Tag: anti-spyware

Use Spyware Blaster to Protect Portable Firefox

I’m sure (by now) you are aware of the Portable Firefox application that bundles a complete Mozilla Firefox 3.x version as a ready-to-use browser setup. All you have to do is download the relevant file (available in Firefox 3.0.1x and Firefox 3.6 Beta builds) from PortableApps.com to your systems. Click to run the installer. And save the files to a location on either your hard disk drive. Or on a portable (USB pen) drive. Whatever floats your boat better.

Spyware Blaster (for those who haven’t been paying attention) is a powerful anti-spyware protection application. The free for personal user version should work for 99% of all users. Unlike other security tools, Spyware Blaster protects you before the fact. Blocking cookies, dialers, ActiveX controls and known spyware web sites from your browsers. The existing 4.2 build protects Windows, Internet Explorer and Firefox. As the Opera web browser doesn’t use DOM it’s quite secured against most malware.

The problem with Spyware Blaster is it can’t detect Portable Firefox since the latter isn’t installed; mere extracted. So we need to implement a workaround.

[Update: June 10, 2012: I’ve revised this post to include how to patch your Portable Firefox settings to enable SpywareBlaster monitoring. Read on 🙂

How to:

1. Create the following folder:
Windows XP/Vista – Documents and Settings(Your user)Application DataMozillaFirefox (if you are using )
Windows 7/8 – Users(Your user)AppDataRoamingMozillaFirefox

2. Create new text file with the following:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=Default
IsRelative=0
Path=C:TamedFirefoxPortableDataprofile
Default=1

(Path is mine, you modify according to where your portable is)

Save text file as profiles.ini in the folder you created – D:Documents and Settings(Your user)Application DataMozillaFirefox

Now start SWB again

Fix courtesy: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1200223&postcount=2

Get SpywareBlaster 4.4 and block Windows malware

If you are looking for a great anti-spyware software look no further than JavaCools Spywareblaster 4.6. This release improves compatibility with Gecko-powered browsers like Firefox and SeaMonkey (does anyone really use this Netscape Navigator upgrade?). Along with IE for Windows Vista and Windows Seven (7) updates and a number of other bug fixes and improvements.

For those who came in late, SpywareBlaster is among the best tools that block spyware before it affects your browsing. It works for Windows, IE (Internet Explorer) and Firefox. But (still) excludes Opera and Google Chrome. Which is annoying. Are these browsers any safer?

I find the IE tools handy even though I don’t block Flash content as you never know what looks good until after you encounter (qualifier: euphemism for terminating a (bad) person with extreme prejudice [sub-qualifier: CIA term for killing someone] ) it!

The dedicated IE tools are useful. Users can block all Flash content, create encrypted backups of the Hosts file, manage browser page settings, block cookies, and create customized ActiveX blocks. Firefox and Netscape-specific protection only offers cookie blocking, but you can create a customized blacklist that will function across multiple browsers. You can also create a system snapshot for PC recovery in case of a devastating attack.

The interface is designed well, uncluttered and easy to navigate. For $10 a year users can get automatic definition file updates and tech support, otherwise those must be done manually. Equally surprising is there’s till no support for Opera Web Browser or Google Chrome including spyware blocking capabilities. And while I appreciate the good job Spyware Blaster does for my other browsers, Chrome, Chromium and Opera are no longer the only kids on the block!

On first-run Spyware Blaster’ walks you through basic steps including reminding you up front (and often) that you need to update the program. Along with links to enable or disable protection. Program options including browser protect level stats are displayed in the left sidebar. There’s also a comprehensive help file, a “Getting Started” section and a glossary of terms.

The categories are broken into “Protection”, “System Snapshot”, “Tools” and “Updates”. “Protection” is the heart and soul of SpywareBlaster. From here you can selectively choose to block Active-X based spyware and dialers and or spyware tracking cookies. All websites and files to be blocked have a small check box next to them, so you can easily customize your blocked list to allow anything you want. You can verify that it is turned on and protecting Internet Explorer or Mozilla/Firefox.

With “System Snapshot” you can take an image of your computer to restore any system or browser settings should you become infected with spyware. Due to the the many types of spyware out there, and how often new ones appear, this is a great idea for any spyware program.

The “Tools” section allows you to view and change various browser settings, create encrypted backup copies of your hosts file, kill flash animations and specify Active-X controls you want to block. It even allows you to modify a few Internet Explorer options such as: changing the title bar and disabling the Internet Explore home page settings. All of these are very handy if you really want to customize your browser settings.

Finally, the “Updates” section allows you to manually update or configure automatic updates. It also provides a link to make a donation, if so inclined. This was the only place I recall seeing a donation request and thought it was a classy way to do it.

SpywareBlaster only needs to be run to apply your preferences. It does not need to run in order to work, keeping your system free of one less startup program. Opening SpywareBlaster weekly and updating it is all that is needed. Our tests with SpywareBlaster showed it to be very effective at blocking many known web “bugs”. It blocked access to some websites, would not allow Active-X spyware to be installed by others and in some cases simply allowed me to look at websites safely that otherwise would have left a lot of spyware on my machine. That said, a handful bypassed the program. The MySearch toolbar installed without a problem along with a few porn and crack cookies considered spyware by Ad-Aware and Spybot.

Considering SpywareBlaster protects you from over 2,800 known spyware items, it is an excellent tool to install to prevent a lot of web based spyware from ever being installed. It is free, easy to use and quite effective. It is not a tool to use solely to protect yourself from spyware, but a great way to start. As long as you keep in mind that it will not protect you from everything, and keep your favorite spyware cleaning tool handy, SpywareBlaster is a must have program.

Google Docs used for Phishing

Scammers are inventive. If promises to win millions of Pounds, Dollars, what have you by replying to a (grammatically badly constructed request) didn’t suck you in. Let’s see if documents from a trustworthy source will reveal your private information.

The latest scammer trick to surface leverages the general trustworthiness of Google products. How many times have to opened someone else’s Google Doc file without wondering if it was safe to do so?

So watch out for that form. Phishers are now using simple Google Doc forms (spreadsheets actually). Banking that for most web users Google is trustworthy. Right?

W-R-O-N-G!

For more on what can possibly go wrong read about Google docs phishing sites, phake sites including the lo-down from F-Secure.

Stay Safe you all!