Downloading Software - potential risk ?

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by zebedeeboss, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. zebedeeboss

    zebedeeboss Honorable Member

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    Just a quick question for all you techies out there.

    I have always in the past downloaded software to my hard disk and then run them from there. I then end up with scattered directories of various types with all sorts of stuff that in 6 months time... due to obscure file names I have no idea what they are aor do. (and yes I know I should be more organised but hey...)

    Ok so the question is - with much faster dl times now I now tend to just run them... am I exposing myself to any security risks... I am assuming it is still downloading to the HDD somewhere and therefore the antivirus program still gets to vet it...but

    Is this the case... Please let me have your opinions

    Thanks
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Scan the downloaded content manually if you question its validity/safety. Some software by major vendors have the installers signed by a root certificate authority. For example, Microsoft will sign their patches with a certificate issued by a root CA. The online trusted Internet certificate authorities are trusted companies like VeriSign, etc. If the file changes, the certificate would become invalid. This is more important for driver installs...

    But look at it like this... your computer HD is "a mess" you say. CCleaner - Home

    Just use the cleaning tools to clean up the registry and any temp files. Uninstall any programs you haven't used in over 3 months... if you need them later re-install them. Just a thought.
     
  3. zebedeeboss

    zebedeeboss Honorable Member

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    Hi, thanks for the reply

    thats the point... I am not downloading the software to my hdd anymore... I am simply running it from the prompt... So my question was... does the antivirus program still scan it during dl before it runs ? I assume windows has to "temp" store the program" so does the antivirus scan those temp files ?
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Very few programs come with no additional files... they are probably being installed in Program Files... even if you run them from the command prompt. Unless you have reallly good programs that were coded bit by bit in assembly, you are running complex applications that use multiple files and probably DLLs... so you will always have a trail of files in your wake with many programs. UNLESS you really are using just files that are executable, and only have one file.... then those apps may put files relative to the application in hidden locations located within your userprofile like the "AppData" directory structure.

    The anti-virus should still scan the program before it runs - but it depends on your AV settings and what anti-virus you are indeed using. But most anti-virus software suites will still do this, we hope. The ones that ship with Dell or HP I will not endorse... this includes Norton and McAfee :) They, in my honest opinion, have really great marketing teams, but research has shown time and time again their failure rates. Just my opinion...
     
  5. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    An antivirus program with real-time protection (available in full versions) does check the executables that you run manually or with shortcuts, but it does not check temp folders {not all the the temp files} automatically, you need to scan them manually.


    I download software installers to my hdd and sort them to folders so I know what each installer does. Once in a while I burn some of them to a flash or disk, or compress them. I try to download from official pages for better security.
     
  6. zebedeeboss

    zebedeeboss Honorable Member

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    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    With what cybercore has said I will now go back to dl'ing files to a temp folder.... scan then then execute the installer.

    As for defense... I use Comodo Internet Security (Free version)... it seems to work well enough

    Thanks again :)
     
  7. Highwayman

    Highwayman Extraordinary Member

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    Maybe start experiments from virtual machine
     
  8. cybercore

    cybercore New Member

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    Comodo Internet Security looks to me the most complete and best of all freeware security software. As for the temp folders, a compressed installer can unpack to a temp folder and leave virused exe's there. So, if you suspect a virus in your system then you should scan temps manually and even better if you scan your entire hard drive.

    For better results, scan the files you download with VirusTotalUploadScanner, which uses about 40 antivirus systems.
     

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