Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Anti-Virus - Update

As of today Microsoft has made available a Beta edition of security software that will be free for use. From what I've read so far it has a very light foot print on the system and ranks high in how well it works at prevention. The only catch to download this Beta software is you need a Windows Live ID of some sort. That can be a Hot Mail account or an MSN account and the like. Anti-Virus Also be warned that MS is only making a limited number of downloads available of 75,000 so they may go quick. But they may also pull that limit or simply stated that to get people to jump on the Beta bandwagon so it can get tested. Anyway if you are not scared of Beta software then give it a try and see how it works for you. This software works in XP/Vista/Windows 7 32-bit and Vista/Windows 7 64-bit.

Just for test reasons I do plan to install it and see how well it works. I don’t see me changing my habits and the way I do things as far as anti-virus protection goes. But I think it is great the Microsoft is making available free software to those who do need or want it and use it.

Microsoft Security Essentials download link.

Just remember this is Beta so it may break your PC. But my experience with Beta software from Microsoft is it works pretty well and the risk of a broken PC is very low. And as I always say if you are not comfortable doing any of these things I post then by all means don’t! I just wanted to get this posted before the downloads are all gone. If you can’t get the download let me know via email, link in profile.

Update: Sorry the download is dead already, which is too bad. But I’m sure if you wanted it you could find a friend who has copies of the installs. Maybe if you emailed them they could tell you where to find the installs now.

As promised I did install this Beta software and was rather surprised at a few things. First it does in fact have a very light foot print on system resources. I don’t notice any longer boot times or any lagging of my machine at all. The first thing MSE wanted to do after install was update itself and run a quick scan, which is normal. During the quick scan it even scanned my network shares which was all part of the default settings of the install. So to find that it found my network shares and made it part of the scan by default was impressive.

What happen next I wasn’t quite ready for. Now I’ve said I haven’t had a virus in years and this is technically true. But this software found a ticking time bomb in a file that I have had since 06/08/06 but had never opened. In a WMA file (a music file) that a good friend had gave me back then had DRM (digital rights management) embedded in it, which isn’t bad (more or less) in of itself. But in order to play this file, if I would have opened it, the first thing it would have done was go on-line to download “the rights” to play this file. I bet you can guess what was going to happen next. Yup, the site that the embedded link pointed to was a known Trojan site.

If you followed the above link you can see this file was going to try and do just what I talked about in my last post. Basically it was going to try an trick me into installing the Trojan by making me think I needed to download “the rights” to view that file. I might have even done it except for the fact I didn’t expect it to want to download a program just to view a file. In simple terms this software found just a LINK that was embedded in a file that pointed to a known Trojan site. Impressive. But my point is valid and goes to show just how sneaky these virus writer can be.

I know for a FACT that file has been scanned in the past by other anti-virus software and none of them ever found this. I’ve had that file for three friggin’ years waiting to turn my PC into a zombie! Impressive in my book.



anarchy said...

well, looks like i'm a little late to the game - ms isn't accepting any more beta users. bummer...

i will say that i've had pretty good experiences with ms beta software. i haven't had any ms beta software crash my system. is it prefect?? no. but it's beta and it's usually pretty good...

finally, with regard to the windows live id - i think you can set one up with any e-mail address, it doesn't have to be associated with ms.

mq01 said...

i love that pic... safety first... or just good clean fun... LOL!

FLHX_Dave said...

mwhahahahahah! You crack me up. That picture is another classic.

Thanks for the info. Practice safe internet surfing people! Fasthair has said so! He has just given you the power to keep your drives hard and your memory ramming.

fasthair said...

Mr. A: I guess I wasn't clear but you are right. You do not need a Hot Mail or the like to sign up for a Windows Live ID. As you stated any valid email address will work. Once you have a Windows Live ID you can use it for any of these types of MS accounts. Plus you can get 25gig of cloud storage for files that you can share if you want with friends. Send me an email if you want to try MSE out. I just happen to know where it can be had online.

Ms. M: I thought that picture was funny too. I was looking for a "virus bug" type file when I ran across that one. Crummy job of photoshop but funny none the less. Yup just good clean fun :)

Mr. FLHX: I don't know about you sometimes. I think the heat inside your helmet is cooking what little of your brain is left! You make me laugh :)