Author Topic: Can my computer become infected with malaware EVEN IF I'm not downloading softwa  (Read 12267 times)

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Offline trigan

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It says in the Avast FAQ that :

Web Shield is an on-access scanning provider which is able to monitor and filter all HTTP traffic coming from websites on the Internet. It’s implemented as a HTTP proxy running on your PC. Connections from your Web browser are redirected to the Web Shield module. Web Shield in turn connects to the requested web server and while downloading the content it scans it for viruses and Trojans. Only the clean data is delivered to the browser, every malware is stopped before it gets saved on your PC.

I always thought that viruses and other malaware can infect your computer ONLY when you are downloading software from the Internet.

Does this mean that my computer can become infected with malaware EVEN IF I am not downloading software ?

Thank you.

Offline onlysomeone

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Of course ;)

Malware can be implemented in homepage as scripts, in pictures, in videos or whatever...

And you also can get infected if you aren't even connected to the internet via a CD/DVD or USB-stick...

bad software is waiting nearly everywhere just to destroy your computer...!  8)

onlysomeone

Offline trigan

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Thank you for the wonderful news ! ! ! 

So since nothing is ever perfect, can you tell in your estimate how effective Web Shield and Standard Shield are effective at stopping malaware from infecting my computer ?

Does downloading mean that you are exposed to much more dangerous malaware or is this irrelevant ?
Thank  you.

Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Many web sites are infected with malware. The malware generally uses exploits which are patched in up to date versions of web-facing software.

See the link in my sig.

Your first line of defence is to update all web-facing software. The best way to do this is to use the Secunia Software inspector.

Again, follow the link in my sig.

avast! WebShield is another line of defence. It can alert you to infected web sites, and may just save your skin if you've missed an update somewhere.
     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

Offline trigan

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Thank you very much indeed for bringing this to my attention, freewheelinFrank.
In your blog, I read that a web site can be compromised (hacked) or contain compromised third-party content (typically ads from hacked ad servers).

I have a tripod website which I have worked hard at creating.
What will it mean exactly if my website gets hacked ?
Does it mean that I will not be able to access it anymore in order to alter the information that is on my own website ???

Suppose Web Shield tells me that it is hacked.
What can Web Shield do about it ?
How can I destroy the malaware on my website ?
Will my web hosting service be able to do something about it ?

I urge everyone out there to give me as much input about this as they can for this is a very alarming state of affairs.

I certainly would not want visitors to my website to get infected as a result of visiting my website.

Thank you again everyone.


Online DavidR

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The security of your web site is down to Tripod, there is little you can personally do to avoid it getting hacked. The hackers are hacking the hosting software and commonly inserting iframe tags into all pages on the Hosted tripod user pages.

The web shield can only alert you to the fact that something isn't right (infected alerts) and block the download to your HDD.
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Offline FreewheelinFrank

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^what David said.

Also keep your own computer clean so you're not uploading infected HTML pages.


     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

Offline trigan

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Thank you David and Frank.

David wrote:
" The web shield can only alert you to the fact that something isn't right (infected alerts) and block the download to your HDD. "

By infected alerts, does this mean that if I visit an infected website, Web shield can alert me WITHOUT ME downloading it in any way into my hard drive such as I assume by saving it as a bookmark or a html document in my hard drive.

I have never seen an alert. What is it exactly ? With all these malaware infested websites, I think I ought to be on the lookout....LOL

Thank you.

Offline FreewheelinFrank

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You can visit the eicar test site:

http://www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm

With WebShield running, you'll get an alarm when viewing the text file page:

http://www.eicar.org/download/eicar.com.txt

The page contains an innocent character string that AV's will detect as if it were a virus.

WebShield blocks the malicious content detected on a web page before it arrives on the hard disk. Unaffected parts of the web site will still be downloaded, and be stored in the broswer cache/history etc.

     Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain     Don't Surf in the Nude Blog

Online DavidR

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Thank you David and Frank.
<snip>
By infected alerts, does this mean that if I visit an infected website, Web shield can alert me WITHOUT ME downloading it in any way into my hard drive such as I assume by saving it as a bookmark or a html document in my hard drive.
<snip>

The web shield uses a localhost proxy to pre-scan the http port 80 traffic that would be downloaded to your browser cache. If something is infected the alert is raised and the only option given is to abort the connection, stopping it being downloaded into your browser cache, etc.
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Offline trigan

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Thank you for your reply, Frank.

I checked that Web Shield was running. It was set at Normal not high sensitivity.

I went to the eicar text file page:

http://www.eicar.org/download/eicar.com.txt

A web page opened with the following string at the top of the page with a white background.

X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*

I did not see any alert come up.
How can I be sure that Web Shield has indeed responded to this threat ?


Offline alanrf

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trigan,

since you are using a Win9x operating system you need to set up a proxy in your browser to make the Webshield function for your system.

See the links to the tutorial for setup here.

Offline trigan

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Alan,

Thank you for your reply.

I followed the link to the Avast tutorial on how to install proxy setting in Firefox if you have Wndows 98.

I succeeded but the instructions need to be altered as follows :
In Firefox 2.0.0.14 click Tools > Options
There is no tab that is called General as the tutorial is showing. Instead you click Advanced > Network > Settings
And there you see the Manual proxy configuration radio button and you carry on as the tutorial shows you.

Now my question is:
Just beneath the HTTP proxy there is an option box which asks you whether you want to use the HTTP proxy server for all protocols ? What should I do ?

What proxy settings should I have for SSL proxy , FTP proxy etc.as listed in the wndow ? Should I leave these blank ?

Since security is the subject of this thread, under the Encryption tab, it asks when a website requres a certificate do I click the option of the compuer selecting one automatically or for it to ask me each time ?

Thank you very much indeed. Security is very important given the information that has been made known on this thread !!


Online DavidR

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Leave them blank as the web shield doesn't monitor those ports only the HTTP port 80 traffic is monitored.

Encryption effectively screws the web shield as it can't monitor encrypted traffic (that is the whole purpose of encryption, to keep prying eyes out). So leave that alone also, the only requirement to get the web shield scanning your HTTP traffic is already covered by what is in the tutorial.
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Offline trigan

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Thank you David.
You write that Web Shield only monitors the HTTP port 80 traffic.
But the avast tutorial told me to specify Port 12080 and not 80.
Can you clarify this detail for me please ?