Question Basic OS Questions

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

TheFlash1300

Proper
Mar 15, 2022
256
4
185
0
if you on a unsupported os. there might be security issue that let attacker do stuff on the pc.
it is a two way street. your pc is going to process the incoming traffic.
use something like glasswire to look at that. not sure if the buildin firewall tell you anything
I said there won't be any traffic. I won't browse the internet, but I will use the PC for hosting a server for Counter-Strike. No internet browsing, no downloading files - but only hosting the server.

If the PC doesn't receive any traffic in the form of cookies, cache, browser extensions, downloading files, receiving requests, etc..., can it still get viruses?

In short, if I connect the PC to the internet, and then put the game server files on it, start the server, and never use the PC for anything else rather than hosting the game server, could the PC still get viruses?
 

TheFlash1300

Proper
Mar 15, 2022
256
4
185
0
traffic doesn't have to start from your end.
hosting is traffic. just because you can't see it with a browser. how do you think other is going to get to the host server?

yes

why are you asking if you don't like the answer?
Isn't targetting the only way for a system to get infected? I mean, if viruses are designed to detect and attack certain systems, but i don't visit websites that release such viruses and don't download files that contain viruses, how can the computer still get viruses, how can the virus find and infect my system? Are viruses flying freely over the internet, instead of hiding in files?

Are viruses being transmitted in the internet connections, too?

I didn't say I dont like the aswer. I'm asking questions, because i'm trying to figure out how to use unsupported systems safely. In my case, I need a cheap PC that will be used only for this purpose - hosting my game server.

I have devices with Windows 10 and 11, but I don't want to use them for hosting, because i use them for other purpsoes. I want a computer that i will use specially for the purpsoe of hosting my game server. For this, i need a cheap PC that i wont use for anything else rather than hosting. The cheapest PC I found has Widows 7, which is unsupported, which is why I asking questions about how to avoid virus infections in Windows 7.
 

rgd1101

Don't
Moderator
like I said. there people who scan IP address.

depend on what you mean by safe. if it got hacked. it might be turn to a malware pc. and ISP don't like that.

see the cheap pc can handle windows 10.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Mandark

TheFlash1300

Proper
Mar 15, 2022
256
4
185
0
like I said. there people scan IP address.
So, a hacker can run a program that collects IP addresses, even if the person behind the IP address doesn't use a browser, the IP will still be collected. Then, the hacker can launch an attack, and if my IP address is among the collected IP addresses, the virus file will be installed on my PC, did I get it correctly? So, i don't have to download or install anything, and don't have to use the browser - it's enough for the PC to be just connected to the internet, and someone can still install a virus file, even if I don't click any links/programs that execute the virus program?

I didn't know this is possible.

Is such an attack still possible, if I use VPN? Can VPN protect me from such an attack? If I don't use the PC for browsing, but it's connected to the internet while VPN is enabled, can my IP address still be collected, attacked, and have a virus file installed without my consent?

Also, how can such a file be installed? As far as I know, Windows always asks for permission before something is downloaded or installed. How can a virus file be installed, without Windows showing me a Windows where I have the option "Yes" and "No", to select if I want something to be downloaded and installed?
 

rgd1101

Don't
Moderator
yup. that why MS keep security update windows monthly. not just the web browser.

VPN, depend on how long before they found the IP address and when they start the attack

that you will have to check all the window security update.

Who exactly would know your CS game server?
 

TheFlash1300

Proper
Mar 15, 2022
256
4
185
0
yup. that why MS keep security update windows monthly. not just the web browser.

VPN, depend on how long before they found the IP address and when they start the attack

that you will have to check all the window security update.

Who exactly would know your CS game server?
Windows 7 uses Windows Defender. Will Windows Defender remain supported for Windows 7 for as long as it is supported for any other new edition of Windows, like Windows 10, 11, and further editions? Is Windows Defender part of the same support program that releases updates for Windows Defender, regardless of which Windows edition the Defender is installed on, meaning the Defender will be supported for old Windows editions for as long as it is supported for new editions? Is Windows 7 safe, if you use the Windows Defender program? I think Windows Defender for Win7 is as secure and good as Windows Defender for Windows 10 and 11 - am I right?

