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  1. quik4life's Avatar
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    Default PlayBook and spyware/adware/viruses

    Hey everyone.

    I'm curious... Seeing as how the PlayBook will have Flash baked right in, does this mean that when I'm surfing webpages on the PB browser that I'm susceptible to pop-up ads?

    Ads can, and sometimes do, contain "malicious" code - that is, code that is intended to exploit known vulnerabilities in web browsers and the other programs that work with those browsers. Do you think that the PB browser is vulnerable to this malicious code?

    Also, I'm wondering if I'll need an anti-virus program/app on my PB. Will I be able to surf worry-free? Will QNX provide a secure web-surfing experience? The last thing that I want to do is visit a webpage that has some spyware/adware and takes over my PlayBook.

    Q4L
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  2. B_Blaire's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll need to download any antivirus protection for the playbook, because I think the PlayBook, just like with the BlackBerry devices, will be able to surf the web virus free.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  3. taylortbb's Avatar
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    Every program will always have some security vulnerabilities. This is a fact of life of computing. RIM and QNX however both have an excellent track record there, with security effectively being a non-issue. Pop-up ads are not any more likely to contain exploit code than any other page. Flash does create one more thing that can be exploited, in addition to bugs in WebKit itself, but that's why there's layers of defence beyond that.

    RIM's number one defence against viruses is code signing. Every PlayBook app must be signed with keys that must be purchased, otherwise it won't run. If anyone writes a virus, not only can RIM revoke the keys, but they can examine the program and determine who wrote it. It doesn't help the first few people to get infected, but it is a very significant risk reduction.

    The second line of defence is the isolation. Applications can't just write to anywhere, so they can't install new apps. Any new app install has to go through the privilege elevation process, which can prompt you to confirm you want to install something.

    What I would be far more concerned about is apps that appear to be legitimate, but do things behind the scenes. I could easily write a simple app for BlackBerry phones which in the background reads your contacts and uploads them. This is why you have to give certain apps "trusted application" status, and why you should be suspicious of any game/flashlight/etc that asks for this. This is where the code signing comes in, if RIM discovers a malicious app they can revoke it and go after the person who wrote it.

    I don't expect you'll need anti-virus software. The important part is to remember to be careful when installing software, that's the place things are most likely to go bad.
    Taylor Byrnes

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    ForceFed (11-28-2010),  quik4life (11-28-2010) 
  4. SoulTerror's Avatar
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    The malware would have to be coded to attack the programming language used for PB's OS. I very much doubt there will ever be a large concern about Malware on the PB.
  5. quik4life's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your responses!!

    I started a different thread in addition to this one, but it was removed since the thread was about pornography. I understand that this is a "family site", but I believe that my question was legitimate. I know that many of these pornography sites that stream videos are filled with spyware/viruses. I was concerned that if I visited these websites that I would inadvertently get some sort of spyware/virus on my PlayBook.

    Thanks to these responses, it's good to know that I can browse any website without any concern.
  6. dsquared2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quik4life View Post
    Thanks for all your responses!!

    I started a different thread in addition to this one, but it was removed since the thread was about pornography. I understand that this is a "family site", but I believe that my question was legitimate. I know that many of these pornography sites that stream videos are filled with spyware/viruses. I was concerned that if I visited these websites that I would inadvertently get some sort of spyware/virus on my PlayBook.

    Thanks to these responses, it's good to know that I can browse any website without any concern.
    keep that playbook clean im thinking as long as the pop up blocker is on and you dont actually download the videos i think that should safe guard you
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  7. quik4life's Avatar
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    So the PB browser has a pop-up blocker?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  8. taylortbb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quik4life View Post
    So the PB browser has a pop-up blocker?
    No one has an answer to that question. On a mobile device the concept of a pop-up window is a little more difficult. The PlayBook doesn't have windows. On OS 6 devices opening a link that opens in a new window causes a new tab to open, but I've never had a new window open just from loading a page so I assume it has a pop-up blocker (though it could simply be lack of support).

    Though as I've said, pop-ups display the exact same HTML pages as the standard browser window. There is nothing about them that makes it easier for them to compromise your computer. A webpage is a webpage, in a pop-up or not.
    Taylor Byrnes

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  9. grahamf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quik4life View Post
    So the PB browser has a pop-up blocker?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Blackberry 10 > Windows Phone 7/8 > Blackberry 7 > iOS > Android > Symbian > WebOS > Meego
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    if there is no virus written then there is no virus to catch, there have never been viruses on blackberries the os is too secure, as will the QNX os ask an android user if they have pop ups due to flash, I'm pretty sure they will back me up on this
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  11. dsquared2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahamf View Post
    its like you have a library of these things you just pull from hahha too funny
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    The best virus protection, especially on a device like that is between your ears. Pay attention to what you are downloading and what permissions it is requesting. This works very well...
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he did not exist...
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    Quote Originally Posted by danageplan View Post
    if there is no virus written then there is no virus to catch, there have never been viruses on blackberries the os is too secure

    Correct, there is no known written virus for the BlackBerry...
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he did not exist...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsquared2 View Post
    its like you have a library of these things you just pull from hahha too funny
    I couldn't find one, so I made my own.
    Pretty easy, just googling for a randomizing php script, some photoshop, and a web host.
    Has almost all of the standard phrases, plus one of my own.

    It's in my signature if you're interested.
    Last edited by grahamf; 11-30-2010 at 10:19 PM.
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  15. grahamf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevereDeceit View Post
    Correct, there is no known written virus for the BlackBerry...
    There probably has been many attempts, but the way the OS is designed makes it inheritately impossible for a virus to function properly. (Trojans, on the other hand...)
    Blackberry 10 > Windows Phone 7/8 > Blackberry 7 > iOS > Android > Symbian > WebOS > Meego

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