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Friday, February 19, 2010

Windows 7 Tweak Guide

Ive found a Windows 7 tweak guide by Makeuseof.com. Its pretty feature rich with alot of good ideas and walkthroughs.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/guide-speeding-windows-7-machine/

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kaspersky Hardware Patent

Kaspersky Lab has announced they have received a U.S. patent for a hardware-based antivirus solution. The announcement emphasizes that the hardware operates below the level of rootkits and therefore can't be bypassed by them.

The patent, #7,657,941, is entitled "Hardware-based anti-virus system," is awarded to inventor Oleg V. Zaitsev (Technology Expert at Kaspersky Lab) and assigned to Kaspersky.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20100215/tc_zd/248380

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Windows Start Button Changer v1 Released



http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-7-start-button-changer-released

Free FPS Games

Im going to compile a list of completely free FPS games. FPS happens to be my favorite genre, but given the right amount of time I may be able to do it for other genres as well.

If you have a suggestion post it. Ill add it to the first post.

Lets get started. These will be in no particular order. The first link is the homepage. Second link is the download page.

Americas Army
http://www.americasarmy.com/
http://www.americasarmy.com/downloads/

Combat Arms
http://combatarms.nexon.net/Intro.aspx
http://combatarms.nexon.net/Download/ClientPatches.aspx

CrossFire
http://crossfire.subagames.com/
http://crossfire.subagames.com/downloads.aspx

Quake Live
http://www.quakelive.com/
You must register to get the download

Sudden Attack
http://suddenattack.asiasoftsea.net/
http://suddenattack.asiasoftsea.net/04-download/04-download_01_01.aspx

Tremulous
http://tremulous.net/
http://tremulous.net/files/

War Rock
http://www.gamersfirst.com/warrock/
http://www.gamersfirst.com/warrock/index.php?q=download

Wolfenstein Enemy Territory
http://www.planetwolfenstein.com/enemyterritory/
http://www.planetwolfenstein.com/files/files.shtml

FEAR Combat
http://projectorigin.warnerbros.com/fearcombat/main
Same page

Kuma\War
http://www.kumawar.com/
http://www.kumawar.com/downloads.php

TrueCombat: Elite
http://www.truecombatelite.com/
Download on the left under current version

Battlefield Heroes
http://www.battlefieldheroes.com/
Same page

Warsow
http://www.warsow.net/
http://www.warsow.net/?page=download

Nexuiz
http://www.alientrap.org/nexuiz/
http://www.alientrap.org/nexuiz/downloads.php

Sauerbraten
http://www.sauerbraten.org/
http://www.cubeengine.com/files.php4

GunZ Online
http://gunz.ijji.com/

Soldier Front
http://sfront.ijji.com/

Urban Terror
http://www.urbanterror.net/news.php
http://www.urbanterror.net/page.php?6

Friday, February 12, 2010

Windows 7 Review and Benchtesting

Heres a nice review and some benchmarks done against XP.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/windows_7_review

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Connection Testing

Ive found a few sites to test net connections and various other connection related things. The latest is ICSI Netalyzr created by Berkeley University.

During the test you will need to turn off your antivirus. They use the EICAR test and if your AV is on the file wont be available for the test.

Its got a nice, clean interface and gives a nice over view after the completion of the test. The only issue Ive seen is that it doesnt give insight on how to prevent the problems it finds.

http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/index.html

The second one is PingTest. Its created by the same company who created Speedtest. This test rates on packet loss, ping, and jitter. The less packet loss, lower the ping, and lower the jitter the better.

http://www.pingtest.net/

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Malware Research Group (MRG)

I just came across this site. Seems they have some decent testing methods as well as reviews. Heres a nice little review on a very popular product that gets recommended alot in the PC security related fields.

Malware Research Group is an independent internet security research team with a worldwide network of affiliates. We focus our work on testing of security applications in various scenarios, malware research, and providing the latest news about new forms of malware and other news in the field of internet security.

The work performed by Malware Research Group is aimed at providing useful information to all home users who are looking for a home security product. Our testing is totally independent and the malware samples we use in our tests are supplied by our team. As such, we are in a position to conduct truly objective tests. Our malware database is growing daily and numbers well over 4 million samples.

We do not charge or accept any funds for the tests we conduct; our organization is funded from donations made by visitors to our website and from advertising fees.


Malware Bytes Anti-Malware Review(MBAM):

http://malwareresearchgroup.com/?p=1197

Home page:

http://malwareresearchgroup.com/

Friday, February 5, 2010

NirLauncher



NirLauncher is a package of more than 100 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.

