Safer Purchasing

Maybe I’m being paranoid, but yesterday I was buying some train tickets. Anyhow, I am on Windows and I was getting paranoid about nasties on the PC as I ran Spyware sweeps etc and it came up with various items.

Now I was wondering if there’s a safer way to buy or am I being overkill? I have the basic firewall on the router, a software firewall (Zonealarm), AV (Avast) and I run Spysweeper and Adaware regularly now I’m on Windows.

Now I know that doesn’t search for keyloggers really but am I being overkill thinking I should use a linux vmware to use to purchase with? And would that confuse a keylogger?

I’d vote paranoia, but it depends how paranoid you are :smiley: Between a antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware, I think you can be as reasonably confident as you can that your system is clean.

Using linux or whatever is no guarantee in itself you’re going to be more secure. I’m not sure on the vm side but I would assume if the host isn’t secure, you can’t trust the guest OS either.

Use a credit card that has identity/fraud protection, then even if someone does get your details you’ll get all the cash back!

How do i know…well, i got stung for a few thousand pounds a few years back after buying from an american internet shop, got my next bill and there was about £3k worth of internet porn subs on it! Credit card company sorted it all out for me.

I’m with Mackerel and vote paranoia. From my experience, key loggers, trojans etc mostly still have one final hoop to jump through before being really dangerous…stealth.

OK, so we all know about rootkits etc, but what I mean is that most of the nasties going around tend to give their presence away in some way or another: slow operation, pop-ups, browser hijacking, email returns from spammed recipients, etc.

With targeted attacks, the unlucky recipient tends not to get hit by most most of those, but you would have to be very unlucky to be on the receiving end of a targeted attack. With a random drive-by attack, most malware is too broad a stroke, opening back doors to other nasties that leave multiple traces. So assuming you are worried about drive-by infection rather than targeted, look for the usual tell tale signs and try to sleep soundly.

Oh, and if you get a pop-up from the FBI about visiting illegal sites, you know that either you have been caught red handed with the velcro gloves on, or you have a spyaxe/zlob derivative.

buy a mac and be done with it :moon: :lol:

seriously - keyloggers are subvertable, copy paste works well to get round them. An interesting idea of ways around keyloggers, a best of best of best practice - pad a large notepad doc with lots of stuff, with an identifier around the actual date, a number only you would know, then use copy paste. An interesting concept and use by a couple of those ‘vault’ type applications for passwords, possible to do by eye (just).


an easy one that, the identifier being 40, but you get the idea/concept.

Trojans 95% are incoming traffic firewall blocked, and if you get one you sure know as on windows if an external firewall blocks it - the nasty simply fills the tcp-ip stack up so much you cannot browse the net, you sure notice that. The ones that activate on certain bank site access are the worrying ones, it simply sits dormant right up until you type or browse to <mybank>.com and then it localhost proxies you, displays what is in effect a phishing page and gets you that way. The ssl cert is the kicker on those normally although there have been a few that have use the hosts file to redirect your request to a ssl server that has been hacked to host a phishing site.

Using vmware, a cunning idea - but what about man in the middle attacks and that on vm’s the traffic still goes through the network device in the hosts system, and you’re in another OS, completely unaware of what the ‘parent’ os is up to :chuckle:

I think I’d better stop - who wants to guess what field I work in :lol: I’ll start on the sales pitch soon …


Looking at it another way, you’re not gonna get more secure than cash at the store :smiley: For the rest of us, the net is “good enough”.

if your that worryed about it, download a live linux distro and boot from that… no nastys to worry about then