Security Software Spyware Removal System Safety Monitor

System Safety Monitor 2.4.0.622 Beta for Windows

by System Safety

Avg. Rating 4.2 (187 votes)

File Details

File Size 4.3 MB
License Shareware, $24.95
Operating System Windows 2000/9x/Server 2003/XP
Date Added
Total Downloads 15,595
Publisher System Safety
Homepage System Safety Monitor

Publisher's Description

System Safety Monitor (SSM) is a host intrusion prevention system software. SSM protect your systems from various malware and spyware programs by monitoring all running programs' behavior and blocking malicious or suspicious actions. It provides protection against attacks that can bypass traditional firewalls, anti-virus, and other signature based security tools that can only deal with known threats.

Latest Reviews

MarcFou

MarcFou reviewed v2.4.0.620 Beta on Jan 25, 2008

I purchased this app a while back and it did work great for me. Creating rules and general usage did take some getting used to. The UI still leaves me guessing from time to time and seems ambigous when displaying rules vs editing them.

The lack of development caused me to find another solution.

I feel this app deserves a 3, but will rate it a 4 because when it does work it works well.

dhry

dhry reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Nov 5, 2007

Nice program, but Spyware Terminator is free just as good for HIPS and antispyware.

justme123

justme123 reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Feb 18, 2007

There is one serious criticism I have of SSM, and that is that rather than running as a system service, as it obviously should, it runs as a regular application. Not only that, it allows only a single instance of itself.

What this means is that in order to work with Windows XP's Fast User Switching feature, they had to implement an awful kludge that makes SSM *EXIT* whenever a user unlocks a session. Note: I didn't say "whenever a user LOGS IN". No, every time you merely switch users, SSM will exit for the previous user, and start for the new user. It has to do this in order to be able to present its interface for the current user--but again, only because of its flawed, non-service architecture.

The new SSM Workgroup Edition runs as a service. However, it costs more, is brand new (in beta), and does not allow direct upgrades from SSM. This means that, as much a pain in the rear end as SSM is to configure, you're going to have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN to get the obvious benefit of running as a service.

UPieper

UPieper reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Feb 10, 2007

@vcorvinus:

I could imagine that the low rating is due to

a) early versions very quite buggy
b) it's quite complicated to configure (there's the learning mode though, which makes things easier)

Anyway, I've been using SSM since the days when Max B. was taking care of the program. Alongside with my old Kerio 2.15 firewall I feel safe when surfing the web with FX, since SSM will alert me when something shady happens....

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 29, 2007

For the knowledgeable and even for those with the ability and enthusiasm to learn a HIPS, SSM is probably the most valuable security app one can have on their machine.

vcorvinus

vcorvinus reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 28, 2007

SSM is rated 3.5? Huh? This thing is great. I don't think that SSM is appropriate for all users; not by a long shot. (The thought of my wife configuring SSM makes me feel like taking the short route and just tossing the computer in the lake.)

But if you want a HIPS and can handle it, everything bellagamin said is true--except the word is "eminently", not "imminently". Maybe I shouldn't care as much as I do, but the SSM team is a really good bunch who doesn't act like you're a fly under their shoe. Take it from someone who has used some of the others...

bellgamin

bellgamin reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 27, 2007

SSM is a superb tool in the hands of a careful user. In over 7 years of use, it has never failed me.

The program is stringently maintained to detect the latest threats including zero-day. Tech support is speedy, informed, respectful, & imminently helpful. The support forum is well populated with knowledgeable & friendly fellow-users, as well as SSM's own support personnel.

SSM is not a 1-man operation. SSM has several people on its staff, & obviously is around for the long haul.

IMO, every web surfer should have a HIPS in his or her armory of security protection. SSM is one of the very best HIPS there is. I use it and heartily recommend it.

