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General discussion

BufferZone Pro Free

by mchainmchain / January 17, 2012 4:36 AM PST

Anyone have experience/knowledge of using BufferZone?

Here:

http://www.trustware.com/

If you do, like to hear from you.

Is this program primarily a sandbox or is it a VM?

XP Home Edition SP3 P4 2.8 2 GB RAM Avast! Free 6.0.1367

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Pass.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 17, 2012 7:19 AM PST
In reply to: BufferZone Pro Free
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R. Proffitt
by mchainmchain / January 17, 2012 9:48 AM PST
In reply to: Pass.

Not much to see in reviews at CNET.

This is one of those programs not really suited for the average computer user.

I have it running right now on a limited user account in XP Home SP3. Runs perfectly on a User Admin and Limited User accounts.

Not supposed to, as it is said to be incompatible with COMODO CIS. I run COMODO Firewall Free only, and it works.

Do have to exit Limited User and boot User Admin if I want to turn off BufferZone temporarily. Do get the gist of why most would tire and quit the application just for that alone.

To each his own, I would say if I accidentally encounter malware while surfing or in email, I know I will be protected.when I run BufferZone. It is that good.

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There are more reviews out there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 18, 2012 1:29 AM PST
In reply to: R. Proffitt

I deliberately supplied ONE link. I find that folk today are looking for some app or MAGIC to stop all bad ware but here's the deal.

Some email/web exploits are social exploits that do not use any hole in the OS that this might fix. For folk that fall for social engineered exploits I think they need to use a PS3 or Xbox.

That's how to fix this. Lock down the machine?
Bob

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Agree there
by mchainmchain / January 18, 2012 3:24 PM PST

Thank you for the link and info. Jimmy Greystone is right in more than one respect: There is a need for someone for whom looks at the bigger picture, especially in a corporate environment, at the computing tasks and needs and has to be able to run an IT structure well and efficiently, with exactly the programs and tools needed, no more and no less. Both you and Jimmy fit into that broad category.

I get the point. What I am doing is outside that structure, and so maybe frowned upon. It certainly would not be tolerated within the corporate IT structure, so....

In any case, I have a disc image of a time before I installed BufferZone Pro. What I was looking for were changes resident on the hard drive (new files, folders) that were created after BufferZone was installed. These I did find.

So it is not the VM I am looking for.

Thanks.

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On my way home
by Jimmy Greystone / January 17, 2012 10:39 AM PST
In reply to: BufferZone Pro Free

On my way home, I was catching up on my Car Talk podcasts, and was listening to one from like late June I think. Think it was the second caller on the show says that he took his car in for an oil change, and the person working there talked him into getting an "Engine Shampoo" because without it the oil would turn back faster, that would be bad for the engine, etc. Needless to say, the next 5 or so minutes of the show was just the hosts laughing, and probably everyone listening.

I bring this up, because as I briefly skim the description of what this BufferZone thing is, it reminds me of this Engine Shampoo the Car Talk caller paid $36 for. I'd go so far as to say that this BufferZone program is the web browser equivalent of an engine shampoo.

It might have SOME marginal value if you're using Internet Explorer, but odds are it's going to get in the way of a lot of features you want to use, so you'd just disable it anyway. If you're using anything else, then it's completely useless. The number of zero day exploits for other browsers is small, and the number of those that manage anything approaching total system compromise, is about as small as the number of 0-day threats. I can only think of a single example, where there was some exploit in Firefox which managed to combine with an exploit in Windows to allow for some privilege escalation bug, and getting the stars in the proper alignment for that one was pretty close to impossible in any real world scenario.

This software is a solution in desperate search for a problem. Don't waste your time, when you can get pretty much the exact same benefit by simply not using Internet Explorer.

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Good!
by mchainmchain / January 17, 2012 11:44 AM PST
In reply to: On my way home

As I am not your average computer user, there is a use for this software not readily seen.

If all goes well, I will be seeking and gaining experience in finding and reporting unknown malware for the next year or so.

Excellent and outstanding analogy! I understand. Very entertaining as well.

If avoiding malware were as simple as not using Internet Explorer, life would be much simpler. But it is not.