NirLauncher Features

* NirLauncher can be used from USB flash drive without need of any installation.
* NirLauncher and all the utilities in the package are completely freeware, without any Spyware/Adware/Malware.
* NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more...
* For every utility in the package, you can easily run it, view the help file, or jump to the Web page of the utility.
* When using it from USB flash drive, the configuration of every utility is saved into .cfg file on the flash drive.
* On x64 systems, NirLauncher automatically run the x64 version of the utility, when there is a separated x64 version.
* NirLauncher also allows to add more software packages in additional to the main NirSoft package.

System Requirements
NirLauncher works on any version of Windows, starting from Windows 2000 and up to Windows 7. NirLauncher also works on x64 systems. Some the NirSoft utilities have a separated version for x64, and NirLauncher automatically run them when you're in x64 system.


Download Here:

http://launcher.nirsoft.net/

Included tools here:

http://launcher.nirsoft.net/utilities_list.html

Note: This is still in beta. It looks promising though.

Windows 7 Reviews

Here are some Windows 7 reviews that really cover everything.

http://lifehacker.com/5386953/lifehackers-complete-guide-to-windows-7

http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/12/windows-7-review/

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/reviews/2009/10/windows-7-the-review.ars

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Comodo Time Machine (CTM)

As part of a layered security strategy, users can schedule automatic snapshots to be taken at regular intervals then roll back to the last known working state in the event of virus attacks or crashes.

It is also recommended practice to take snapshots of your computer before large installations or system maintenance like installing a Windows service pack, security updates or new drivers. Software Developers and testers can easily restore test systems to the default configuration after each deployment without the need to manually uninstall each application. Home users can even let the kids run amok on the family PC for an afternoon and be safe in the knowledge that any damage can be instantly undone and all files recovered.


Now you may wonder why you need this over Windows System Restore. Truth is viruses like to embed themselves in the WSR points. The second you choose to restore to a later time your still infected, but think otherwise. WSR also doesnt backup ALL files. WSR only restores system files and registry entries. CTM backs up everything including files and folders.

CTM also allows you to schedule when a task will take place as well as put access controls on the backup points. By doing this you make sure nothing is restored that doesnt need to be.

http://www.comodo.com/home/data-storage-encryption/data-recovery.php



Security Software Review

Not everyone wants or needs an entire prefab security suite. At the very least, however, you've got to run antivirus software; we've got reviews of eight antivirus apps (including some free antivirus software) that can protect you against some of the Internet's nastiest malware. Many security vendors offer a veritable smorgasbord of products. Free antivirus, "Pro" antivirus, antivirus plus firewall, security suite, mega-suite with backup, and so on. Even leaving out the nearly-irrelevant distinction between antivirus and antispyware software, the possibilities are still endless. Clearly we can't review every variation, so I've always chosen the biggest, most feature-packed offering from each company—the suites.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358764,00.asp

How To Remove Services

Sometimes programs fail to remove the services that they create when they are installed. Ive read that the majority of people think that they cant be removed. Wrong. They can be removed.

First thing you want to do is go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. There you will find the service you want to delete and right click and go to properties. You will highlight and copy the service name. DO NOT use the display name.



Then you will go to Start > Run > CMD

In the command prompt type sc delete [insert service name here]. To paste it you will have to right click and select paste. The CTRL + V doesnt work in a CMD prompt.



After it is complete reboot.

Plug Security Holes

All of people have heard about Googles involvement and China and the issue that went on with that. The servers were exploited by a hole in IE.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/01/12/google.china/index.html

Heres some tips to keep you up to date to help minimize the amount of vulnerabilities on your PC.

First ditch IE. Its needed by the operating system for Windows Updates. Other than that its not needed and there are better alternatives. Consider a more secure browser such as Opera or Firefox. If you go with Firefox, which most people do, consider Ad-Block Plus and No-Script. I wouldnt recommend Chrome at this point for two reasons. The first being their huge mess up with their EULA and continuing to collect information on users after the user declined. Second being the lack of plug-ins available at the moment.

Second ditch Adobe. Adobe has loads of holes that I cant even begin to explain. Find another free PDF reader. I personally use FoxIt Reader. If you require the PDF creating elements look at CutePDF, NitroPDF, or NovaPDF. The last two are paid for softwares.

ALWAYS make sure your up to date with Windows Update. Patches come out every Tuesday. Set it to auto-update for Tuesdays. In some cases Windows releases emergency patches out side of their regular patching procedures.

Consider implementing SUMo and Secunia PSI.

SUMo is a software update monitor that alerts you to program updates before you use them. This is especially helpful when you dont have time to start up every program and run the update feature to make sure your up to date with all your programs.

