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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 01:09:10 AM

Title: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 01:09:10 AM
Hi Guys,

I tried googling and searching several forums but wasn't able to get anything concrete.

If I'm running a Windows XP machine with SP 2 or 3 and automatic updates turned off, is it safe to browse the web? I was reading a post on tom's hardware that said every site you visit can tell which OS you are using. But let's say I'm going to my bank's website. The data is encrypted right (https)?, so how would the operating system matter? Is there some connection between the OS and the browser?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Pondus on February 02, 2014, 01:17:39 AM
Why have you turned off updates?

Some info may be found here  http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=145320.0


Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Eddy on February 02, 2014, 01:27:45 AM
Right click "my computer" > properties and it will tell you the service pack installed.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 01:31:42 AM
Thanks, I read that thread. I rather not say why my updates are turned off. Because I haven't been using Windows updates, I don't know if there has been any patches or fixes that make the web browsing experience any safer..and thanks eddy it's SP 2
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Eddy on February 02, 2014, 01:33:21 AM
First thing to do is installing SP3 and all (security) updates released after that.
They will patch security holes and make your system more safe.
You also need to turn on the automatic updates.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 01:40:28 AM
ok thanks
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: DavidR on February 02, 2014, 01:53:21 AM
Thanks, I read that thread. I rather not say why my updates are turned off. Because I haven't been using Windows updates, I don't know if there has been any patches or fixes that make the web browsing experience any safer..and thanks eddy it's SP 2

Well with SP2 you won't be getting any updates switched on or not, updates for XP were stopped some time ago unless you had SP3 installed. With that support ending in April this year you only have a short time frame to get SP3 and any other security updates after SP3 installed.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 02:09:31 AM
Ok thanks David, I think I will take my chances with SP 2 with automatic updates turned off. I haven't had any issues and I'm hopeful that Avast Free is sufficient protection.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Pondus on February 02, 2014, 02:17:20 AM
Fix list for SP3 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946480

 
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 02:20:45 AM
beautiful, thanks Pondus
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 02:28:15 AM
Many of those hotfixes don't apply in my case but there are some security updates that sound scary such as:

"MS08-001: Vulnerability in TCP/IP could allow remote code execution
MS06-057: Vulnerability in Windows Explorer could allow remote code execution
MS06-036: A vulnerability in the DHCP Client Service could allow remote code execution
MS06-020: Vulnerabilities in Macromedia Flash Player from Adobe could allow remote code execution"

I don't know what they mean but wouldn't those things be picked up by Avast if someone was trying to intrude on my network?
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: schmidthouse on February 02, 2014, 02:46:18 AM
Many of those hotfixes don't apply in my case but there are some security updates that sound scary such as:

"MS08-001: Vulnerability in TCP/IP could allow remote code execution
MS06-057: Vulnerability in Windows Explorer could allow remote code execution
MS06-036: A vulnerability in the DHCP Client Service could allow remote code execution
MS06-020: Vulnerabilities in Macromedia Flash Player from Adobe could allow remote code execution"

I don't know what they mean but wouldn't those things be picked up by Avast if someone was trying to intrude on my network?

The way I understand Security Patches to an OS.
A Security Software Program whether Anti Malware/ Anti Virus/or Firewall does not protect from the vulnerabilities discovered in an Operating System that the Security Patches address.
You are talking Apples and Oranges. While a strong layered Secuity profile including Anti Virus will help this still does not address the OS vulnerabilities. :)
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 03:03:01 AM
ok Thanks Schmidt
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: waking on February 02, 2014, 09:11:32 AM

With that support ending in April this year you only have a short time frame to get SP3 and any other security updates after SP3 installed.

I think that may be inaccurate. MS will not be issuing any *new* patches for XP after April but the *existing* service packs and patches will likely be available for quite some time after that. I haven't seen MS suddenly yank all existing patches and SPs for older software versions as soon as active support ends.

Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: waking on February 02, 2014, 09:15:34 AM

A Security Software Program whether Anti Malware/ Anti Virus/or Firewall does not protect from the vulnerabilities discovered in an Operating System that the Security Patches address.

Well, I think that depends on a number of factors. First off, a newly discovered and newly exploited vulnerability may not get detected when first released to "the wild". So if such a vulnerability can be eliminated proactively by patching the OS *before* an exploit starts circulating then that's ideal.

Once an exploit is identified, most top-tier AV/IS products will detect and block that exploit. So an AV can and will offer some protection against exploits of OS vulnerabilities. See:

2012 Consumer AV/EPP Comparative Analysis - Exploit Protection
https://www.nsslabs.com/reports/2012-consumer-avepp-comparative-analysis-exploit-protection

Additionally, products such as EMET may afford some protection against new exploits of unpatched vulnerabilities by disrupting the typical methods used by exploits to attack most Windows vulnerabilties. It appears that Kaspersky for one also attempts similar interceptions and disruptions of common exploit behavior via Automatic Exploit Prevention.

See:

Automatic Exploit Prevention Technology
www.kaspersky.com/downloads/pdf/kaspersky_lab_whitepaper_automatic_exploit_prevention_eng_final.pdf

www.mrg-effitas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MRG-Effitas-Exploit-Prevention-Test1.pdf

Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 10:25:54 AM
thanks waking,

According to that comparative analysis, using an up to date web browser and antivirus help but you should still be patching your operating system...

That chart (kasperky PDF) shows that 11% of attacks were on the Windows operating system but the article says that to be attacked you need to initiate it by clicking a link, opening a file, etc. I'm assuming if you stayed clear of malicious sites you should be OK.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Pondus on February 02, 2014, 10:33:09 AM
Thanks, I read that thread. I rather not say why my updates are turned off. Because I haven't been using Windows updates, I don't know if there has been any patches or fixes that make the web browsing experience any safer..and thanks eddy it's SP 2
Are you using a cracked XP version......

Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 10:37:55 AM
No, I just don't want to turn on the updates.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: waking on February 02, 2014, 10:46:43 AM
I'm assuming if you stayed clear of malicious sites you should be OK.

Well, that would certainly reduce the risks - but the catch is that one can never be sure which sites have malicious content. Many legitimate, non-malevolent web sites - even some hosted by the likes of mainstream religious organizations - can and have been compromised by hackers who plant malware or links to malware on these reputable sites. The safest web surfing is probably done in a virtual environment such as a "sandbox".
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 10:48:13 AM
ok got it
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: Pondus on February 02, 2014, 11:17:58 AM
Quote
I'm assuming if you stayed clear of malicious sites you should be OK. 
What is a malicious site?......how do you stay clear?
When your local newspaper is hacked there is no sign saying it is hacked and now malicious    ;)

Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 11:20:19 AM
lol well there should be.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: DavidR on February 02, 2014, 01:59:10 PM

With that support ending in April this year you only have a short time frame to get SP3 and any other security updates after SP3 installed.

I think that may be inaccurate. MS will not be issuing any *new* patches for XP after April but the *existing* service packs and patches will likely be available for quite some time after that. I haven't seen MS suddenly yank all existing patches and SPs for older software versions as soon as active support ends.

The point is, in order to get security updates delivered via windows update the user would have to have installed SP3 as for many that is a prerequisite to getting some updates.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: bob3160 on February 02, 2014, 02:15:01 PM
Quote
I'm assuming if you stayed clear of malicious sites you should be OK. 
What is a malicious site?......how do you stay clear?
When your local newspaper is hacked there is no sign saying it is hacked and now malicious    ;)
That makes a s much sense as saying that because you live in a good neighborhood, it isn't necessary
to lock your door since good neighborhoods never get robbed. ???
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: hake on February 02, 2014, 05:32:48 PM
There's loads you can do to harden XP but I won't be doing online banking or purchases with XP after the end of April.  However I will continue using XP for non security-critical stuff for a considerable time to come.  I back up up the system every fortnight.  It will be most interesting to see if the doom-mongers are right about XP.

