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Spyware

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Anyonehave a good free spyware program to recommend?
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Question by:wball1217
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16 Comments
 
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
younghv earned 200 total points
ID: 34951298
Download, install, and run
Malwarebytes (MBAM) (http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php)
When downloading, save to your "Desktop" and use the "Save As" function (Internet Explorer) to rename the file.
The instructions are included right in that link.

You might want to review my Article here for more details:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Digital_Living/Software/A_1958-MALWARE-An-Ounce-of-Prevention.html
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Little_K
ID: 34951307
Hi there,

You can try malwarebytes or spybot.

They are both freeware programs
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 34951335
Hi Little_K,
Welcome to EE.

A little tip for posting suggestions is to include a valid link when you're recommending a download - it saves the Asker the trouble of searching for it.
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Thomas Zucker-Scharff earned 200 total points
ID: 34951912
There are, it seems, hundreds of pieces of free software.  If you look at the Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows (UBCD4Win) it contains many of them.  Check it out http://www.ubcd4win.com/ .

Also I have found some specific ones helpful.  As already mentioned MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM), and Spybot.  Also  CCleaner, Glary Utilities, SuperAntispyware, Free version of Avira and too many more to delineate.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:theonlyallan
ID: 34952684
I second malwarebytes as well.. Very useful, and free.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Joseph Ruiz
ID: 34956120
Adaware scans in the background for you. Just like antivirus, and its free. Malware bytes will catch somethings that most other spywares do not, but you'll have to remember to run it manually.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 34956538
Malwarebytes (Free) provides "on-access" scanning while using your computer.

You have to 'manually' run the definition updates and the actual scan of your computer.

The basic program is in fact free, but a lifetime (your lifetime) license is only about US$25 - a one time cost for your current and all subsequent computers.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 34956737
Since the OP asked about "Spyware" apps, I didn't mention in my first answer that it would be wise to have antirootkit software handy as well.  I do sometimes harp on this only because I feel it is really useful and rootkits are becoming more prevalent.

For a review of free anti-rootkit software and a basic explanation of rootkits, see my article:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Virus_and_Spyware/Anti-Virus/A_2245-Anti-rootkit-software.html
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:Hapexamendios
Hapexamendios earned 100 total points
ID: 34960623
Just one addition to the other expert's valuable comments: be wary.

Don't download something purely on oen or two recommendations, and be particularly aware that any searches you perform for "anti-virus", "anti-spyware" or "anti-rootkit" software will most often lead you to software which infects rather than helps you. These programs are the "bona-fide" or orignal Trojan Horses; they do a real, useful job, leading you not to suspect them, whilst doing something nasty in the background.

If you feel compelled (as you should) to look around on the web, use a browser which doesn't identify itself or send "HTTP-Referrer" infromation to sites. This is something malware users rely on to gain victims whilst avoiding analysis by security experts. Doing so will allow you to learn more with reduced infection risk.

Happ hunting...
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Hapexamendios
ID: 34960625
Just one addition to the other expert's valuable comments: be wary.

Don't download something purely on oen or two recommendations, and be particularly aware that any searches you perform for "anti-virus", "anti-spyware" or "anti-rootkit" software will most often lead you to software which infects rather than helps you. These programs are the "bona-fide" or orignal Trojan Horses; they do a real, useful job, leading you not to suspect them, whilst doing something nasty in the background.

If you feel compelled (as you should) to look around on the web, use a browser which doesn't identify itself or send "HTTP-Referrer" infromation to sites. This is something malware users rely on to gain victims whilst avoiding analysis by security experts. Doing so will allow you to learn more with reduced infection risk.

Happ hunting...
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 34960671
@Hapexamendios,
I have no way of knowing what you are implying, but I always encourage question askers to review the profile/history of the Experts making recommendations.

Mine: (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_3628488.html); and
tzucker's (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_5150276.html); and
yours (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_5334174.html)

Based on the actual results, it would seem to be safe for our Members to follow the advice give by tzucker and me.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 34961321
@younghv - interesting observation.  I generally have not given that advice, but that omission has been due to the fact that I recognize most of the experts' handles and have taken it for granted.  Checking out profiles is something I haven't done regularly since the first months I joined ee.

I do agree with @hapexamendios that using a browser that gives the least amount of information about the user is good.  However one should also use a browser that has enough safeguards to prevent driveby infections (visit a website, don't click on anything, but you are infected).  I personally like chrome with unchrome applied to it.  I also augment Chrome's built in security with WOT.  And I highly suggest using a virtual machine when browsing the web, especially if you are doing a search for antimalware applications.  Of course you can use any browser if you set it up to use TOR.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Hapexamendios
ID: 34961612
@younghv and @tzucker

No offense intended, or implicit accusation of anyone - particularly those who have attained "Genius" or "Guru" rank :)

Just trying to state the obvious for clarity since the poster's question does suggest this might be necessary. I personally don't trust Malwarebytes Anti-malware, but that's a personal opinion not intended to outweigh your experience with it. My distrust is anecdotal and stems from often finding it on computers which I have to forensically examine and prepare for evidence, or recover from a malware product. In those cases the anti-malware program had clearly been tampered with prior to its download and install (packed with an encrypted, compressed Trojan) and then re-posted on the download site.

This is not by any means conclusive proof of any weakness in the product, I smply stick to what I know like most folks :) and I doubt either of you two needed to be told any of this - but we're not here for each otehr in that respect, eh? :)

Keep solving, I note with respect your inherent skills and helpfulness.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 34961668
Good observation and one that should be taken seriously.  There is a site, which will not be mentioned here, where mbam can be downloaded but it is generally not good practice to download from there as it has been found to have malware infections.  I always suggest downloading mbam from http://www.malwarebytes.org/.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 34969773
<<In those cases the anti-malware program had clearly been tampered with prior to its download and install (packed with an encrypted, compressed Trojan) and then re-posted on the download site.>>

It is more likely that the malware modified the files DURING the download process.

Many forms of malware currently "know" the file names for MBAM, ComboFix, etc.

The standard advice is to use the "Save As" (IE), function to give the downloaded executables completely random names...to prevent that modification.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 34970257
Also here is my delicious bookmarks list of relevant sites and interesting articles regarding AV problems (not comprehensive, but certainly helpful): http://www.delicious.com/tzucker/antivirus
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