Who exactly would know my CS server? Well, the IP addresses of CS servers are usually uploaded and shown on websites that are designed for showing IP addresses of game server. An example of such a website is GameTracker.
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
What you are failing to understand here is that ANY machine connected to the Internet at large, no matter what it is or is not running is vulnerable to attack, especially if it's public IP address is freely available. This is just how things work. Discontinued and no longer supported OS's doubly so as they no longer receive security patches that may stop this entry. Windows Defender can only do so much. The ONLY way you can prevent intrusion is to never connect to the Internet (run entirely in house).
 
Take Windows 7 for an example. If you install this unsupported OS on a computer, and you connect the computer to the internet, but you don't use the browser, can the computer still get viruses? Can infections happen when the computer is connected to the internet, but you don't visit any website and you don't download any files and applications? For an infection to happen is internet surfing necessary, or can infection happen even when the computer is just connected to the internet, but you don't visit any sites and you don't download any files?
Disclaimer: This is not to say running an outdated OS or software is completely safe or fine to do. Nor is this saying that you should assume that you're safe by not configuring your network equipment that's fresh from the factory. This post is only to provide information about network security (at least in my experience and knowledge) in a typical home setting. ALWAYS make sure at least your network equipment is not using its default settings (or at least the default account settings)

The typical configuration by default in the late 2000s, early 2010s was at least sane enough to basically disallow everything but the bare minimum through. Assuming you had a network where nothing on it is already compromised, then no; a computer with Windows 7 connected to the internet but sitting there is likely not going to get a virus for the following reasons:
  • Routers are configured by default to drop requests that a computer on the network didn't initiate and you didn't set up a port forwarding rule for.
  • Windows 7 has a firewall that's enabled by default.
  • There may be certain services and whatnot that people will pen test for that Windows 7 won't listen to by default
  • Most viruses require running with admin privileges anyway to cause harm, which typically triggers a UAC prompt
You may have heard stories back in Windows XP where installing it while connected to the internet would result in a virus-ridden computer within minutes. The issue there was that XP either didn't have its firewall enabled or it wasn't robust enough. XP SP2 managed to fix this problem and I haven't heard anything since Vista on this same issue. In fact, there were several vulnerabilities on Windows XP and 2000 that were deemed "critical", but received a downgraded rating on Vista and 7 due to UAC.

However, if something gets into the network, then it's free to find an exploit whatever holes the connected computers have. For example, the WannaCry ransomware spread throughout computers because it exploited a vulnerability in Windows. However, it had to get on local the network in the first place; it wasn't going to spread from the outside. And in fact, a lot of malware, unless they found a way to exploit a vulnerability that allows both getting themselves on there and executing the payload, tends to require someone to run it to actually do something.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
So, a hacker can run a program that collects IP addresses, even if the person behind the IP address doesn't use a browser, the IP will still be collected. Then, the hacker can launch an attack, and if my IP address is among the collected IP addresses, the virus file will be installed on my PC, did I get it correctly?
It is just like telemarketers dialing EVERY possible number. At IP 1.2.3.4 they will check for easily penetrated weaknesses. It might be Windows listening for shared printer or shared files. It might be a webserver on a Linux host. The attacker doesn't care. They check ALL the easily penetrated avenues for address 1.2.3.4 If they don't get anywhere they move on to 1.2.3.5.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Someone knowing your public IP address does not automatically mean anyone can target your computer unless your computer is the public IP address.

Many computers are behind a local network. So the public IP address at that point is, for all intents and purposes, the router, which is doing a bunch of filtering by default. So for example, even if there was an exploit in say, the remote shell protocol SSH and since SSH typically listens on port 23, then as long as the following is true, you don't have to worry about an attacker trying to exploit this:
  • The router is not configured to accept SSH requests, so it ignores port 23 traffic by default
    • Though if a router does have an SSH servicing mechanism, it'll only accept requests from the LAN, which it can identify via the source IP address. It'll likely ignore every SSH request from outside the network even if you enabled SSH.
  • The router has no port forwarding rules to allow port 23 onto a specific computer in the network
  • None of the other computers are configured to accept SSH requests, so they ignore port 23 by default as well
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,860
11,310
176,090
24,158
In short, if I connect the PC to the internet, and then put the game server files on it, start the server, and never use the PC for anything else rather than hosting the game server, could the PC still get viruses?
Yes.

