Archive for March, 2011

Be prepared for any rootkit that might get into your Windows 7 system

Posted on March 12th, 2011 in Windows 7 | No Comments »

When you are dealing with most malware, you pretty much know how they are going to act on your system. Even the worse of them seem to follow a pretty steady pattern that will help you to get rid of them. But there is one piece of malware that even security researchers hate to hear the name of. When you know that you have one of these on the system, it is going to be a long day of trying to get it out. The piece of malware that we are talking about is known as a Rootkit and it is one of the most damaging pieces of malware out on the internet right now. We will go over the basics of what a rootkit is and look at what kind of damage it can do to your system.  We will also look at the tools that you need to do to get it off of your system.

What is a rootkit?

A rootkit is program that is able to get into the kernel level of our system which means that it is able to hide from scanning programs that is on your computer. For those programs to be able to sniff it out they need to be at kernel level as well. For the people who might not know, the kernel level of the computer is the part where a lot of the sensitive things that your computer can do, happens. It is basically the part of the operating system that communicates with the hardware of the machine. You do not want user level access programs to communicate with the hardware directly so the kernel is the break off point. While we know a lot more about rootkits now than we did before, they can still be a pain to get rid of off of your system.

The damage that it can do

A rootkit, once it is in your system, can give the attacker unlimited power over your computer. They are able to assume the rights as a power user and they will have the same administrative rights that you have, maybe even more. This is because they are able to access the kernel. This is the main objective for any attacker that is trying to get into someone’s system. When an attacker is able to get this deep, most of the time, they will turn your computer into a simple node. This means that anything illegal that they want to try and hide, they will do on your computer. This means that if someone is going to get into trouble, it will be you.

How can I get it off my system?

In the past it was very hard to get an infection like this off of your system. Formatting the system was the only way that you can get it off. Now there is plenty of software out on the market that will help you get the rootkit off of your system. Download one of these programs and hopefully you will be back to normal.

How Windows 7 was able to build up its standing in the security community

Posted on March 11th, 2011 in Malware | No Comments »

For years when people would think about Windows based computers they would think about the lack of security. It became a running joke that if you were going to get a Windows computer then you must be ready for the influx of malware that would accompany that decision. And these jokes were made for good reason. For years Microsoft did not take the security of their operating system seriously. They would not make the appropriate adjustments that were known by other operating systems that would at least slow down the bad guys.

And that is what made people mad about the service. If you know the way that you are doing something is inherently insecure, why would you keep on doing it? You set your service up for potshots by your competitors when you do something like that. Microsoft claimed that they did it for two reasons, ease of use for the consumers and keeping with backwards compatibility. The argument was the more you made something secure, the more complexity you would introduce to the system. And also the more changes you made for security sake, the less chances you would have of past programs running on the same operating system. But now that more and more complicated pieces of malware are coming out of the woodwork, these arguments start to hold less water.

Turning the perception around

A lot of the security changes that we see in Windows 7 was actually first implemented in the Windows Vista version of the computer. While that is a good thing, the bad part is that Windows Vista implemented the features very badly. The public for the most part turned against it and a good amount of that same public switched back to Windows XP. That switch back made them very insecure again.

So with Windows 7, Microsoft took those same security features, added a few more, and relaunched them again with a better interface. Both the critics and the regular user were overjoyed by what they saw. It was a modern operating system that had the ability to be able to both have good security and a clean interface. Now when the security questions would pop up, it was less intrusive and more pleasing to the eyes and sensibilities.

Now people could see that Microsoft had taken security seriously on the operating system. And not only was security a first class concern on the operating system, it was also something that they wanted to make a pleasant experience. Most of the top security professionals now agree that Windows 7 is at least just as secure as Mac OS X and not that far away from being as secured as the Linux operating system. That is a huge jump in security quality in a little less than a decade.

When you look at Windows 7, you are looking at Microsoft finally taking security seriously. It took them a while to get the message but they finally did.