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Do You Use Windows X P? Read This.

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Are you still using Microsoft's Windows XP Operating System? If you do as of April 8, 2014 Microsoft will no longer support this platform. So what does that mean? It means that you will no longer recieve any updates for XP. That includes security patches, the monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool, and bug fixes which could leave your computer vulnerable to malware and hackers since no new security updates will take place. It will take no time at all for the bad guys to take advantage of and exploit this situation. Given the fact that millions of users worldwide are still using this OS some folks are not happy at all with this decision by Microsoft. In fact it is estimated that 90% of all ATM's in the country still rely on XP and many businesses still use this platform since it's such a stable, time tested Operating System.

 

The bottom line is if you do use XP it's time to seriously consider upgrading to a newer Operating System like Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.

 

Regards, Ritchie...

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Just another thing that doesn't make really good sense, but no need to waste time worrying on something out of my control. I just hope the transition is smooth and the performance is as good as XP. Good luck everybody, me included!

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Hi Clint & welcome to the Immunet forum, I agree it's not worth the effort to fret over things we can not change sometimes. My roomy is not too happy about this since he still uses XP though. I upgraded from XP Professional x86 to Windows 7 Ultimate x64 a few years ago. All did not go well however. While trying to install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 I had a "major" hassle getting it to install properly. I even had to use the Windows 7 Rescue Disk that I burned shortly after installing 7 to get SP1 to install. Without the help of a "very knowledgable" person that I know I would have been stuck with reformatting the OS and starting all over again!

 

I'm sure the decisoin by Microsoft was primarally driven by profits. After all they want the folks to dish out the cash for upgrading. I'm also sure that's not the only reason though. XP was getting rather long in the tooth and it would have taken more & more company resources to maintain the Operating System as secure and viable.

 

Best wishes, Ritchie...

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I won't forsake XP yet. I fully expect that my security programs (Immunet, Private FW/HIPS, Lower-My-Rights, & EXP Radar Pro antiexecutable) will maintain my XP's virginity.

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Hi bellgamin, I think that using a layered approch to your PC's security is a great idea. I use a similar approch myself. The problem with XP is since no new security updates will take place after April it would only be a matter of time before some malware developer or hacker finds a new security hole or zero day vulnerability with XP that can be exploited to their advantage. Perhaps this will be something that normal AV or security programs aren't designed to deal with since the vulnerability will be within the Operating System itself. A very likely scenario in my view!

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Ritchie - I forget to mention that my router also has a hard-wired firewall. Thus my security layers consist of: (1) 2 firewalls: 1 soft & 1 hard. (2) I clone my total C drive weekly to an external drive. I can revert back as much as 3 months previous, if needed to get a clean XP. (3) Further, I use drop my rights for my browser & my email client. (4) I use pop-peeper -- text only -- no HTML -- for email. (5) Immunet. (6) Private Firewall. (7) HIPS (a behavior blocker on steroids). (8) Antiexecutable (only white-listed executables can run). (8) My "sensitive" files are encrypted. (9) I run an integrity checker for "key" system files & registry items at least every 2 or 3 days. (10) My internet connection is hard-wired, not wireless.

 

In your opinion:

Q-1: Does all that security stuff make a sufficient difference?

Q-2: Would it further close the door if I surfed the net via a sandbox?

 

In case you haven't noticed, I grossly detest the idea of learning another OS. Plus, I would probably have to replace my 1998-vintage computer. Bother!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

P.S -- Even if XP develops a security hole, won't the bad guys have to gain entrance to my computer via the internet? If so, won't they have to wriggle past my 2 firewalls? Further, even if someone gets in, what's to lose? All my vital files are encrypted.

 

P.P.S -- Yes, I probably have too much security. It's because (1) I'm paranoid. (2) Security is fun.

 

P.P.P.S Believe it or not, all that security uses very little cpu. My system idle averages 98.4- 99.5% of cpu time.