SUMo, which stands for Software Update Monitor. Thanks to SUMo you'll be able to keep your PC up-to-date by using the most recent version of your favorite software ! Unlike build-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you need to use your software.

Features

* Automatic detection of installed software
* Detects required updates / patchs for your software
* Filter / authorize Beta versions (user setting)
* Ignore list : only tracks software YOU want to track
* More compatibility and less false positive than others Update Monitors (according to users feedback ;-)
* Internationalization support.


SUMo can be downloaded here:

http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?sumo

Secunia PSI is a vulnerability scanner. It scans your system for potential holes and alerts you to end-of-life programs, a list of patched and current programs, browsing holes that have been detected in your web browsers, and a nice over view page that shows the programs you have made on plugging holes in your system. It also allows you to create a profile so you can see the percentage of vulnerabilities in your area.

Secunia PSI can be downloaded here:

http://secunia.com/PSISetup.exe

Antivirus, Anti-Malware, and Firewall Info

I see alot of people asking whats the best firewall for my system. Truth is there is no best. It all depends on your system and your needs.

Some people know about these sites some do not. Ive compiled a list of some of the best, unbiased research in the way of antivirus and antimalware software.

Matousec
This site tests firewalls. It does alot more than just your regular TCP and UDP connections. It also tests a firewall in its HIPs protection.

They have since renamed their research to the Proactive Security Challenge. Here is a link to the results:

http://www.matousec.com/projects/proactive-security-challenge/results.php

This is the set of tools that they use for testing. If your security setup isnt on the test feel free to get a rating yourself.

http://www.matousec.com/projects/security-software-testing-suite/

Virus Bulletin
This site basically tests antivirus softwares and either gives them a VB100 award or fails the software. It compiles recent results so you can see the timeline of a software based on if it passed or not. To see the results of the latest AV comparatives you need to register for a free account. This site also malware and other security related articles as well.

http://www.virusbtn.com/index

ICSA Labs
This site basically runs some tests and certifies or denies security programs. It rates antispam, antispyware, IPSEC, antivirus, and various other networking softwares. All it really tells you is if a software has become certified, the operating system used for certification, and what level of certification it received.

Unfortunately nothing comes close to the AV Comparatives site in the way of Anti-Malware program testings and this is as close as it gets.

http://www.icsalabs.com/

AV Comparatives
This is probably the most significant resource here. While we all are worried to some extent about what the firewall lets in and out, we are all more concerned about our AVs detection rate and weather or not its deleting something that we need.

On this site you will find independent comparatives of Anti-Virus software. All products listed in our comparatives are already a selection of some very good anti-virus products.

Basically this site takes a huge collection of malware, keyloggers, trojans, and rootkits and tests each of the AV softwares in detection rates and the amount of false positives they identify. They also do performance testing on AVs to figure out scan speed and various other things.

http://www.av-comparatives.org/


Dennis Technology Labs

This test aims to compare the effectiveness of the most recent releases of popular anti-virus software. The list of products includes a selection of commercial and free programs (see below). A total of 10 products were exposed to genuine internet threats that real customers could have encountered during the test period. Crucially, this exposure was carried out in a realistic way, reflecting a customer’s experience as closely as possible. For example, each test system visited genuinely infected websites and downloaded files exactly as an average user would.

The results of this test must be downloaded and read with a .pdf viewer.

http://community.norton.com/norton/attachments/norton/ModBoard/58/1/PC-Virus-Protection-2010-DTL-Report-consumer.pdf

Jotti

Jotti's malware scan is a free online service that enables you to scan suspicious files with several anti-virus programs. Scanners used are Linux versions; detection differences with Windows versions of the same scanners may occur due to implementation differences. There is a 15MB limit per file. Keep in mind that no security solution offers 100% protection, not even when it uses several anti-virus engines (for example, this scan service).

Basically if your suspicious of a small file, you can upload here and get multiple results from a bunch of different scanners. The issue that I have found with these types of net services are they may be out of date. They dont state what definition they are using to scan with.

http://virusscan.jotti.org/en

VirusTotal

VirusTotal is a service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines.

Specs:

* Free, independent service
* Use of multiple antivirus engines
* Real-time automatic updates of virus signatures
* Detailed results from each antivirus engine
* Real time global statistics
Basically the same thing as Jotti, but probably a bit more popular.

With Virustotal and as with Jotti, just because multiple scans and databases have determined that a file is clean doesnt mean that its harmless. Its very possible that its a 0-day malware and hasnt been detected yet.

I hope this helps when you are looking for a new firewall or AV to use.