Has My Firewall/AV Been Cracked?

  ade.h 18:56 17 Feb 05

I have Norton Internet Security 2004 on my laptop; yesterday, having lent it to my parents, I found that the firewall and AV had been knocked out completely and was claiming that it had been tampered with. They had used it online for a short period, but nothing unusual or dodgy.

I have never experienced this before, either with Norton or with F-Secure on my desktop. Assuming that some kind of attack had managed to penetrate the firewall, I rebooted and prepared to run all the scans I could throw at it. The reboot seemed to bring NIS completely back to normal; no settings have changed, and I have since run the following:

Spy Sweeper

F-Secure Online AV scan

Panda Online AV scan

Norton AV


MS Anti-Spyware beta

Nothing untoward has been found, so I assume I'm all clear. In which case, what the heck happened to my firewall yesterday, and should I be worried about it? Was it a genuine attack, or did NIS throw a wobbly for some reason?

Feeling understandably paranoid right now...

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:16 17 Feb 05

You have more protection than GCHQ. I would imagine that user error was present. Forget about it.


  ade.h 19:29 17 Feb 05

No user error, Gandalf. My parents are computer savvy enough to know not to mess around with the firewall and AV. Either an intrusion caused the collapse of all NIS's modules or it crashed in a big way. I don't think either would exactly be good news. All the firewall functions were set to Off and all AV functions were described as Tampered. I've never seen this happen before, and I've had Norton on various PCs for a few years now. I'm concerned that it could happen again and result in a more serious situation. (That's assuming my system is now clean).

  ade.h 20:12 17 Feb 05


MS Anti-Spyware beta

I should add that these two products were not installed at the time, so NIS was working on its own.

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