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Hello again bellgamin, some very interesting and relevent questions. To the first question I think that, yes, a layered approch will help. You have a "great" setup from a security standpoint in my view! To the second question, that would only be a plus if you browse the net using a sandboxing software feature. As you mentioned the bad guys would have to devise a way to infiltrate your system to take advantage of the exploit by using perhaps a malicious redirect where you get a drive-by download or using a program that is included or compatable with XP but has a newly discovered buffer-overrun vulnerability to name just a few possible entry points.

 

You are right there bellgamin, if using a layered approch it's finding the right programs that are not just compatable with each other but using programs that don't hog so many system resources that it slows things down to a crawl.

 

This is the (not so) newest addition to my arsenal - I'm currently (closed) alpha or (public) beta testing (which ever is needed) Malwarebytes "Anti-Exploit" (it was ZeroVulnerabilityLabs, Exploit-Shield Browser Edition before MB bought the company of which I was a tester too). I think this bit of software has some great potential especially for XP users in the coming months. If you're brave enough & have the troubleshooting and OS knowledge and want to help test this software too here is a link for the newest public beta 0.10.0.1000 version. https://forums.malwa...howtopic=143429

 

Regards, Ritchie...

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Another plus would be to keep all third-party software "always" updated. Such as Adobe's Flash Player for instance of which has released yet another version that addresses a newly discovered vulnerability different from the posting I did earlier. CVE-2014-0498, CVE-2014-0499, CVE-2014-0502 http://helpx.adobe.c.../apsb14-07.html

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If you're brave enough & have the troubleshooting and OS knowledge and want to help test this software too here is a link for the newest public beta 0.10.0.1000 version. https://forums.malwa...howtopic=143429

Brave? No. Foolhardy? Yessss! I d/l MBAE just now & will install it after I clone my C drive. (BTW -- I am a long-time paid user of MBAM. I like it a lot, except that it is bloody slow in loading its GUI.)

 

Thanks muchly for the heads-up re MBAE.

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I know just what you're talking about there. I use the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as an additional on-demand scanner and have seen that behavior too.

 

We're pretty excited about the newest public beta of A-E! Previous versions used shell code injection techniques using TaskScheduler and a .exe that proved to be problematic, with the sys tray icon not launching sometimes and compatability problems with other third-party security software. With this newest build Anti-Exploit now has it's own dedicated Windows process that has eliminated a lot of the previous problems! Actually you will see two running processes for A-E now. That would be mbae.exe[32] which handles the GUI and sys tray icon and mbae-svc.exe[32] which is the main process. Immunet uses two processes in a similar mannar too.

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea, I think, to add an exclusion for Anti-Exploit's Program Files folder with Immunet just to avoid any possible conflicts there. I've done this just to be on the safe side. By ading this exclusion I'm happy to report that I have not run into a compatability problem between Immunet and Anti-Exploit thus far!

 

Cheers, Ritchie...

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Actually you will see two running processes for A-E now. That would be mbae.exe[32] which handles the GUI and sys tray icon and mbae-svc.exe[32] which is the main process. Immunet uses two processes in a similar mannar too.
These processes are incredibly easy on cpu usage. In just over 24 hours of my computer's overall run time since last reboot, the combined total of A-E's 2 running processes is less than 2 seconds.

 

Question: I guess A-E's processes aren't very busy except when I am surfing the web. Correct?

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea, I think, to add an exclusion for Anti-Exploit's Program Files folder with Immunet just to avoid any possible conflicts there.
I did that right after I installed A-E. ^_^

 

So far Immunet plays very nicely with all my securitys apps. Grrreat AV!!!

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That is correct bellgamin. Anti-Exploit has a very small system footprint. I've observed very minimal CPU & Disk I/O usage when idle. When you launch a program that is shielded you'll hardly even notice A-E silently working in the background. If A-E does actually block an exploit it will alert you with an audio warning and a popup window that will definetly get your attention, lol! Of course A-E isn't meant to replace your current security programs but rather complement them as an added layer of protection. It may take your browser & other shielded apps a slightly longer time to launch using A-E but that's a fair trade off I think. It's not just browsers that A-E has been designed to help protect against zero-day vulnerabilities & other exploits. To see all the apps that are shielded you can open the GUI and click on the Shields tab where you get a detailed list.