I hope I know what I am doing.



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You're right
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 17, 2012 7:41 PM PST
In reply to: Good!
If avoiding malware were as simple as not using Internet Explorer, life would be much simpler. But it is not.

It isn't as simple as that, but it does help. We're not decrying IE or Microsoft at all, but it is the favored access tool for virus and malware writers because they know that the majority of users use IE to surf the internet. True, other browsers are gaining, but particularly in 3rd world and developing countries, IE is still the most used.

So we help ourselves by doing what we can to protect our computers against malware writers.

However, the biggest risk, wouldn't you know it, is always us, the user. We keep opening emails we shouldn't, we keep visiting web sites that we shouldn't, and we keep downloading software and files that we shouldn't. If we let them in then ultimately we are the source of our own computer problems.

Jimmy has posted a great list of "Do's and Dont's" about this. He updates it regularly to reflect changes but the one I linked to below is still pretty much current, and I can't do better than provide that link. I wish this was the first thing all computer users see when they start up their new computers for the first time, and subsequently, until they understood everything on the list when it would magically congratulate them then dissolve into a mist;

TIPS FOR A PROBLEM FREE COMPUTING EXPERIENCE
===========================================

But there you go. All we can do is present guides like this and hope users read them.

Good luck.

Mark
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Not using Internet Explorer
by Jimmy Greystone / January 17, 2012 9:05 PM PST
In reply to: Good!

Not using Internet Explorer, while you are correct in that it will not completely eliminate the threat of malware, is still the single biggest bang for your buck type move you can make. We'll let the furry tooth types with nothing better to do in their parent's basements debate the various reasons why Internet Explorer is the primary target for malware. For our purposes, we only care that it IS the primary target for malware. Since other options exist, which have a practically non-existent malware threat, not to mention other benefits, there's no particular need to subject ourselves to the ever present threat of malware from Internet Explorer.

It really is amazing how much can be accomplished with just a few choice program selections and a couple of minor behavioral changes on our part. I honestly believe anyone could have easily reached the same conclusion, had they merely taken a step back and evaluated the situation. I know as a hardware tech that trait serves me well... One DOA part might well be a DOA part... I get a second DOA part, and odds are I missed something, so it's time to go back and take another look at what might be going on. You get overrun with malware one time, it might be an honest mistake. You get overrun with malware multiple times, it's time to evaluate the situation and figure out the how and why. After all, the basic working definition of insanity is performing the same action and expecting different results.

In any case, this BufferZone program is a waste of time if it's free, and I'd call it a scam if you actually paid for it. Putting it right up there with those fake AV programs, and registry cleaners/fixers/whatever.

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BufferZone Is Free
by mchainmchain / January 17, 2012 11:33 PM PST

At the worst, it is a waste of time.

At the very least, I will have the experience of getting my computer infected multiple times. Like you, I know it is the user ultimately responsible for infections through the choices they make, even if they did not mean to. The majority of the time it is ignorance, and even if it is not, we IT folks are expected to fix an infected/disabled system w/o complaining about the added stress in may cause us.

At least I will better know what one of my clients was doing.

Suggestion: The link provided above should be given as a matter of routine when it is determined a user caused a malware infection either by their program configuration or by their actions.

Totally agree with assessment with Internet Explorer, but if M$FT was not the most popular OS out there, not as many IT folks would be working as diligently or not working as hard. It is the popularity of their OS's that makes them a target as their operating systems are designed to run just about anything, unlike, say, any version of Linux. UAC is a help, but is not yet at the level sudo is.

The root of it is, it really is all about sales and convenience.

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I've never bought that arugument
by Jimmy Greystone / January 18, 2012 10:10 PM PST
In reply to: BufferZone Is Free

I've never bought that argument, that there's a direct correlation between the popularity of an OS and the number of exploits. It ignores virtually all of the technical differences between Windows and operating systems like Linux which could contribute to a lower threat rate, for one. It's also just incomplete as it stands.

