Do you really need Anti-Virus Software
By Marc Wolfsfeld
I spend a good deal of my time fixing computers that have been infected by spyware/malware. I don’t think I have had to fix a computer that was infected by a virus in quite a while.
Way back in the day, twenty something hacks spent all day in their mother’s basement trying to prove to other hacks that they were smarter than Bill Gates and Microsoft, and created viruses. Bragging rights was the reward.
When the Internet boom began and dot coms were paying for eyeballs, hackers learned to write software that would take over your browser and open up dozens and dozens of windows to make the dot coms think they were getting tons of eyeballs.
After the dot com bust, eyeballs were worthless. The next wave was the spyware/malware writers who would turn you computer into a zombie to spread the malware to millions of other computers. These guy were trying to sell you viagra and fake rolex watches through email sent by the zombie computers.
And all along I was telling my clients that they needed to buy Trend Micro’s PC-Cillin software and make sure that it was updated and running and doing its weekly and monthly scans.
Back a few versions, PC-Cillin was less intrusive and used less overhead than most of the other programs like Norton and McAfee. When I installed the software, the system continued to run well. And the computer was protected.
That was then…. Now it sucks….
The latest and greatest version has caused many of my clients systems to grind to a painful halt. Programs don’t load, screens don’t refresh and boy are they not happy. On most systems we have just turned off the real time scanning, which defeats the purpose of virus protection. Some systems had to have the software uninstalled.
The problem as I see it is Spyware/Malware and not viruses. And the antivirus software isn’t stopping it. And to make things worse, it won’t fix it after the systems is infected.
I’m having a very hard time convincing myself that my clients need this latest and greatest version of Trend Micro, or any virus protection at all. Over the past year, many of the machines that were "protected" by PC-Cillin have become infected by spyware/malware. The most common one is a variation of something called "Antivirus 200X" or the latested version "Security System 2009".
The problem is the user who for whatever reason reach a place on the Internet that warns them that their system has become infected and that they should run this "update" immediately.
The problem is guys like me who have been telling users to update their software when prompted to.
The problem is the media who loves to report on hackers and virus breakouts that never amount to much.
I no longer believe that antivirus software is the answer.
I don’t know if I have the answer, though I have some definite thoughts about how to survive in your computer is attacked. Maybe tomorrow…..