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Re: Spy-Ware Detection for Small Networks
From: H Carvey <keydet89 () yahoo com>
Date: 20 Apr 2004 13:58:40 -0000

In-Reply-To: <40841092.4040301 () guru4u co uk>

   I also do desktop maintanance and I'm seening a growing problem in
Spy-wares and malware. It is becaming unmanageable to deal with it.

   I've tryed to educate users, but they really seen not care, they click
on everything they can. 

Sounds about normal, given the permissiveness of most infrastructures.

   So I'm looking for some solutions that can make my life easier, and I
want some comments on what I've came thru to try to find a balance between
all solutions that can prevent most infections and keep the usability of the

   1) Spy-bot : Looks to me that it is the best tool to remove
spyware/malware, but it is host directed. It's hard to run it on all
machines periodically. There's any way to centralize it ? Or there's any
other program that will run in a centralized way?

Check on AdAware.  I think the full version allows you to run scans remotely.
   2) Firewall blocking List : 

As I'm sure you've seen, this can be very cumbersome and resource intensive.

   3) Content filtering : Viruses spreads by mail, spyware/malware spreads
mostly by HTTP. 

Don't pigeon-hole yourself.  Malware spreads through software downloads/installs (don't believe me?  Install iMesh, 
then run Spybot and Adaware...)

Maybe filtering some words/parterns in HTTP Proxy I could
block some problems.  Dans-Gaurdian seens to be a solution for this. Does
any one knows any list of words/sites, file extensions or any alternative to

Again, maintaining the list is very resource intensive...keep the list up to date, keep checking the logs, etc.
   4) Removing user access to his own machine : Removing users privilegies
(at least in XP/20000) will make spyware/malware infection harder or not?
Looks to me that at least IE infections still contiunes. At opinion on that?

If you remove user access from his own machine, then he (or she) won't even be able to access it.  I can understand 
*reducing* a user's access from Administrator to User, but removing the user's access altogether will just create 
additional problems for you.

Regarding permissions on the system, here's something to think about...most spyware installs itself on the system, 
leaving specific footprints.  In particular, these footprints are Registry entries and files.  Therefore, if you know 
the Registry keys (ie, the ubiquitous Run key, Browser Helper Objects, etc.) and the directories, you can modify the 
permissions such that users can't create keys or write files.  As an admin, you can do this remotely.

   5) IDS : Using snort or any other IDS will help me with malware/spyware

Sure, this is a good way to go about it, but it requires you to keep the signatures up to date, right?  That's 
something to think about from an admin/mgmt perspective.


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