Computer Security, General

MSN Users Beware!

It’s come to my attention (thanks to the F-Secure Viruslabs Weblog) that there’s a new trojan doing the rounds via MSN/Windows Messenger. I’d advise you all to take the same precautions with files sent by IM contacts that you would with email – scan ’em with an up to date virus scanner, and be wary of everything. Remember, just because it looks like your friend sent it, you cannot guarantee that any more.

Full details of this little nasty known as Bropia.A can be found at F-Secure, Symantec, and no doubt other AV vendors online databases. Don’t forget however, that some AV vendors don’t update their automatic update definitions very often so check if there’s a more recent "manual download" definition file that you can install.

One of the reasons I recently switched AV suppliers for my main PC at home (laptop’s still on NAV, at least until this years subscription expires) was this delay on the automatic updates – I was using Norton Antivirus, but the update frequency of once-a-week seemed a bit, well, slow, given that viruses are going worldwide in a matter of hours… so when shopping around, I looked at the autoupdate frequencies (not manual definition loads, but the defs your PC will download automatically) for some of the "big names" and got some surprises…

  • Norton, Once a week – on a Wednesday
  • McAfee, unknown, I couldn’t find these details
  • F-Secure, several times a day!

Needless to say, this year, F-Secure got my money – this decision was considerably influenced by a "group test" in a recent version of PC Plus where they tested several AV products, and F-Secure did very well, both in catching nasties, but also with it’s update frequencies.

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3 thoughts on “MSN Users Beware!

  1. Much as I hate to say this, I’ve been trialling Microsoft’s anti-spyware attempt and I have to say its pretty damn good. Three things in particular stand out: The speed of scanning, the real-time protection and the auto-update/scan scheduler. Of course, MS just bought it off another company, but that’s not the point.

  2. I’d forgotten about the MS offering, although it’s still only in beta at the moment – it’s free, and for some folks, the fact that it’s from Microsoft will enhance their opinion of it!

  3. I just want to mention now, that despit F-Secure having a good anti-virus package, I cannot endorse it any more, as it has come to my attention that it contains an updater called “BackWeb”.

    See http://www.cexx.org/dlgli.htm for details of what Backweb actually is. Now, F-Secure aren’t (as far as I know) using it for anything other than obtaining software updates. However, I will not have a tool like this on my PC.

    Uninstalling F-Secure will not remove backweb properly either – and it’s a pain to get shot of.

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