The magazine of the Melbourne PC User Group

PC-cillin Internet Security 2007

Ash Nallawalla
ash@melbpc.org.au

I like it when I test a security program and it finds something. My McAfee Virusscan subscription had just expired and it had not complained about anything; in other words, my PC was clean. I have still not been infected by a proper virus as my PC is not shared with the family and their friends (we are a four-PC family) and I practise safe (read boring) computing.

At CES I picked up PC-cillin and Panda antivirus for review, so I was about to choose between them, or perhaps the free AVG to replace McAfee. Therefore, this review of Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2007 (PCIS) is timely.
 


Main control panel of PC-cillin


Alexa's adware is found


I am warned to avoid a
dubious Web site

Features

PC-cillin is very comprehensive (adapted from Trend Micro's description):

  • AntiVirus Security. Detects and removes viruses and the latest threats from your emails, Internet downloads, removable media and PCs. Automatic updates immunise your security system against the newest virus outbreaks.

  • Spyware Protection. Blocks and removes spyware, adware, grayware, and root kits - a new type of deep-hiding invader.

  • Personal Firewall. Intercepts hackers and network viruses trying to attack your computer and home network.

  • Fraud Defence. Protects you from online phishing scams designed to steal credit card and bank account numbers. Configures easily and notifies you of the latest Web-based risk.

  • Wireless Network Monitoring. Safeguards against unauthorised users invading your wireless home network.

  • Home Network Control. Manages, configures and updates security for every PC on your network, with an easy-to-use management console.

  • Certified for Windows Vista.

  • Can be installed on three PCs in one household.

  • Bonus Service - TrendSecure, an online suite of security tools:

  • Transaction Guard protects your online transactions conducted at Internet Cafes or other public wireless hotspots.

  • Remote File Lock safeguards your private files in case your laptop is lost or stolen.

  • Trend Micro Mobile Security protects your mobile phone against viruses and other threats.
Disclaimer

I should point out that some products are more comprehensive than others - an "Internet Security" product usually contains an antivirus, a firewall, an email checker and a spyware/adware remover. I use a mix of products on my PC:
  • Firewall = Kerio Personal Firewall 4

  • Antivirus = McAfee VirusScan (until it expired)

  • Spybot Search and Destroy + Ad-Aware = Spyware/adware remover
I could not test the wireless network monitor and the home network control. I did not test the firewall either as it could take a long time before something nasty tried to get in.

In Use

PC-Cillin was easy to install. Early reviewers (the product was released September 2006) have reported various problems but I noted none. It will run on Windows 2000 and later versions of Windows.

I ran the comprehensive system test overnight and saw that PC-cillin had picked up no viruses and 22 possible spyware, including a nasty-sounding trojan named TSPY_Beastdoor. After some research on this one (it is relatively rare) and looking at its entries in the registry, I felt it was a false positive. Even Trend Micro's site does not seem to know anything about it.

Nevertheless, I ran Spybot and deleted all the adware it found.
 


A false positive is found on my PC


Trend Micro's Web site knows nothing about the trojan it found on my PC


I next ran Windows Defender because I read that it had found Beastdoor on someone's computer. It did not find it on mine, confirming the false positive. I again ran the PC-cillin scanner and it still saw the cookies and the Beastdoor trojan. This time I allowed it to delete them.

As a spam checker, PCIS is inconsistent. I am on a mailing list where the same poster whose email is allowed to enter normally has some of his posts (from the same address) flagged in the Spam folder. Nevertheless, I noticed that my Outlook Junk Mail folder now has very little spam in it but the newly added Spam Mail folder has been collecting some real spam and some false positives. I am impressed by the spam checker and by the Fraud Defence alerts when a suspicious site is visited or an important file changes on my PC.

Availability

PC-cillin can be downloaded from http://www.trendmicro.com.au for $99.95. If you need it on CD, you will pay a further $19.95.

Conclusion

I am likely to continue using PC-cillin as my main antivirus and spam checker. I don't pretend to have tested many other anti-spam solutions but as the final barrier between a spammer and me, it does a better job than Outlook 2003's built-in filter.

Other Sites

For a comprehensive list of security resources, please see these sites:
   http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic34773.html
   http://www.bluecollarpc.net/pcsafety.html


Reprinted from the June 2007 issue of PC Update, the magazine of Melbourne PC User Group, Australia

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