If you know your system intimately, a HIPS is well worth the nag popups.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: evwool on February 02, 2014, 05:56:34 PM
My other PC which runs XP (with service pack 3) with Avast Free and Zone Alarm Free has never had a virus except once, when Avast caught it before it had time to anything at all.

It finally died a week ago after 4 years of constant use (hardware, not software, issues). I did switch off automatic updates but I would update manually when it was convenient to me and I always check what the updates are meant to do; eg  avoid Windows Genuine Advantage packs. I also never downloaded any new updates until they had been online for a at least a week so that MS had time to receive crash reports from users and repair the update.

The problem with Automatic Updates, whatever time you schedule them, it's always inconvenient and you always have to restart your PC just at the time when you really don't want to.

When I had to re-install Windows XP, I found I needed Service Pack 3 since  a number of programs won't install without it (Zone Alarm). Also, keep an older version of Avast handy so that you can install an anti-virus BEFORE you go online.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: polonus on February 02, 2014, 06:14:41 PM
The best preparation for the coming XPocalyps doom is to leave that OS completely as being obsolete. I remember from the days of Win98 that a Turkish developer came up with an additional unofficial service pack. There were also specific OS tweaking programs to harden that OS, but finally users had to move away. But there are parts of the world and on the Interwebs where XP will have a long death-struggle. I guess the last gasps will be heard coming out of mainland China.
April is the last patching round. XP will soon lack modern security measures. This OS cannot be trusted any longer. It is an old build from 2001 and has been completely overhauled again around 2004. The next backdoor will soon be left open for ever  ;D.
Which parts of the World will be hardest hit from "XPocalyps now"? Do not switch to 7 go to Win8.1 at once whenever you can afford it.  8)

And we cannot  wait for AndroidApocalyps next, can we?  :D

polonus
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: schmidthouse on February 02, 2014, 06:40:58 PM

A Security Software Program whether Anti Malware/ Anti Virus/or Firewall does not protect from the vulnerabilities discovered in an Operating System that the Security Patches address.

Well, I think that depends on a number of factors. First off, a newly discovered and newly exploited vulnerability may not get detected when first released to "the wild". So if such a vulnerability can be eliminated proactively by patching the OS *before* an exploit starts circulating then that's ideal.

Once an exploit is identified, most top-tier AV/IS products will detect and block that exploit. So an AV can and will offer some protection against exploits of OS vulnerabilities. See:

2012 Consumer AV/EPP Comparative Analysis - Exploit Protection
https://www.nsslabs.com/reports/2012-consumer-avepp-comparative-analysis-exploit-protection

Additionally, products such as EMET may afford some protection against new exploits of unpatched vulnerabilities by disrupting the typical methods used by exploits to attack most Windows vulnerabilties. It appears that Kaspersky for one also attempts similar interceptions and disruptions of common exploit behavior via Automatic Exploit Prevention.

See:

Automatic Exploit Prevention Technology
www.kaspersky.com/downloads/pdf/kaspersky_lab_whitepaper_automatic_exploit_prevention_eng_final.pdf

www.mrg-effitas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MRG-Effitas-Exploit-Prevention-Test1.pdf

Yes it does depend.
Still, I personally will not be doing any 'secure data' transfer with xp after April.
An opinion was asked for and I offered mine :)
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: ITNoob65 on February 02, 2014, 09:13:00 PM
thanks for the information.
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: waking on February 03, 2014, 01:24:42 AM
But there are parts of the world and on the Interwebs where XP will have a long death-struggle.

Quite a significant number, according to this recent PCWorld article:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2093606/windows-xp-users-reluctant-to-part-or-to-adopt-windows-8.html#tk.nl_today

"The 13-year-old operating system accounted for nearly a third - 32 percent - of Windows-powered PCs."
Title: Re: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?
Post by: iroc9555 on February 03, 2014, 01:41:27 AM
According to avast! Global Stats 27 % of avast! user are still running Windows XP.