Viruses On The Surface?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by catbeasy, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. catbeasy
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    catbeasy New Member

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    I'm new to understanding tablets and smart phones and the like, so bear with me here.

    I heard that it was very difficult to place a virus on a smart phone since the SP apps run in their own "environment". Also, even if a virus could be put in an app, it would be easy to delete and just reinstall the app. The idea being it is a waste of time for the hacker who is looking to do much more damage than that..

    So, with this in mind, how does this relate to Surface RT and PRO?

    Since RT does not run Windows 8, will it have the same relative immunity from Viruses as the Smartphone does (I'm assuming what was said about the SP was correct)?

    Conversely, PRO running WIN8, will it have the same risk of virus infection as WIN8, 7 or XP; basically as any Windows standard OS for a PC?

    Of course, if the risk is that the PRO can get a virus, but RT is like a SP, then RT certainly gains a few points of attraction..

    Thanks for any insight.
  2. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Hi cat welcome. Those are good questions.

    First of all let me start by saying that nothing is off limits when it comes to malware and viruses. If there are enough people using a device some hacker will figure out how to target it. That includes, smart phones, tablets and PCs (including Apple products).

    Having said that Windows has come a long way in protecting itself against these kinds of threats. Microsoft got so serious about it they created their own "anti-virus" suite Windows Defender followed by Windows Security Essentials. Both of these are very good at protecting Windows. Of course see my point above since anything can be beaten.

    Since Windows RT is a new OS it should be relatively free of malware and viruses. It is based on traditional Windows though so it may not be too difficult for hackers to port their software over at some point in the future.

    The real threat to the security of your device comes from the user. The best way to avoid malware and viruses is to (1) only download apps and programs from authorized retailers (like the Microsoft App Store, Google Play Store and iTunes). (2) Do not visit sites you are not familiar with. (3) Do not click on links in emails that you are unsure about. (4) Do not open attachments in emails you are unsure about. The majority of people who have problems with malicious software on their devices did not follow these 4 simple precautions.

    So in some sense RT might be slightly more immune to malware and viruses but I wouldn't count on that being a feature. Furthermore, if you neglect to take the proper precautions to avoid malware and viruses in the first place it doesn't really matter what device you are using.
  3. catbeasy
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    catbeasy New Member

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    Thanks for the response.

    And yeah, I didn't plan on being loose with my use of any device and yes, I understand that a SP can be affected, I stated as much in my initial thread post.

    Again, my questions was more based on the SP technology. For example, if I go to a website which has a known virus on it with my smart phone, based on what I was told, nothing (bad) happens. Yet, going to the same website with my PC, I get zapped..I should try this for myself with the SP to see if that's the case..

    Thanks for the response, much appreciated..! : )

    It sounds like this tablet doesn't have the "immunity" or perhaps more accurately put, the degree of immunity of a SP. That's good to know..
  4. J515OP
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    J515OP Super Moderator

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    That is correct. For that matter SP might not have as much immunity as you think. You are correct that if you go to a website on your SP it would not become infected because the virus on that website is made to attack computers. But the website could just as easily have a virus that attacks SPs as well as PCs. Just as a website can detect if you are accessing it with a SP or a PC a malicious website could detect you are using a SP and inject a virus for that as well.

    At this point in time these sort of attacks are still pretty rare since SPs are really still fairly new. Over time though people who are interested in these sorts of attacks will find more ways to target SPs. So really it is an odds thing. Currently the odds are very low that your SP would be attacked by a malicious site and if you aren't sure about the site it would be much better to access it through your SP than your PC.

    Still the general warnings in my previous post apply. You never know when the shift is gong to be made. Even anti-virus software is reactive and a threat has to be detected before it can be protected against so there will always be a threat for some people before solutions to the exploits are provided. Just something to keep in mind rather than a doomsday prophecy :)

    Here is a recent article you might be interested in: http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=2298
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  5. catbeasy
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    catbeasy New Member

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    Interesting article. Thanks for the feedback..
  6. Sky7154
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    Sky7154 New Member

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    Hello, I'm new to the forum. I would like to make a comment. Yesterday, when I was accessing my facebook page, I received a message from Security Essentials stating that my computer was infected by 2 viruses and 1 Trojan and that I should clean my computer. The link associated with th message was
    http://jrjbhjo.myftp.biz/index.php?...Qzm YhzfWz1MPnw1S6zBdyf5MKpfyna8jDAP27aiLyoM=

    this didn't look like a Microsoft website, so I located Windows Defender and ran a full scan without problems.

    By posting this on the forum, thought that it may help others.:eek:

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