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.599 on Nov 30, 2006

Okay hell0, I can't argue with you on this version. And as you have mentioned, the development team is a cool bunch. The customer support they offer is the best I have seen of any software product I have used. As for this latest release, it is as close to perfect as I have seen yet. Well done SSM Team!

hell0

hell0 reviewed v2.2.0.596 Beta on Nov 11, 2006

Many of the betas they released introduced lots of new low-level functionality (rootkit detection, window hook handling, etc.). This is why stability issues are not to be unexpected, and why it doesn't make sense to be overly concerned when a new build introduces problems absent in prior builds--it has new features, so of course it may have new problems. With all this said, I never had a system crash or freeze caused by SSM, and I always used all the features (except the Window Filter module).

I rate a 5 not because it's perfect--nothing is--but because it works very well, because it is constantly improved, because it doesn't spew crap all over my system, and because the developers and crew are a really cool bunch. Not the arrogant "Can't be bothered" type so commonly found, but people who actually respond to your emails and forum posts... And they actually fix almost all problem reports. So I'm not just rating the software per se.

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.595 Beta on Nov 6, 2006

Whining? I don't think so. Furthermore, at least I tell it like it is. Why did you rate it a 5? Is it because you feel it could be perfect? Perhaps if you had spent some quality time using the program you would have noticed it has bugs, so it does not warrant a 5. Not only that, but ver 591 is actually more stable than versions 593 & 594, so is it not reasonable to feel concern when progressive releases demonstrate more instabilities than previous releases? Think about it.

Now that I've finished my rant, this version is a definite improvement over the last two. It will on occasion display non-critical error messages when trying to import config files, it does not yet remember checksum rules for libraries and drivers, and it failed once to start after logging back in from the screensaver lockout. There is also very limited control over hard-coded "System" rules, a concern for those who want full control over them, but something the developers are worried that the unknowledgeable could inadvertantly cripple their systems by applying too tight restrictions on them. That is a tough one for the developers, trying to come to a happy medium in an attempt to please everyone. Other than that, I like the improvements in this version.

Avg. Rating 4.2 (187 votes)
Your Rating
MarcFou

MarcFou reviewed v2.4.0.620 Beta on Jan 25, 2008

I purchased this app a while back and it did work great for me. Creating rules and general usage did take some getting used to. The UI still leaves me guessing from time to time and seems ambigous when displaying rules vs editing them.

The lack of development caused me to find another solution.

I feel this app deserves a 3, but will rate it a 4 because when it does work it works well.

dhry

dhry reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Nov 5, 2007

Nice program, but Spyware Terminator is free just as good for HIPS and antispyware.

justme123

justme123 reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Feb 18, 2007

There is one serious criticism I have of SSM, and that is that rather than running as a system service, as it obviously should, it runs as a regular application. Not only that, it allows only a single instance of itself.

What this means is that in order to work with Windows XP's Fast User Switching feature, they had to implement an awful kludge that makes SSM *EXIT* whenever a user unlocks a session. Note: I didn't say "whenever a user LOGS IN". No, every time you merely switch users, SSM will exit for the previous user, and start for the new user. It has to do this in order to be able to present its interface for the current user--but again, only because of its flawed, non-service architecture.

The new SSM Workgroup Edition runs as a service. However, it costs more, is brand new (in beta), and does not allow direct upgrades from SSM. This means that, as much a pain in the rear end as SSM is to configure, you're going to have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN to get the obvious benefit of running as a service.

UPieper

UPieper reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Feb 10, 2007

@vcorvinus:

I could imagine that the low rating is due to

a) early versions very quite buggy
b) it's quite complicated to configure (there's the learning mode though, which makes things easier)

Anyway, I've been using SSM since the days when Max B. was taking care of the program. Alongside with my old Kerio 2.15 firewall I feel safe when surfing the web with FX, since SSM will alert me when something shady happens....

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 29, 2007

For the knowledgeable and even for those with the ability and enthusiasm to learn a HIPS, SSM is probably the most valuable security app one can have on their machine.

vcorvinus

vcorvinus reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 28, 2007

SSM is rated 3.5? Huh? This thing is great. I don't think that SSM is appropriate for all users; not by a long shot. (The thought of my wife configuring SSM makes me feel like taking the short route and just tossing the computer in the lake.)

