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Autoruns: a tricky option to be wary of...

This week, I had the occasion to work on a computer who had been infected by several malwares. Removing the malwares wasn’t much of a problem using my customized BartPE-based BootCD but the nasties left all sort of tracks behind them that I had to wipe clean. One of the consequences of these infections was that several administration tools wouldn’t run, most noticeably Regedit. Several viruses try to make the job as hard as they can for the computer user to get rid of the malwares and one of the best way to prevent this is to disable several tools that are usually very helpful in the process…

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More anti-virus fail...

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you’ll probably remember my couple of rather recent entries regarding the current state of the anti-virus technology and whether this kind of products still are as useful as they were in the past in today’s world. I’ve been going into great lengths regarding their weak points and how they tend to lagging behind the Operating Systems more and more every year due to their missing of infections, delays in signatures updates, which makes their protection far from being bullet-proof. What’s worst than everything, though, is when a system isn’t infected but the anti-virus thinks it is… and has identified an important system file as an offender…

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Are anti-viruses still really up to their job (Part 2 of 2)

vistasecurity As we have seen earlier, the anti-virus current detection schemes are not bulletproof and tend to let threats get through for a number of days and sometimes weeks. From this bleak situation, we can legitimately ask ourselves whether anti-viruses still are the right answer to nowadays threats and if a more drastic approach is not to be envisaged, and if the security-mechanisms implemented in the modern Operating Systems do not make anti-virus products redundant, or even excess their performance. Ironically, anti-virus products were created to protect the weak Operating Systems and acted as its sole immunity system for a long time, but with the Operating Systems maturing and outgrowing their original weaknesses, what is the future of anti-virus products, especially in the corporate world?

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Port 25 blocking from Internet Service Providers to solve spam: a false good idea

imageFor the last month, I noticed occasional problems with sending e-mails from my professional POP-based account (I also have a professional Exchange account but I don’t use this one very much for a lot of historic reasons, like me having a BlackBerry subscription which only worked with POP-based accounts, until I got my new phone). The hosting company that was hosting this POP account was having a lot of problems for months and I was using their SMTP server (requiring SMTPAuth) to send my e-mails from this account. I was busy at that time and just wanted my urgent e-mails to get out so thinking they had yet another breakdown, I switched to my Internet Service Provider (ISP)’s SMTP server (on port 25) and it worked fine. However, that obviously meant that as soon as I would plug my computer to a network using another ISP, this SMTP server would block my e-mails because they are sent from an Internet line leased by a competitor. Of course, changing the SMTP server every time was an unacceptable time loss and bother to do every time, so I set out and investigated.

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