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A-squared Free Trojan Scanner is Gone - Now What?

 
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Harry Letterman
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: A-squared Free Trojan Scanner is Gone - Now What? Reply with quote

It seems that Emsisoft has stopped issuing updates to their a-squared Free Trojan Scanner and is now trying to get people to purchase the $40 Anti-Malware. I rarely had occasion to use the a-squared Trojan Scanner but it was nice to have a product that was specifically designed for Trojan detection - or was I reading too much into the hype? I was helping a friend get rid of some nasties that his kids had unwittingly downloaded (again!!) and ran a quick scan with Anti-Malware (during the trial period). I have not seen the results from his machine yet. I haven't spent enough time working with A-M but I suspect that it may not be worth $40. We did do a boot-time scan with avast! and it found 1 virus, which I deleted.

So, is there a need for a dedicated Trojan scanner? How about a rootkit scanner (I have used Sophos' Anti-Rootkit previously)?
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Daveski17
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity, what makes/made A-Squared any more effective than something like SUPERAntiSpyware or MBAM? I have never used A-Squared.

It is a shame to lose good freeware though!
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Harry Letterman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK, a-squared used to make a dedicated trojan scanner and it was arguably one of the best on the market (not to mention free). I suppose that MBAM & SUPER (not to mention avast! etc.) are also capable of finding trojans but MBAM et al typically find nothing more than an errant cookie or two on my machine. It seems that Emsisoft (maker of a-squared) is now focused on selling a security suite.
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suzi
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the major anti-virus and anti-malware apps target trojans now. I can't really think if a reason to have a dedicated anti-trojan app.

For example, check this page on Kaspersky's site.
http://www.securelist.com/en/descriptions
See the search box drop down.. it shows 3,618,533 trojan programs, with sub categories.

If you look at other companies' websites, you can see they list lots and lots of trojans in their malware names.
http://www.avira.com/en/threats/index.html

If you are careful on the internet, don't download from file sharing sites or apps, keep your OS updated and have a good all around anti-virus or anti-malware program running in real time, personally I don't think an anti-trojan program is needed.
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Daveski17
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, SUPERAntiSpyware found a trojan on my PC a couple of years ago that Norton & SpyBot missed.

I still use SAS. Cool
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mikey
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daveski17 wrote:
Well, SUPERAntiSpyware found a trojan...


Mind if I ask you what you did after you were alerted to it?

===========

Hey Harry, you been around a while. Perhaps you can tell me why folks still like to carry all the dead weight from these antiquated technologies on their sys. BTW I don't mean just trojan hunters. I'm talking about all resident signature scanners.

It just seems to me that folk would start trying to catch up with the 21st century.
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Harry Letterman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mikey"]
Daveski17 wrote:


Hey Harry, you been around a while. Perhaps you can tell me why folks still like to carry all the dead weight from these antiquated technologies on their sys. BTW I don't mean just trojan hunters. I'm talking about all resident signature scanners.


I haven't given that much thought. I simply remembered that a-squared was at one time a heckuva good trojan finder and it served me well on occasion (not to mention a friend of mine). It is somewhat difficult to stay abreast of the new technologies and it's even harder to distinguish the truly good products (MBAM, SAS, avast! etc.) from the over-hyped subscription suites. Out of 100 people who are looking for an antivirus product I would guesstimate that 90+ would gravitate towards Norton, simply because of name recognition. Those 90-odd people are certainly never going to visit AV-Comparatives to read/study up on the best performers. If they have a virus/trojan/spy/mal-ware they probably would never think of coming to a free online forum such as this one or Virtual Dr's Intensive Care Unit. They, for the most part I believe, simply do not have the time or patience.

A good friend constantly moans to me about how long a deep or thorough scan (with either MBAM or avast!) takes. He sees the little yellow Windows security updates shield in the taskbar but almost never takes the time to actually click on it and download and install the necessary updates. Why? Because after doing this he has to reboot! He reinstalled XP a few days ago b/c his mouse cursor was frozen on the screen so now he's rebuilding his system basically from scratch. I have told him about Bart's Preinstalled Environment but I doubt that he will ever take the time to create his own PE DVD. His 2 teen daughters constantly d/l pretty much anything they like and they click "Yes" or "I Agree/Accept" to anything just to get access to the game(s)/app(s)/whatever is the trend of the day. They just have the one computer and he is constantly pulling his hair out.

All of the above isn't really answering your question. I don't know - why do I keep SpywareBlaster on my system? Surely there are better alternatives but I have not bothered to find them. I kept DiamondCS's ProcessGuard for longer than it's sell-by date but ultimately "replaced" it with the Online Armor Free firewall, which gives me pretty much the same protection. In the end, I suppose old habits die hard. Confused
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Failed to block out the terrible truths of existence. In the end, his inability to push away the awful facts of being in the world rendered his life meaningless.”

- from the film "Stardust Memories"
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Daveski17
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikey wrote:
Daveski17 wrote:
Well, SUPERAntiSpyware found a trojan...


Mind if I ask you what you did after you were alerted to it?


Yeah, I checked the SAS forum to see if anyone had reported any false-positives (Google's translator had originally informed me that it had detected malware) then when I was convinced it was genuine I let SAS remove it.

I also downloaded MBAM & ran a full scan (I kept MBAM for nearly a year but eventually uninstalled it).
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Daveski17
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Harry Letterman, I use SpywareBlaster as well & I think it still has a place in malware prevention.

I have found that on many sites like this one people will argue about anti-malware for hours.

Usually I haven't got the most fashionable AV or anti-malware software!

I was mocked for using Norton, attacked for using McAfee & I'm pretty sure I even have sports jackets that are unfashionable.

I don't care any more, I think my present set up of MSE, SAS (on-demand) SpywareBlaster with WOT, NoScript & Ghostery (on Firefox/SeaMonkey) & JS whitelisting on Chrome should be good enough.

Oh, plus a bit of common sense! (I don't surf in Russian sites any more).
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