Currently, every publicly accessible system gets dozens of access attempts, every day.
In a normal residential situation, that it your router. And the router throws those incoming requests away. That is a major part of its job.

However...if you crank up a game server, and make that accessible to the outside world...all bets are off.
Your stuff better be VERY locked down.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Windows 7 uses Windows Defender. Will Windows Defender remain supported for Windows 7 for as long as it is supported for any other new edition of Windows, like Windows 10, 11, and further editions? Is Windows Defender part of the same support program that releases updates for Windows Defender, regardless of which Windows edition the Defender is installed on, meaning the Defender will be supported for old Windows editions for as long as it is supported for new editions? Is Windows 7 safe, if you use the Windows Defender program? I think Windows Defender for Win7 is as secure and good as Windows Defender for Windows 10 and 11 - am I right?

Who exactly would know my CS server? Well, the IP addresses of CS servers are usually uploaded and shown on websites that are designed for showing IP addresses of game server. An example of such a website is GameTracker.
Windef on w7 is not an av prog it is a antimalware prog.
If you want av you will need to install an av prog.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
I would say it is both. It will intercept common malware, and you will often see it running its anti-malware scan. Runs a comprehensive check every update cycle at the least.
 
Windef on w7 is not an av prog it is a antimalware prog.
If you want av you will need to install an av prog.
Viruses fall under the umbrella of "malware." If it's an antimalware program, it's also an antivirus one.

It's like how in biology there are pathogens. Simplifying things, all viruses are pathogens, but not all pathogens are viruses, because they can be bacteria and fungi too
 
Reactions: Mandark
OK then...for Win7, MS Security Essentials. (I had forgotten about that half of it)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Security_Essentials


Either way...the OPs initial premise is incorrect.
Put up a game server, exposed to the internet, and it IS still vulnerable. You don't have to be browsing various shady websites for BadThings to happen.
True....if nothing else there are always probes going on.
People looking for a way in.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,860
11,310
176,090
24,158
True....if nothing else there are always probes going on.
People looking for a way in.
For a while I had my NAS open, strongly restricted.

Access attempts every day, all day. From all over the planet.
I kept a log for a while.
Russia, Spain, Ohio, Portugal, China, etc, etc.
All rejected. But those attempts were made and logged.

A system that is accessible from the outside can have many issues other than "virus".
Someone will attempt access to an IP address. If the system responds in any way, it may give up what OS and other details.
Then, "Oh look, here's a Win 7 system. Lets see how far we can get."

Maybe they can get in through a backdoor. Possible something int he game server software.
Once in....you are screwed.
That could be a jumping off point to the rest of the house LAN.
Or, they'd install some bot software, and the system is now part of a botnet.

Bottom line - Any accessible system, you need to be really really careful on how it is configured.
 
Apr 28, 2022
8
0
10
0
That was an annoying problem for me. too! I spent nearly one hour and a half checking my 200GB disk by running CHKDSK command, it was so long. Then, I turned to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which only took a few seconds! So amazing, maybe you can have a try!
 

TheFlash1300

Proper
Mar 15, 2022
256
4
185
0
Hello. I have an old computer that uses Intel i-5 Core. My question is, if I buy a newer CPU, will the computer still work?

I heard that operating systems must be compatible with the CPU in order to work. Is this true? I have never heard of such a thing. I have always thought that the CPU doesn't matter, that any OS can run on any CPU as long the CPU specifications are higher than the system requirements of the operating system.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,860
11,310
176,090
24,158
Hello. I have an old computer that uses Intel i-5 Core. My question is, if I buy a newer CPU, will the computer still work?

I heard that operating systems must be compatible with the CPU in order to work. Is this true? I have never heard of such a thing. I have always thought that the CPU doesn't matter, that any OS can run on any CPU as long the CPU specifications are higher than the system requirements of the operating system.
Newer systems often do not have any relevant drivers for an older OS like Win 7.
There are generally way to make it work (sort of).

But the motherboard has to match the CPU.

So...what motherboard? What CPU is in it now?
That will limit what CPU you can put in it.
 
Reactions: TheFlash1300

ASK THE COMMUNITY