If we accept the base hypothesis as true, then how do you explain the fact that despite rather significant rises in popularity, neither Linux nor Mac OS X have seen a corresponding increase in the number of malware threats? Sure, they may have only gone up a few percentage points in terms of total market share, but you also have to remember that the market as a whole is expanding. So the total installed base figure is going up, even if the general market share remains largely static. Our hypothesis predicts that we should be seeing a corresponding rise in the number of malware threats for those platforms, yet they remain pretty much flat. There was a brief flurry of Mac Defender knock offs for Mac OS X, but those relied heavily on social engineering to get themselves installed. It's nothing like the drive-by installs that can happen on Windows, where no user interaction is required beyond visiting a site with Internet Explorer. And to Microsoft's credit, those have been significantly less frequent ever since they resumed development of Internet Explorer. When they had succeeded in killing off Netscape, their only real competition, and left IE6 to rot and fester for several years, there was a period of 2-3 years where it seems like you couldn't go a single week without someone finding some new remote exploit vulnerability in IE. So Microsoft does deserve credit for improving the security of IE, but given how bad IE6 was, it's not really saying much.

Still, the hypothesis fails to adequately explain the lack of increased ne'er do well activity on other platforms corresponding with their rise in market share and installed user base. So, it seems to me that the hypothesis must be rejected as false.

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This is good!
by mchainmchain / January 19, 2012 4:02 AM PST

Jimmy,

First, I want to thank you for the above. You are correct.

I did not think this through, so... good point about IE6 as well.

I think the argument about the popularity and vulnerabilities may have its' basis in our frustration and exasperation towards M$FT, before their security initiative was introduced a few years back. That there were serious vulnerabilities, there can be no question about that.

IE6 probably was a badly written program from a security standpoint, from the start.

Update on BufferZone -- it is not a VM, as I have found out. It also is more restrictive, more so than Sandboxie, in use. It also is not truly protecting my system as I later found out, as I found 0 byte folders in the hidden Vritual folder of COMODO Firewall. It had also been renamed to "VritualRoot" as well. I looked before I restored with a disk image, found it, restored the image, and this folder was back to the way it was before I installed BZ.

This is good experience, and in line with what R. Proffitt first said. This is beginning to look exactly as you said, "A waste of time if free", so....

I think a difference between Microsoft historically in years past and Linux and Mac is in how the program database is managed differently in Linux and Mac. Each is much more restrictive, and requires a basic knowledge of terminal and sudo commands in Linux and Mac to install and run a new program. Windows is basically a click-and-run os, with the same processes hidden behind the fancier gui's and the average user never sees these processes run, so has no idea what they are or what is actually going on.

Hence the danger of installing and running a program such as BZ.

Thanks.

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The main point
by Jimmy Greystone / January 19, 2012 10:14 AM PST
In reply to: This is good!

The main point, is that there's a large and varied number of reasons why this or that OS does or doesn't have a large amount of malware. I think the biggest reason with Windows is that Microsoft has traditionally put usability well above security. So any time the two conflicted, it was security that got the boot. I will grant that this has been slowly changing since Bill Gates started the whole Trustworthy Computing initiative at Microsoft, but they're still dealing with code bases that are decades old at that point, all developed under a "usability first" mantra. That's a significant uphill battle.

So it kind of comes back to my not really caring so much about the specific reasons, I just know that Internet Explorer is responsible for around 99.99% of all malware infestations out there. As such, I avoid it like a diseased leper. Great bang for the buck value, so to speak anyway. Change one program and I've vastly improved the security outlook of my computer.

As I said earlier, sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the broader picture. It always struck me as odd, in a bad way, that there's this whole cottage industry that's developed around cleaning up the messes that tend to get made via some of Microsoft's programs. When I see that there's like a half dozen or so malware remover programs, and the thing they all seem to have in common is Internet Explorer, that says a lot to me about Internet Explorer... None of it good.

In any case, I'm sure your analysis of this bufferzone program will come in handy for someone at some point, and we seem to have gotten a bit off topic, so probably best we just end things here, unless someone has a question about bufferzone.

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Sounds good to me
by mchainmchain / January 22, 2012 1:21 PM PST
In reply to: The main point

Thanks Jimmy.

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