But if you want a HIPS and can handle it, everything bellagamin said is true--except the word is "eminently", not "imminently". Maybe I shouldn't care as much as I do, but the SSM team is a really good bunch who doesn't act like you're a fly under their shoe. Take it from someone who has used some of the others...

bellgamin

bellgamin reviewed v2.3.0.611 on Jan 27, 2007

SSM is a superb tool in the hands of a careful user. In over 7 years of use, it has never failed me.

The program is stringently maintained to detect the latest threats including zero-day. Tech support is speedy, informed, respectful, & imminently helpful. The support forum is well populated with knowledgeable & friendly fellow-users, as well as SSM's own support personnel.

SSM is not a 1-man operation. SSM has several people on its staff, & obviously is around for the long haul.

IMO, every web surfer should have a HIPS in his or her armory of security protection. SSM is one of the very best HIPS there is. I use it and heartily recommend it.

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.599 on Nov 30, 2006

Okay hell0, I can't argue with you on this version. And as you have mentioned, the development team is a cool bunch. The customer support they offer is the best I have seen of any software product I have used. As for this latest release, it is as close to perfect as I have seen yet. Well done SSM Team!

hell0

hell0 reviewed v2.2.0.596 Beta on Nov 11, 2006

Many of the betas they released introduced lots of new low-level functionality (rootkit detection, window hook handling, etc.). This is why stability issues are not to be unexpected, and why it doesn't make sense to be overly concerned when a new build introduces problems absent in prior builds--it has new features, so of course it may have new problems. With all this said, I never had a system crash or freeze caused by SSM, and I always used all the features (except the Window Filter module).

I rate a 5 not because it's perfect--nothing is--but because it works very well, because it is constantly improved, because it doesn't spew crap all over my system, and because the developers and crew are a really cool bunch. Not the arrogant "Can't be bothered" type so commonly found, but people who actually respond to your emails and forum posts... And they actually fix almost all problem reports. So I'm not just rating the software per se.

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.595 Beta on Nov 6, 2006

Whining? I don't think so. Furthermore, at least I tell it like it is. Why did you rate it a 5? Is it because you feel it could be perfect? Perhaps if you had spent some quality time using the program you would have noticed it has bugs, so it does not warrant a 5. Not only that, but ver 591 is actually more stable than versions 593 & 594, so is it not reasonable to feel concern when progressive releases demonstrate more instabilities than previous releases? Think about it.

Now that I've finished my rant, this version is a definite improvement over the last two. It will on occasion display non-critical error messages when trying to import config files, it does not yet remember checksum rules for libraries and drivers, and it failed once to start after logging back in from the screensaver lockout. There is also very limited control over hard-coded "System" rules, a concern for those who want full control over them, but something the developers are worried that the unknowledgeable could inadvertantly cripple their systems by applying too tight restrictions on them. That is a tough one for the developers, trying to come to a happy medium in an attempt to please everyone. Other than that, I like the improvements in this version.

hell0

hell0 reviewed v2.2.0.594 Beta on Nov 6, 2006

You don't know why stability suffers when new features are added? Maybe it's because messing with the system at the low level they are is really tough stuff. And maybe you should remember that this is a BETA that you are knowingly running. Honestly, why whine about a BETA being unstable?

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.594 Beta on Oct 31, 2006

Some problems with version 594: Often fails to launch from log-off to log-on, requiring a manual restart to get it going; forgets some rules, even if "remember" is selected; slows logging in to user accounts and has caused some BSOD's for some.

I don't know why it is that so often when these software developers add some new requested features, the program's stability has to suffer as a result. As a paid customer, I sure hope to see these bugs ironed out fairly soon.

comeoffit

comeoffit reviewed v2.2.0.587 Beta on Sep 7, 2006

Learning mode does exactly what it should--it allows rules to be created without user intervention. You should always check all the rules and settings after disabling learning mode.

