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Windows 7: Study: Most apps in the App Store are “zombies”

19 Jul 2014   #11
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andrew129260 View Post
In terms of security, using old versions of apps is dangerous and should not be done. Updates are not just for adding extra features you know.
Over in Linux land, updates seem to be held to a "do it if it's convenient for you" standard. Given that Linux land is the land of geeks and wizards who most certainly know what they're talking about, I'd put some weight behind the attitude they're taking.

The official upgrade tutorial for Linux Mint written by the head dev of Linux Mint himself even has the following phrases in it:
Quote:
If things are working fine and you're happy with your current system, then you don't need to upgrade.

...

As a general rule... unless you need to, or unless you really want to, there's no reason for you to upgrade.
---

Personally, I only update things when it's convenient. Windows Update for example, I only run that maybe once every 1~2 years on my computers when I feel like it, last time I installed WU updates on this machine was back in April of last year. I update Flash whenever I reboot my computer every couple of months and throws me the notification, but I otherwise don't fervently update it. I was running Firefox 12 for the longest time until I moved to Pale Moon (screw Australis), but my Pale Moon itself is a few versions behind now. And the last time I updated Mozilla Thunderbird was literally never, been running Thunderbird 11 since I built this machine back in March of 2012.

And for all that outdatedness, I have yet to catch a virus or other piece of malware. Meanwhile my dad, whose computer is set to auto-update everything it possibly can, still catches evil things.

The way I think of it is that if you're someone who is going to get viruses, one way or the other you're going to get infected sooner or later. On the other hand, if you're the kind of user who inherently doesn't get malware because you take appropriate precautions besides keeping things up-to-date, then old software isn't going to be the thing that catches you with your pants down.

Oh, and seeing as this topic is primarily about Android programs, my smartphone's library of software is outdated by many magnitudes. Don't remember the last time I actually updated anything on it.


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19 Jul 2014   #12
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Move to LTS

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by King Arthur View Post
Over in Linux land, updates seem to be held to a "do it if it's convenient for you" standard. Given that Linux land is the land of geeks and wizards who most certainly know what they're talking about, I'd put some weight behind the attitude they're taking.

The official upgrade tutorial for Linux Mint written by the head dev of Linux Mint himself even has the following phrases in it:
Quote:
If things are working fine and you're happy with your current system, then you don't need to upgrade.

...

As a general rule... unless you need to, or unless you really want to, there's no reason for you to upgrade.
They are encouraging users to move to LM17 (LTS) on the Linux Mint forums.
Linux Mint Forums ? View topic - Still using Linux Mint 14, 15, or 16? Upgrade to 17 asap!
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19 Jul 2014   #13
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

The idea that I have not updated, and yet have not gotten infected is flawed to say the least. A majority of people may have that luck, but the odds are better for those with fewer attack vectors on their system. A Guy
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20 Jul 2014   #14
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
Andrew, what you say may apply sometimes...but not always. Not every app update is a security update. Some just add features, or fix other possible usability issues, or the developer just wants to show off. I get that an older app may be insecure, but saying an older version of anything is a security risk is not case closed A Guy
Well, I see what you are saying.

The issue is this though, any program that is not updated can be easily targeted, especially programs with no updates available. (out of support)

True, not every update fixes security vulnerabilities. But here is the thing: Developers making mistakes. Sometimes an app version you are on that was updated awhile ago, a developer left a big security hole by accident. Ooops. Is he going to always say, hey this update has security fixes? No, they usually throw a feature or two in and have the security update in there but they do not mention it. Just because the developer release notes don't specify any security enhancements or fixes does not mean they weren't added.

And older app will have security vulnerabilities. That is a fact. If someone takes the time to discover an exploit, your at risk. Even if the program has nothing to do with security or browsing or even anything at all. It could be a game even. But that does not mean your device can't be attacked through it.

Keep in mind, I am not saying you a need a tinfoil hat, just stating it is possible. If there are updates for your programs, you should do them. Regardless if you do not need the new features. This is even more true on mobile devices.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by King Arthur View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andrew129260 View Post
In terms of security, using old versions of apps is dangerous and should not be done. Updates are not just for adding extra features you know.
Over in Linux land, updates seem to be held to a "do it if it's convenient for you" standard. Given that Linux land is the land of geeks and wizards who most certainly know what they're talking about, I'd put some weight behind the attitude they're taking.

The official upgrade tutorial for Linux Mint written by the head dev of Linux Mint himself even has the following phrases in it:
Quote:
If things are working fine and you're happy with your current system, then you don't need to upgrade.

...

