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  What are Anti-Virus Developers Protecting us From?  (Read 1859 times)
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Offline Gibbo3771
« Posted 2014-04-14 09:11:21 »

I have been a Windows user since Windows 98. I have used pretty much every single anti-virus that ever existed but what exactly are they protecting us from?

I have had this Laptop for around 7 month now, admittedly I have 100's of movies and dozens of games that I have "acquired" through various activities. I won't lie, most of us do it.

But what is my Anti-Virus doing?

f**k all, I have not had a Virus on this laptop since the day I got it.

My GF has a PC, she has had it for 3 years and she downloads stuff like there is no tomorrow, I have used Free and Paid Anti-virus, Norton/McAfee just slowed down anything they got put on, I moved over to AVG/Avast!

None of these Anti-virus have ever found a Virus, ever.

The few times in the past I have had a Virus, the Anti-Virus never even done a thing. You know one of those ones that happens to embed itself in your system tray.

So what exactly does Anti-Virus even do? Does it just bloat our PCs now? Or are they actually doing something? Are viruses as common as they were 10 years ago?

Are the people developing this software getting paid for nothing?

Your views...

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 363
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-04-14 09:21:14 »

They are, in fact, a massive con. The only AV checker you ever need is MS Security Essentials on Windows. Everything else is either selling fear or misguidedly unhelpful.

Cas Smiley

Offline Stranger

Senior Member


Medals: 6



« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-04-14 09:29:02 »

They are, in fact, a massive con... Everything else is either selling fear or misguidedly unhelpful.
Agree.

The only AV checker you ever need is MS Security Essentials on Windows.
MSSE overlooks many of threats

Anton
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Offline Endos
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-04-14 09:48:34 »

Anti-virus are a waste of resources, I never used one while I was using Windows (from Windows 3.0 to XP), and I never used one now that I use a Mac.
What worked for me for years with Windows was the use a good firewall and a restricted user account for working, and never use the admin account directly but with the execute as option when needed.

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Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-04-14 09:59:00 »

I don't have any anti virus installed either Cheesy

I remember having anti-virus virus program, that wouldn't allow you to do anything except open explorer and would say that if you run something it would damage your computer memory (info loss) and that you had to buy the full version which cost 50$ to remove that virus which didn't even exist.

That is one time I had a real virus. Maybe I'm currently typing and someone is seeing what I'm typing, but I doubt it.
Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-04-14 10:01:07 »

Maybe I'm currently typing and someone is seeing what I'm typing, but I doubt it.

Just for good measure, you may as well insult them.

But yeah, I feel as if when I install and Anti-Virus program, I am installing a virus that brings in a whole lot of malware.

The only time it ever flags something is a crack for a game, which is a false positive.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Online delt0r

JGO Knight


Medals: 27
Exp: 18 years


Computers can do that?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-04-14 10:16:14 »

Proof of how much of a con they are, was when a very large AV vendor whitelisted a rootkit from a large music retailer. Because they ask nicely.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 363
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-04-14 12:14:47 »

There is that yes. The real thing though is that they are always somewhat behind the actual viruses that are in the wild doing damage, because they don't know about them yet. Which rather renders them pointless. That, and the fact they throw up false positives all over the place, eventually either crippling your user experience of your machine and causing you to switch it off or simply ignore it.

Cas Smiley

Offline SHC
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-04-14 12:19:23 »

I also think that we don't need any antivirus, but am scared not to use one. So I just use free AVG on Windows 8.1

Offline RobinB

JGO Ninja


Medals: 44
Projects: 1
Exp: 3 years


Spacegame in progress


« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-04-14 13:06:42 »

Just add some nice firewall so they cant call home without permission.
Its what i have been doing for several years now.
If you are paranoid, just disable everything except a white list of applications, some clicking at the start but you will immediately notice something strange popping up.
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Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-04-14 13:11:49 »

Good to know I am not the only one thinking it is a big con.