I love SSM; and this is from someone who has tried all the others. The documentation could be much improved, and I can think of several things I'd like added or changed, but I still rate it a 5 because it works very well, and even the betas haven't crashed my machine even once.

Another thing I absolutely love about SSM is that it doesn't crap all over your system--it installs a driver, a DLL, and the rest pretty much goes in its installation directory. If you monitor installations using something like InCtrl5 or Total Uninstall, you won't be staring at a monstrous list of unnerving changes after you install SSM. The point here isn't aesthetics--clean, minimalist installations can drastically increase reliability.

And when you upgrade SSM, you run the installer, and you're presented with a message saying "This will update [your version] to [new version]". Then, it just works. And if you want to do a clean install, that's fine too--unlike lots of the other garbage out there, SSM really does uninstall itself (there's not much to uninstall!). And it gives you the option to leave your registration info and settings behind, in case you want to upgrade (each of which is stored quite simply in a single file, not littered in pseudo-hidden locations on your hard drive and registry, with the intention of being left behind in order to thwart piracy).

The SSM team seems pretty receptive to customer input. Emails get responded to. The 50% competitive upgrade discount doesn't hurt, either.

In short, SSM respects your system, and the SSM team respects you, by being responsive and by not surviving on vaporware promises. This is far more than I can say for the others I've tried.

wat0114

wat0114 reviewed v2.2.0.584 Beta on Aug 27, 2006

This is actually a very impressive security appication, one that can compliment a basic software firewall very nicely. In fact, the way it monitors and warns against application and process behaviour reminds me of Tiny Personal firewall's process behaviour monitoring. Unfortunately for Tiny, it appears to be dying a violent death in the greedy hands of Computer Associates.

The user friendliness is adequate for those who are relatively computer savvy, but a beginner will likely be lost; it is quite important to have a decent understanding of system processes and application behaviour in order to properly harness SSM's system protection. There was no appreciable drain on my machine's resources, including CPU usage and memory usage.

The reason I give it a 4 and not a 5 stems from the lack of a clear explanation and warnings, via pop-ups for example, on the use of the "Learning mode" option. It would be very easy for the uninformed to select that option, subsequently making it very easy for malicious processes to run the gamut on a user's machine. I proved this by testing a number of well known leak tests - Wallbreaker, Tooleaky, PC Audit, surfer, dnstester, Ghost, copycat and surfer - on my machine, and not once did SSM alert me to them.

To clarify, I am testing SSM with only my av app running (I'm behind a firewalled router as well), just to see how well it can perform unaided by the security mechanisms built into Outpost Pro firewall.

In short, be very careful with the "Learning mode" option! It severely reduces the effectiveness of SSM. With it disabled, however, not one of the leak tests stood a snowball's chance in Hades. SSM is that good!

For anyone using a basic software firewall - one that is not capable of stopping too many of the known leak tests - I would highly recommend trialing this fine security app.

comeoffit

comeoffit reviewed v2.2.0.584 Beta on Aug 22, 2006

Use a firewall, AV, and AS, rather than HIPS? That makes no sense. First of all, a HIPS doesn't replace everything else. I use SSM along with NOD32, and it works very well.

Any of the leading firewall software available will bombard you with as many prompts as SSM will. AV and AS require constant updating. So, what is the supposed benefit to using avoiding HIPS?

It's no big deal, and it makes a lot of sense... Once you have SSM configured, you have to reply to a few prompts each time you install or upgrade software. And if you are installing software that installs drivers/services, you will need to approve it. Oh gee, is that such hard work? You could avoid running HIPS and pretend there's no need to know what is getting installed on your system. While you're at it, go ahead and pretend that your wonderful firewall, AV, and AS will actually detect all the trojans and rootkits out there.

Bottom line: Running a good HIPS is not a big deal, and it's in fact easier than running a separate firewall and AS software. But a good HIPS will do more for you.

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