As a general rule... unless you need to, or unless you really want to, there's no reason for you to upgrade.
---

Personally, I only update things when it's convenient. Windows Update for example, I only run that maybe once every 1~2 years on my computers when I feel like it, last time I installed WU updates on this machine was back in April of last year. I update Flash whenever I reboot my computer every couple of months and throws me the notification, but I otherwise don't fervently update it. I was running Firefox 12 for the longest time until I moved to Pale Moon (screw Australis), but my Pale Moon itself is a few versions behind now. And the last time I updated Mozilla Thunderbird was literally never, been running Thunderbird 11 since I built this machine back in March of 2012.

And for all that outdatedness, I have yet to catch a virus or other piece of malware. Meanwhile my dad, whose computer is set to auto-update everything it possibly can, still catches evil things.

The way I think of it is that if you're someone who is going to get viruses, one way or the other you're going to get infected sooner or later. On the other hand, if you're the kind of user who inherently doesn't get malware because you take appropriate precautions besides keeping things up-to-date, then old software isn't going to be the thing that catches you with your pants down.

Oh, and seeing as this topic is primarily about Android programs, my smartphone's library of software is outdated by many magnitudes. Don't remember the last time I actually updated anything on it.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
The idea that I have not updated, and yet have not gotten infected is flawed to say the least. A majority of people may have that luck, but the odds are better for those with fewer attack vectors on their system. A Guy
Agreed with a guy. King Arthur you are unnecessarily putting yourself in danger. Malware is not like it used to be. The ones that announce their presence are written by script kiddies and people trying to scam you. Spyware, etc.

The more evil stuff hides itself completely. Malware now a days is designed to not make a peep and cause no system performance degradation etc. Its made to not be found. Weather its a bitcoin miner, or a worm or rootkit, they are designed to be hidden, effective, and cause the user not to notice. Even the ones who have fancy programs like winpatrol.

People have been infected for years and did not even know it. Look at the threats that have been around lately.

And yes in linux land things are a little different. But even still updates are important. There is no such thing as perfect code. They are referring to operating system updates, not security fixes.

I also want to say again how Ironic it is that people who volunteer on these forums are running outdated web browsers. So many people here are running old versions of firefox because they do not like the new interface. It astounds me.
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20 Jul 2014   #15
HammerHead

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
First Post Zombies

I thought the user was the zombie.
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21 Jul 2014   #16
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Developers shouldn't be rewarded for releasing rubbish

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andrew129260 View Post
I also want to say again how Ironic it is that people who volunteer on these forums are running outdated web browsers. So many people here are running old versions of firefox because they do not like the new interface. It astounds me.
So you are saying that people should be forced to use any old garbage that developers insist is the "latest and greatest"?

The only way to make (some) developers understand that they are wrong, is to refuse to buy/use their latest moronic improvements.

I don't know if you read the feedback about the W8 Previews (on the MS blogs) but MS was told in no uncertain terms that Metro was unacceptable.
When MS discovered that people were using a Registry hack to eliminate Metro, they responded by eliminating the code that allowed it!
MS gave everyone the middle finger, "You'll buy what we release and you will love it, or else."

People retaliated by refusing to upgrade from XP & W7 (probably Vista too).

Despite MS' claims that W8 was selling as well as W7, it was obvious that W8 had appalling sales.
MS introduced W8.1 in response.
They even included a fake Start Menu button, "Here's your Start button."
Then they trotted Tami Reller out, "We are being principled, not stubborn,” she told Ms. Foley."

People retaliated by refusing to upgrade from XP & W7 (probably Vista too).

W8.1 still hasn't performed in the market and probably never will.
W9 will indicate whether or not MS has learned their lesson.

Mozilla has been going out of their way to annoy their FF user base with pointless and/or stupid changes the last couple of years (starting with the "rapid" program updates).
They still haven't fixed the broken Spellchecker or upgraded the Bookmark Manager.

I've seen quite a few comments along the lines of, "If I'd wanted to use Chrome, I would have installed Chrome."
That is my position too.

I swapped to Pale Moon (August 2013) which was my feeble protest against the direction that FF was (and still is) heading.
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21 Jul 2014   #17
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A Guy View Post
The idea that I have not updated, and yet have not gotten infected is flawed to say the least. A majority of people may have that luck, but the odds are better for those with fewer attack vectors on their system. A Guy
Hi there.

Actually the days of "Classical Viruses" are probably numbered now - people can make a LOT MORE MONEY by entrapping people who simply just use their computers stupidly.

No AV system can prevent people being scammed by Fake web sites or fake "official" looking notices for example - and whether you have the latest NSA computer with the most bullet proof computer on the planet or still running IE6 on Windows 2000 clicking on a link on to a fake "cloned" website can lead to things like your bank account being emptied in seconds. In fact you could possibly argue that the OLDER system might be safer since the "Cloned Website" might not render properly with the older out of date browser.