I do believe it is somewhat good for people who might not be computer literate, or as computer literate as us.

For example my poor 55 year old dad, he seems to get a hella lot of virus like problems that frankly I am sick of fixing. I just accuse him of watching too much porn :p

Just a few weeks ago, I was visiting and he was showing me this tv streaming program he was overly chuffed about, as we do not have sat/cable tv in that area...should have seen the amount of crap that it installed on his laptop. I was actually shocked.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline loom_weaver

JGO Coder


Medals: 17



« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-04-14 13:51:03 »

I agree that MSSE is all that you need.  That being said, I would caution against claiming any kind of moral superiority on never getting a virus.

I've only gotten one once (that I know of).  It was some vulnerability about 7-10 years ago where just even viewing a malicious image in the browser would be enough to get infected.

If something that serious comes along again, there's not much that can be done to stop it and you'll be hoping that MSSE is doing its job.
Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-04-14 13:56:03 »

Yeah its a weird thing. I never encounter viruses (or at tops a couple in 20 years), but some people I know with little computer experience somehow end up with a computer breaking down from a bewildering variety of viruses (ironically even though they have a virus scanner installed). Must have something to do with recognizing the difference between dangerous files / emails and safe ones, a skill that is far from trivial (I suspect most users wont really understand the difference between a text file and an executable).

So yeah, I'm not so sure about the value of virus scanners but I would not take yourself as an example of the typical computer user and draw conclusions based on that.

Offline Slyth2727
« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-04-14 14:22:27 »

It's most likely something like that. My brother, who knows next to nothing about computers got every computer in the house, except mine which runs *nix, infected with a virus that spread across the network. Just from downloading something online through affluent or something and of course clicking the wrong thing.

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Offline StumpyStrust
« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-04-14 14:34:42 »

For us proud people who kinda know about add block and how that Arabian price does in fact not want to give you his fortune, AV is more of a hindrance then anything else.

All I have used is MSE and since then have never had issues. The occasional false positive but other then that no problems. I like MSE as it gives you a nice not so heavy bit of protection whilst not taking up much resources. I have tried a great many others and all have used huge ram and basically sandboxed the OS.

Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-04-15 02:38:09 »

I worked with IT support last years and its time for me to tell you all the truth.

Mccafee doesnt work.PERIOD.
Norton is Meh.
Avast is meh but its free.Same for avg.If u use one of them with another anti malware, its yay.

I use kaspersky Pure 3.0.Used internet security before... Dude, its awesome.
No virus whatsoever.After i installed i ran some checks with another antiviruses to check if kaspersky was really working and it is.

Just fine.

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-04-15 07:06:03 »

I worked with IT support last years and its time for me to tell you all the truth.

The first sentence to come out of a sales mans mouth :p

Oh, Kaspersky Pure costs £34.99!

I kid lol.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 363
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-04-15 08:07:39 »

The free ones are next to useless, and the cause of 95% of my customers with simple installation woes.

Cas Smiley

Offline Roquen
« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-04-15 08:18:09 »

Venn diagram from xkcd

Offline Cannonball7171

Senior Newbie


Exp: 1 year


Semi-Beginner Coder


« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-04-17 01:46:24 »

I use Avast and Malwarebytes, and they seem to do the trick for me

Although I'm pretty sure the best anti virus is Common Sense 2014 Smiley

"If you're going through Hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill
Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-04-17 02:01:57 »

I worked with IT support last years and its time for me to tell you all the truth.

The first sentence to come out of a sales mans mouth :p

Oh, Kaspersky Pure costs £34.99!

I kid lol.


Heheheh.
I dont sell kaspersky.
I HAD to sell another antivirus which was crap.

So anyway, im not a salesman and if i was ITS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

Anything else?