 

We have kind of gone off topic but then again perhaps not. I would recommend to everyone who uses XP to consider using this program because of the pending non-support issue. https://forums.malwa...howtopic=132048

 

Regards, Ritchie...

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Hi Zurchiboy! Haven't chatted with ya in a while. Even though support is ending for XP I'm sure a lot of folks are going to continue using this platform for some time despite this fact. Microsoft is very strongly recommending that people upgrade their XP OS. Of course Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1. Some computer experts say that if one switches from XP to Windows 7 it's not such a shock to learn this system compared to 8 or 8.1 as Win 7 has many similaraties to XP and from personal experience I believe this holds true. The problem there is many people using XP also have it installed on older computers that may not have the system resources to actually run Win 7 or 8. If that's the case the only option is to upgrade the CPU and RAM modules if the motherboard allows or buy a new, faster computer. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements I think that's the main reason why a lot of users will be reluctant to upgrade. They don't have the money (or the knowledge) to upgrade their existing hardware, purchase a new OS or a entirely new computer or they just don't want to learn a new OS period. Eventually even Win 7 will be obsolete and support will end for this OS as well but that won't take place for several years to come according to Microsoft.

 

Best wishes, Ritchie...

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My friend and computer repair shop guy told me all I needed was good security. All I've used for about 6 to 7 months is Immunet 3, by itself. If I were more computer security knowledgeable,maybe I would have added at least 1 something that Immunet is compatible with.Maybe I'm very fortunate that I haven't been over-run by now with malware,virus,etc.If it's because Immunet is that good on my system,well then I'm more than very well pleased. You can't live in fear,just gotta put 1 keystroke ahead of another. Hopefully with Immunet security along side.

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Hi iTrendsNET and welcome back to the Immunet forum! That is a good idea to use Comodo Firewall because of the Defense+ (HIPS) and Auto-Sandbox feature. As I mentioned before I also think it wouldn't be a bad idea to use Anti-Exploit as an added layer of protection for your browsers and third-party applications. In fact...

 

The Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit developers are working on a future build that will be able to shield any application of your choosing including the whole Operating System if you so desire. When this build will go to alpha/beta testing I don't have any info on that as yet. That would be a real plus for XP users!

 

The real problem with XP isn't really what anti-virus or security software you should be using but the "very, very real possibility" that hackers or malware developers will find a "newly discovered vulnerability in the XP Operating System itself" that they can use to exploit. This may be something that conventional anti-virus or other security software wasn't designed to detect or deal with. That is a very real threat! I think it's important to be aware of the risks if one wants to continue using XP and take measures to minimize those if at all possible with some of the great ideas put forth in these threads.

 

Cheers, Ritchie...

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Norton didn't waste any time, did they! I believe most security vendors will continue to support XP for at least a year or two because of the amount of XP users. As fewer and fewer folks still use the platform in the future then most companys will eventually drop support for XP. You know that's eventually going to happen.

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This is a bit of good news for XP users for a change. I'm sure that most folks have already heard of the zero-day vulnerability affecting all versions of Internet Explorer. This exploit could allow a hacker to gain access to your computer, steal personal data or execute malicious arbitrary code. Microsoft is currently pushing a security patch for this exploit to all users. Using what I consider good judgement, Microsoft has decided to also allow all XP users to recieve this security update to IE too!

 

Regards, Ritchie...

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After a bit of good news for XP users from Microsoft comes some more bad news. It has been recently discovered that an old zero-day vulnerability in IE8 has gone unpatched for 7 months and counting!

 

http://www.cnet.com/...ftag=CAD2e9d5b9

 

http://zerodayinitia...ies/ZDI-14-140/

 

Just another prime example why all users of XP should be using Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit as an added layer of protection!

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