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Old July 16th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #1
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Spyware blockers for Apple?

I sometimes use Internet Explorer on my iBook, and I got a warning saying Spyware's in my computer. How can I battle that? I thought my firewall via Bellsouth DSL would help...

THANKS,

heath

ps-Anyone know about something via .Mac?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #2
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Huh? Warning from what, IE? Are you sure it wasn't a pop-up window trying to sell you something?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #3
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Might have been, but it said it was from Bellsouth and had the profile of my iBook, down to the Ram and Hard Drive space.

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Old July 16th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #4
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If you really think it's legit then you can try Internet Cleanup by Aladdin. The demo doesn't work, it just shows screens and such. It's $30 and not rated very highly on VersionTracker. How would Bell South know if you have SpyWare on your computer?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:55 PM   #5
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It is a popup scam, but they are usually intelligent popups that attempt to grab information about you and show it to you.

If they were able to get information in that detail about you, it's because you don't have a firewall, or the one you have is deficient. Take it as a warning that your system is a sitting duck, and get yourself a firewall.

Go here...

https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

And click Proceed; then, run some of their tests, such as Common Ports and All Service Ports. It's free, and you'll find out how big that security hole is.

On the other hand, it's possible that they were just able to see what your OS was (commonly available when you surf the net and not a security risk) and then just made a guess about your configuration that just happened to be right.

Also note that this isn't a security flaw in IE - information about you is generally available through a variety of ports (and there are MANY) - and it's info available to the world the second your system is plugged into the net, unless a firewall is in the way, protecting you.



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Old July 16th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #6
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Their tests are useless, Heath and I use Macs and the site is for windows only.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #7
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It said my computer was okay. Unless it's because of it's incompatible.

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Old July 16th, 2004, 09:25 PM   #8
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It's not 'useless'. Sure the windows networking and windows file sharing tests are of no use to you, but scanning for open ports is valuable, and not OS dependent.

From what I understand, OSX comes with a meager built-in software firewall that does a decent job of closing out ports. Nevertheless here's a good resource for you, Heath.

http://www.firewallguide.com/macintosh.htm
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Old July 16th, 2004, 10:39 PM   #9
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It says my computer is cool with the ports.

Mac is good about security, thankfully!

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Old July 16th, 2004, 11:09 PM   #10
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securemac.com

Heath,

Check out http://securemac.com

Excellent site.

- don
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Old July 17th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #11
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Hola Dan,

It's nice to hear from you again. How is everything going for you? I'm hoping that you are doing very well.

Per the securemac.com URL, I just re-checked it via my Palm Treo 600 and it loaded fine. (On Amtrak Acela Express at the moment, on my way back to BeanTown from Penn Station)

Perhaps you could go to google.com, enter "secure mac" and hit the URL from there?

What computer are you using, what OS and what version web browser?

Looking forward to hearing back from you,

- don
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Old July 17th, 2004, 01:06 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Imran Zaidi :
If they were able to get information in that detail about you, it's because you don't have a firewall, or the one you have is deficient. Take it as a warning that your system is a sitting duck, and get yourself a firewall.-->>>


Actually, many of those type of "You are running..." pop-ups have nothing to do with firewalls. I get them, too, and I'm running both a software firewall and a hardware firewall (via my router).

These ads are (typically) not actually receiving or sending out any information from or about your computer. Instead, it's just a little bit of code that basically has your computer talking to itself, not to an outside party. At least in Windows systems, that is. It's just a sort of fill-in-the-blanks code that refers to system info stored on your computer -- the information is never actually broadcasted. Kinda like this:

"I am in control of your Program Files folder! <a href="C:\Program Files">Click Here for the Proof!</a>"

If I did that correctly (and if it was put into an HTML page, as such code doesn't work in dvinfo.net posts), a typical Windows user will find him/herself in their Program Files folder because the html code simply said to go to the C: drive on that computer. But no information was ever sent out from their computer. It's dumb code -- if you didn't have your program files folder on your C: drive, the trick wouldn't work -- it won't go searching elsewhere on your computer for the folder and it's certainly no proof that anyone is in control or has direct access to your PC.

I'm probably not explaining this too well -- I know there's an article about this very topic somewhere, but I couldn't find it via google. But basically, it's usually just clever coding taking advantage of how the OS is set up, not a devious break-in into your computer. That said, always run a firewall and be suspicious about everything.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 03:00 PM   #13
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John is correct. Spyware has nothing to do with viruses or firewalls. Spyware are little programs typically used to watch your computer usage and popup little ads while you surf the net. They are annoying and do use a little bit of computer time.

I don't know if the google toolbar works on a Mac but it blocks all popups, or at least tries to. You might check Ad-aware from nusoft to see if it runs on Macs. It's free and works well.

Never click on a pop up except to close it. Almost all popups are worthless ads and I block all of them.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #14
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Safari (Apple) browser has a built in pop-up blocker that is very effective. It just needs to be turned on.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #15
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Hi Don,

Fine here, hope the same with you.

I deleted the post about not being able to access the URL, because a while later it did work.
I'm on an iBook OSX.3.
Have to look into Safari. I deleted it off my Mac because I didn't like it AT ALL, but it seems to have some advantages. One of them is that the new Real Player for OS X requires Safari to be installed. I find that pretty weird, more like something Microsoft would pull..

Anyway, that's not the subject of this thread..
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