I KID.
Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder


Medals: 13
Projects: 1


Follower of Nurgle


« Reply #21 - Posted 2014-04-17 02:03:27 »

I have not used an Anti-Virus Program for over 2 years now and the Windows Firewall is turned off. (Used Kaspersky Anti-Virus previously)

The only thing that protects me is my router firewall and yet my bank account is still not empty / my accounts are still in my possesion. I do have a feeling that I will pay for my light-heartedness at some point though  Pointing
Offline phajdu82

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #22 - Posted 2014-04-17 08:45:57 »

we see quite a lot virus infected computers in our company. sometimes users are so stupid, they can get infected everything... antivirus programs work for me... if a customer comes in with usb key, it usually deletes a few infected files as soon as the key is inserted...
wasnt using antivirus programs some time ago, but once my internet provider blocked my connection because my computer was infected and sending out spam or something...
Offline Mike

JGO Wizard


Medals: 73
Projects: 1
Exp: 6 years


Java guru wanabee


« Reply #23 - Posted 2014-04-17 08:55:55 »

I used to work as tech support for Norton for a couple of years, and while it did catch a lot of viruses back then (2004-2005) I hear a lot less about viruses nowadays.

One funny/sad thing was when a new virus came out and the definitions weren't updated yet, we had to charge people a lot of money to manually remove the viruses, even though they had our anti virus software Pointing

The most common complaint was "My computer is so slow after installing your product" Smiley

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline Memoryz

Senior Newbie


Exp: 2 years



« Reply #24 - Posted 2014-04-18 01:35:04 »

Some of you guys are suggesting firewalls, well... explain more! Which ones do you use and which would you recommend?!
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 783
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #25 - Posted 2014-04-18 05:01:47 »

A firewall against a virus is like a peephole against injustice.

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Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #26 - Posted 2014-04-18 14:21:16 »

A few years ago I had a new laptop with Norton pre-installed.
I installed a perfectly legitimate copy of some software that I've used for years, and Norton thought it contained a virus so bad that it said something along the lines of it needing to disable itself and reboot in order to 'quarantine' it.
So the laptop rebooted, crashed on Norton again, etc. Did an attempt at removing Norton, which failed. The PC simply wouldn't work anymore until I did a fresh OS install.
I kid you not.

At work our PCs are so aggressively secured and scanned that no matter how fast the PCs are, everything is still slow.
Apparently a colleague opened an email attachment from a strange lady that admitted she was incredibly turned on by the poor fellow. Of course he got malware. True story. At least the virus scanner noticed, which prompted IT to wipe the PC and send out a mass email warning about these emails, which is something I suppose.

I use MS Security Essentials today. I don't know if it's actually doing anything but at least it's unobtrusive.
Just keep in mind that virus scanners just don't protect you from stupidity, and probably won't protect you from viruses either. And Windows isn't as unsafe as it used to be.

Offline Phibedy

Senior Member


Medals: 8



« Reply #27 - Posted 2014-04-18 14:58:02 »

I use kaspersky Pure 3.0.Used internet security before... Dude, its awesome.
No virus whatsoever.After i installed i ran some checks with another antiviruses to check if kaspersky was really working and it is.
Just fine.
kaspersky removes files without asking and you can't restore it. It destroyed my custom sound-driver and it killt the software I used for playing with www.hackthissite.org and some other stuff. (And yes the software was clean)
I bought it but after the first day I removed it  Smiley
Offline mirkos

Junior Newbie





« Reply #28 - Posted 2014-04-18 15:07:26 »

I absolutely agree, however, some AV companies are really effective. I know that Avira are quick to pick on many viruses, but I don't really have an AV anymore. I just use a good firewall, like Comodo and that's pretty much all I need.
Offline Grunnt

JGO Wizard


Medals: 66
Projects: 8
Exp: 5 years


Complex != complicated


« Reply #29 - Posted 2014-04-18 15:21:56 »

Maybe you guys - as developers - should consider checking whether the software you spread around is infected though Wink

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