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Threatfire and SpywareBlaster

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by DKTaber, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Having read some good reviews on PC Tools Threatfire (TF), yesterday I downloaded and installed it. But I have for years had SpywareBlaster (SB) on my computer and, although I've not noticed any problems or strange computer behavior since adding TF, I wonder about the wisdom or efficacy of having both on the same computer. I read some closed threads on this forum suggesting it's either redundant or not a good idea, but they're old (2008) and both have had many updates since. So I'm asking again.

    Just so you have the full compliment of security programs on my Win XP SP3 machine, my AV is Avira Antivir and I use two free scan-only (not real-time) AS programs (Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware). With these and SB, I have not had a virus in years. SAS almost always finds a few tracking cookies, but never anything truly malicious. Malwarebytes, which does not scan for tracking cookies, has not found any spyware for a very long time. The programs do not conflict (I even often run scans with all 3 at the same time), so I've been very happy with them.

    So. . . does TF enhance my "malware firewall", or is it redundant or likely to cause annoying computer behavior?
     
  2. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Hi I have Threat-fire on one of my systems along with SpywareBlaster.
    SpywareBlaster runs in the background as you know and does whatever it does - we never know but worth having!
    Threat-fire has yet to find - stop any process that may be thought to be a threat.
    And any scan -finds nothing but so does MalwareBytes or SuperAntiSpyware.

    Have thought about removing it but it does not slow my system down or as far as I know cause any conflict.
    Not sure if any of the above - helps in any way.
     
  3. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Some antivirus programs already include what PC Tools Threatfire is. ESET's NOD32 has ThreatSense. That's called heuristics.
     
  4. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk

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    SpywareBlaster does NOT run in the background. When you run it, it inserts things into the registry. Then it's done.
     
  5. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Yes, that's what ThreatFire is -- a pure heuristics program. It does not use a pattern file, like most AV programs. But Avira AntiVir, my AV program, also uses heuristics. Whether they're as advanced as a program like TF, which relies totally on heuristics, I don't know (but I doubt it). And given that I also have SpywareBlaster, which I've never fully understood, although I think it essentially immunizes HOST files against being changed by malware, I wonder if adding TF is overkill/redundant.
     
  6. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    You're correct; I misspoke. Sorry.
     
  7. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    SpywareBlaster will insert a LOT of questionable domains in your Internet Explorer's or Firefox' Restricted Sites, and will block their tracking cookies.

    In Internet Explorer for instance, go to Tools > Internet Options > Security and Privacy tabs. These entries can also be found in the registry under the following registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

    It will also prevent installation of ActiveX-based spyware.

    As for the HOSTS file, Hosts Safe can store encrypted backup copies of the HOSTS file to use in case it ever gets corrupted by malware.
     
  8. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    Very helpful information; finally explains what SB really does. And you're right about "a LOT"! I didn't even try to count them but my guess is there are at least 2,000, probably more, restricted sites.

    This also says that there is no conflict between what SB does and what TF does; they're completely different animals. I may someday observe a conflict between TF and Avira AntiVir, because the latter also employs heuristics and both programs are real-time/running in the background. But until I encounter a conflict, I'm going to keep both active.

    I'll mark this thread as "Solved".
     
  9. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Open SpywareBlaster. It says 13471 items in database. :eek: :D
     
  10. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    That's true, but I assume they're a mixture of site, ActiveX, cookies, etc.
     
  11. DKTaber

    DKTaber Thread Starter

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    I just marked the thread as "Unsolved" because I have two additional questions: I've only had ThreatFire for a few days, but notice that it updates every day. If TF relies on heuristics to detect malware, why would it have to update every day?

    Second question: From what I read about TF's history, earlier versions did not do scans/relied entirely on detecting aberrant behavior. But the version I installed (4.7) does scans -- for rootkits -- and also scans the registry. If it relies so heavily on file behavior, why does it need to also do rootkit and registry scans?
     
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