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quar·an·tine  (kwôrn-tn, kwr-): "A period of 40 days" (www.dictionary.com)

Posted on 2004-04-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hello everyone!

Bright and chirpy this morning...except my OS just crashed for the 3rd time in one month! Seems I am infected...bad sectors on harddisk...need replacement...the nightmare goes on...

there's gotta b a solution...is partitioning an answer? ok, b4 that, here's the situation:

Seems everytime i go on to the Internet i carry back with me a memorabelia in the form of a trojan/virus/worm...unsolicited visitors galore CNN cud have a cover story on attacks on my pc!...I was hoping if there's a way whereby all files/cookies/downloads etc etc related to my Internet travels are stored absolutely separately & isolated from the rest of the system i.e. OS, important data...

In other words, if a malicious piece of code was to infact creep on to my pc, all related malicious activities such as infections, bad sectors, corruption, etc would be restricted to only the part of the harddrive on which my Internet related files are stored...

there's gotta be a way...i don't trust anti-virus softwares unless someone can recommend a fool-proof, guaranteed no virus program (if such a thing exists)

would be glad to provide more clarity/granularity incase i have not been able to express my thoughts above clearly...would greatly appreciate suggestions...

thank you in advance!


P.S. Could partitioning the HDD be a possible solution?...I am not quite sure how it all works with this but i was hoping for one small (1 GB) partition for everything online and the rest for my OS & personal data.

Or do i now need to buy a new pc altogether for all my Internet related activities?!? Can you freakin' believe it!?


Surviving the Digital Age...HAPPY EVOLUTION!
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Question by:wirefree101
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oldgreyguy earned 125 total points
ID: 10816943
Unfortunately... the short answer is NO.... the buggers that are getting in ply their trade in known areas..ie: Email attacks/theft of names, O/S disruption, BIOS eating, Drive tables.... etc

You need to rethink how you go about the internet.... its not a safe place (as you have seen) to wander around with your Pollyana shades.............. Good Virus protection and your vigilance in making sure it is updated, at least a simple firewall... you gotta quit running down Inet highway without using some (unfortunately in this time) common sense
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by:RevelationCS
ID: 10817123
I concur with oldgreyguy... One of the best strategies for preventing the likes of what sounds like you have been hit with is the combination of Antivirus/Firewall software (properly configured of course) and properly educating yourself on safe internet practices that limit the risk of virus infection... To be honest, if you know your stuff and abide by the safe practices, you have to rely very minimally on the antivirus software as you will greatly limit the exposure to viruses... One recommended site is http://www.icsalabs.com/index.shtml. I also use www.antivirus.com to keep up to date with the latest virus information/outbreaks.

As for the issue with the bad sectors, you could partition, but for the amount of effort needed to get the partitions right, its easier to spend the money to get a new hard drive and work to prevent issues like this from happening in the future.
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by:RWrigley
ID: 10817170
Well, one trick you could use is to get a copy of somthing like VMWare.  Create a virtual system, and take a "snapshot" of it.  THen, when you want to go browsing, you use the VM session.  Once you're done, you "revert" to the snapshot, and everything that came down in the internet session gets trashed.
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 10820107
You don't say what OS you have, but I use these on a w98se system with no problems.

anti-virus:
Free Anti virus
http://www.grisoft.com/html/us_downl.html

firewall:
ZoneAlarm Free Version
www.zonealarm.com

Spyware checker:
Spybot Search and Destroy
http://spybot.safer-networking.de/
http://www.safer-networking.org/
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by:rid
ID: 10826217
Some ways to avoid unwelcome visitors is to use:

A browser that is NOT Internet Explorer - e.g Mozilla, Opera, Netscape - there are several tens of alternatives.
An e-mail client that is not Outlook or its "express" sibling. Most any other client is more secure (Pegasus, Mozilla, Eudora)
And, of course, you could use another, non MS O/S altogether...

The first 2 suggestions are quite sincere. Since they operate on a lower level of privilege than the O/S-integrated IE and OE, they cannot cause the same amount of havoc with the system as these can. Also, the built-in HTML engine in e.g. Pegasus is deemed much more secure than the one used in OE (it uses IE...), for example.

/RID
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Author Comment

by:wirefree101
ID: 10830056
ALL suggestions greatly appreciated!

The most interesting suggestion came from RWrigley...Please do share your experience of using such as solution...seems to be this cud be the solution i was looking for.

look forward...
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Author Comment

by:wirefree101
ID: 10830057
ALL suggestions greatly appreciated!

The most interesting suggestion came from RWrigley...Please do share your experience of using such as solution...seems to be this cud be the solution i was looking for.

look forward...
0
 
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Assisted Solution

by:RWrigley
RWrigley earned 125 total points
ID: 10833033
I've been playing with VMware Workstation mostly, installed under Windows XP Professional on a P4 2.4ghz with 256mb of ram.  You use it to create virutal x86 machines (complete with a faux Phoenix Bios screen).  You can specify how much memory the virutal machine has, and which peripherals are attached (and a nice feature is that you can tell it to use ISO images as drives).  Once you've set up the virtual machine, you can then install an OS on it, exactly the same as installing it on a real PC.  The emualtor is good enough that the OS doesn't realize that its in a virutal machine, not a real machine.  Once you've installed your OS, you can use the virutal machine the same way as a comptuer (hit the "power switch" in the VMWare console, and it POST's and boots like any normal PC.  Option 2 is to take a "Snapshot" of the session, which allows you to jump back to a known good state within minutes.

Another nice feature is that you can run the network interface in one of three modes...bridged (which basically allows it to access the network like any other pc), NAT (in which your real PC acts like a firewall for the virutal machines), and Host Only (which effectively creates a private network within the pc that is invisible to the outside network.)
  I'm actually using it to virutally emulate the network system here at work, so I have images replicating both my servers (W2k terminal server, and an NT4 domain controller), and the various office OS clients (Windows 98, Windows 2000 pro and Windows XP pro).  I've also created a OpenBSD based firewall/router that uses a bridged NIC to talk to the network, and a Host Only NIC to talk to the rest of virtual machines.  THis setup allows me to test configuration changes to the servers and clients without any danger of hurting the real network.  

Performance-wise, it gets a little chuggy with two or three sessions running (not surprising given that you have the equivelent of three PC's using one processor!), and I don't have enough memory to run everything at the same time.  

For what you're talking about, here, its not a perfect solution; your "real" PC is still going to be vulnerable to viruses and trojans that attack the Virtual PC, and then go out and scan "nearby" PC's for open ports and the like.  Before you do anything, you need to harden your comptuer (I'd suggest wiping and reinstall, apply all security patches, install a good virus scanner and firewall, and some spyware detector, all of which can be found for free on the internet).  Then, if you want to invest the time and energy in a VM solution, you've got a good solid base for it.
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