Typical current scams -- fake official notices for "Parking enforcement -- pay XXX to this address to prevent further action, and Govt / State Income tax suggesting you are liable for a re-fund if you click buttn to obtain the "claim form" and all sorts of things like that. Some ransomeware also -- pay this or your computer data will be scrambled and loads more too numerous to mention.

Ad / SPYware tends to come from people getting confused when downloading a piece of software -- often the real download is hidden amongst many green arrows etc which download toolbars / trial / other cr@pware -- these sites are designed DELIBERATELY to confuse the user and unfortunately the practice seems to be getting more widespread.

Opening email from unknown senders / especially attachments is definitely a cause of bad things happening to both YOU and your machine - BANKS etc NEVER send emails requesting you for passwords etc. Don't give out personal info other than the BARE MINIMUM on Social media sites and don't logon to sensitive sites like Banks from unsecured public Wifi locations.

Another scam is for someone to set up a WIFI access point - even from inside somewhere like Starbucks -- easily done - and if you choose the wrong connection you've opened your machine to that innocent looking nice person with a laptop sitting at the next door table !!.

I've used torrents in my time mainly for Music no longer available or TV shows that will never be shown where I live -- and have never had a virus -- actually it's hard to embed a virus in a multi-media file with a proper multi-media format if the multi-media file is played with standard multi-media programs --any non mp3/mp4/mkv/flac data in the file will just be treated as NOISE by the multi-media program and get skipped. If the file is an .exe or .rar or .zip file then DO NOT TOUCH IT if it's from a torrent -- might be OK but you just don't know.

It's important to regularly check for Viruses but they really aren't the main threat any more if you keep your wits about you.

Cheers
jimbo
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21 Jul 2014   #18
Phill3990

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hey all,

Have been reading this thread as its interesting to see the different views. I believe the best way to be safe is, like Jimbo says is to check before clicking. It's sad to see something so amazing (the internet) be used to steal and infect people, its ridiculous. Hackers and virus makers have made the internet a weapon to be used for personal gain or just be a pain. There are many ways to become vulnerable to these people and I try to keep myself safe. If I'm not sure on a link but want to explore it, I use a separate fire-walled computer (my tablet) so if it is bad and all virused up my expensive desktop is unaffected and safe. Doing it this way means they get no information as my tablet is used only for university work no details are stored on it (unless they want my notes and doodles ). But the fact is if they want these details bad enough more than likely they get them, where we avoid it, someone else does not and falls victim.

That is my 2 cents on this anyway here is a quote from a great man about this kind of stuff:

"I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image."

~Stephen Hawking

Phill
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21 Jul 2014   #19
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there.

Another quite safe way is to use a Virtual Machine - so you don't need a separate device. - Then if the VM gets infected just delete it and open up a new one. VM software like VMware player is free however for a windows VM you'll need another Windows license so this might not be feasible for everybody. However if it can work for you I'd suggest this is a great way of installing and testing software before applying it to your main REAL machine (the HOST).

Keep a copy of the VM after initial creation so you don't have to re-install the windows OS (in the Virtual Machine) and re-activate it if you want to delete an infected / broken VM and power up a new one.

Cheers
jimbo
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21 Jul 2014   #20
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andrew129260 View Post
I also want to say again how Ironic it is that people who volunteer on these forums are running outdated web browsers. So many people here are running old versions of firefox because they do not like the new interface. It astounds me.
So you are saying that people should be forced to use any old garbage that developers insist is the "latest and greatest"?
Nope, I am saying have some sense and use a different browser. You don't like the new look of a browser update? Fine. Get an addon to change it, or switch browsers. But do not leave your pc unprotected just to keep the look of a browser the way you wanted it.

Remember, infected pcs do not harm just that computer. It allows them to effect everyone else as well. I think a lot of people forget this. Having outdated programs puts you at risk, which then puts your pc at risk. Your pc gets infected without you ever knowing, and before you know it your pc is part of a botnet pushing spam, etc to the world.

Infections do not just affect you. Its about being responsible.

I am talking to the people who continue to run older versions of browsers, not switching like you have done. I applaud what you did, it is a good thing to shout with your feet and move to let the developers know you do not like something. There market share is dwindling as we speak.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there.

Another quite safe way is to use a Virtual Machine - so you don't need a separate device. - Then if the VM gets infected just delete it and open up a new one. VM software like VMware player is free however for a windows VM you'll need another Windows license....
Or just use ubuntu or some other linux distro for free for (almost) worry free browsing.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
It's important to regularly check for Viruses but they really aren't the main threat any more if you keep your wits about you.
Your wits mean nothing when the site is attacked and exploited.
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