from unknown source.
Like other Windows versions, the self-contained IE8 of Windows 7 can not stop the problem of IE homepage being changed. However, we can fully develop the potential of Windows 7 to improve the self-protection of IE8.

The steps are as below:

  • Open Registry Editor to locate in HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoft
  • Then new build an item named as “Control Panel”. The specific operation is: right-click Microsoft to choose “new build” “item” and then rename the item.
  • Now the location is HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftControl Panel
  • Next, right-click on the blank of the right side pane to create three 32 bit DWORD values and rename them as Settings, Links and SecAddSites. Assign “1” to each of them as shown below:

Improve IE8 self protection

  • At last, click OK to save the settings and exit.

I’d like to remind you that to set the system as the above steps can not guarantee the IE8 will not be changed. The above settings can only protect IE8 in a way. Any third party software including any antivirus is unable to promise the IE homepage will not be changed.


[Editor’s Note: This is a post written by our Guest Blogger Bob Newman. He writes tech related articles since years and is software developer working with Registry Cleaner.

If you too like to write for Devils Workshop, please check this. Details about our revenue sharing programsare here.]

Some windows tricks and suggestions

Here are some tricks and suggestions you may like. I’ve tested these on XP platform….

1. A VIRTUAL DIARY

You want a quick diary on your pc, but dont want to install a separate program for this purpose. And writing notes in a word processor by giving date-time everytime isn’t a good idea.

  • Open ‘NOTEPAD’.
  • Type .LOG (remember .log or .Log wont work)

diary

  • Save the file with any desired any name and close the notepad window.
  • Now everytime you will try to open this notepad file….the current date and time will be already placed there. So, this way it’ll become a virtual diary.

2. HIDE ONLY FILE-NAMES

Consider, you have some bunch of files like photos or music files. Those are not private but you want to hide only their filenames from others. Its easy, just hold down the ‘SHIFT’ key while selecting ‘THUMBNAILS’ view from ‘VIEW MENU‘ of the window. Amused?? All names are gone.

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Its cool, but only works when others dont know this trick. If  they already know then they will bring up the filenames by repeating the process again. Anyway it doesn’t hurt to try  at least.

3. WIN ACTIVE DESKTOP

Its a good idea to work on your PC and simultaneously check the current stock quotes, match scores or mail feeds. You don’t need to open another browser window for it. Just add a web item to your desktop by using Windows Active Desktop feature.
  • Open display properties by right clicking on desktop and selecting ‘properties’
  • Click ‘Desktop’ tab then click on ‘Customize Desktop…” Button.
web
  • Click on ‘Web’ tab, select ‘New’. Here type the website url e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk
  • Click ‘OK’, let it synchronise…click ‘OK’ twice and you are done.
  • Dont forget to mention the update interval so the page refreshes itself.
  • You can put this web item anywhere on your desktop and be updated.
4. VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

If you have a file or something which could be potentially dangerous to your PC and you have to run it. Then you should run it in virtual machine instead of directly. Virtual Machine creates a virtual hardware platform on top of a software layer. This way, if virus or worm tries to initialize, it will only infect virtual machine and your OS remains safe..

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In the above image you can see a virtual machine (VMware is used) is running XP environment upon Vista platform.

5. RESTRICTIONS TO UNWANTED

If you use Internet via your admin account then your PC have more chances to get infected by viruses or worms. Due to the fact that, if a virus got installed during web surfing thru your admin account, virus will have full access to admin rights. It can interfere with your security rules and internal configurations.

Instead, opt using ‘Limited Account’ to surf web, so the incoming worms will have limited rights, because OS restricts it to do admin activities.

Giveaway: Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 One Year License

I have Kaspersky Internet Security one year license codes to give away and all you have to do is enter this contest. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 provides protection to your internet usage and keeps your PC free of online viruses, worms and Trojans.

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How to participate in the contest ?

  • Follow and Tweet this contest on Twitter. Just “tweet” the following from your Twitter account

Win Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 One Year License http://bit.ly/1Pgbjx via @devils_workshop

  • Visit this page again and comment on it with your full name and a link to your Twitter status.

How the winners will be selected?

A list will be made of all valid entries and the winners will be selected using Random.org. There are a total of 7 license codes to be given away. Results will be announced on 1st December 2009. :-)

All the best to everyone taking part in the contest!

NOTE: The Giveaway will be Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 codes and not Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010. Kaspersky Internet Security is more expensive than Anti-Virus. ;-)

You can look up the winners here.


[Editor’s Note: This is a post by our Guest Author Sri Ganesh at Devils Worrkshop. Sri Ganesh writes at Symposiumz.

If you like to write for Devils Workshop, please check this. Details about our revenue sharing programs are here.]

Free Panda Cloud Antivirus for Windows 7

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Free Panda Cloud Antivirus 2009 is the first free cloud-based antivirus to protect your PC against virus,spyware, rootkits, trojans. It consists of a lightweight antivirus agent that is connected in real-time to PandaLabs’ online Collective Intelligence servers to protect faster against the newest malware variants without affecting your  PC performance.

Panda Cloud Antivirus detects more malware than traditional signature-based solutions which take longer to detect the most recent, and therefore most dangerous, variants. Panda Cloud Antivirus protects you while you chat,browse, play or work.

It is extremely light as all the work is done online in the cloud. Panda Cloud Antivirus provides you with the fastest protection against the newest viruses.

Requirements:

RAM: 64 MB.
HDD free space: 100 MB.
Browser: Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.
Operating System:Windows Xp,Windows Vista,Windows 7.

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Free Panda Cloud Antivirus 2009


[Editor’s Note: This post is submitted by our guest blogger Praveen Kumar. He blogs on technology and internet atComputer Tips and Tricks

If you, too would like to write for Devils Workshop, please check this. Details about our revenue sharing programsare here.]