Security for Dummies

security tips and tricks

Portable antivirus, any good?

Once I was presenting at the potential customer. It was a serious company, very impressive meeting room with good presentation equipment. Of cause, I did not bring my laptop with me. I took my files on my flash drive. The presentation was successful as usual. The customer placed an order and everything could be nice, but… When I plugged my pendrive at work after the presentation, the antivirus got crazy. There were so many viruses, Trojans and worms there. My portable applications that I used to run from the drive were all infected. I lost a lot of time to clean it. Unfortunately the backup file was not quite up-to-date. I could restore my applications, but some data was unrecoverable. I wish I could detect viruses there… I do not blame anyone. I am just asking for your advice.

I know that there is a problem to make antivirus portable. From one side it shall be small footprint, from the other it shall get updates, it shall provide real-time protection.  I am looking for one that will work from the flash drive and scan all the activity and prevent copying viruses to my device. Yes, I know, there is ClamWin, a nice and free one, but does not suit my needs.

Do you know any good portable antivirus? Please leave your advice in comments.

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July 11, 2008 Posted by | Antivirus | , | Leave a comment

Virology Part 1, Introduction to…

Long ago and far away, when I was working as a pathologist, dealing with corps, viruses were rather frequent nidus. I left my medical practice, but viruses continue chasing me.  Now, dealing with security threats I have to beware of the same old virus hazard. This makes me believe in reincarnation, karma and fate. But, if back in dissecting room, the respiratory mask and gloves were the only possible protection, nowadays there are much more means. This is a first post about computer viruses. More are coming.

Why “virus”?
I never ask this question, but some people do, why these pieces of code are called “virus”. I do not know who first suggested this term, but he definitely was a smart guy with medical background. Viruses in a real world cannot replicate themselves. They need a cell; they integrate themselves into the cell’s DNA, change it and use the resources of the cell for replication, till the moment the cell dies. The same way computer viruses need some environment to live and duplicate. They spread over computer and available files, delete or modify their code and duplicate themselves till “the end of computer”. Some of computer viruses are not mortal, others are very aggressive. Some are very similar to AIDS. The HID virus attacks lymphocytes, the cells responsible for immune response of the body, computer viruses destroy the anti-virus program.

Who needs it?
Actually, I still cannot answer this question. IMHO this is more a psychological than a pathological issue. People that write viruses have programming knowledge and experience. They could earn much more by creating applications than by destroying. Sometimes I feel that Anti-Virus monsters are responsible for that. After the attack of Chernobyl virus in 1996, when thousands of motherboards were destroyed in one day by the system overclocking, I suspected hardware manufacturers. These conspiracy ideas are too obvious to be true or too true to be proved.  Anyway, virus creation, development or distribution is a crime. So, please, behave yourself and stop doing bad things.

Dear Dummies, I will write much more about viruses, worms, malware, spyware, whatsoever in later posts. Please be patient. It will be interesting later.
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June 29, 2008 Posted by | Security | , , | Leave a comment