Author Topic: Is Avast Free sufficient protection for Windows XP SP 2 with Updates turned off?  (Read 10726 times)

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Offline ITNoob65

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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.

Offline Pondus

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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......


Offline ITNoob65

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No, I just don't want to turn on the updates.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 10:49:36 AM by ITNoob65 »

Offline waking

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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".

Offline ITNoob65

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ok got it

Offline Pondus

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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    ;)


Offline ITNoob65

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lol well there should be.

Online DavidR

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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.
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Offline bob3160

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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. ???
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Offline hake

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  • Come on lad! You've only got 70 yards to go.
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.
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Offline evwool

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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.

Offline polonus

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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
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 06:16:13 PM by polonus »
Cybersecurity is more of an attitude than anything else. Avast Evangelists.

Use NoScript, a limited user account and a virtual machine and be safe(r)!

Offline schmidthouse

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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 :)
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Offline ITNoob65

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thanks for the information.

Offline waking

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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."