Saturday January 28, 2017

It Might Be Time To Stop Using Antivirus

While I am already way ahead of him, an ex-Firefox developer is reminding us how terrible antivirus software is and how you should uninstall it immediately. You can’t really argue with that; he notes that a lot of this software actually opens up new attack vectors, and their developers don’t even follow security practices. But he does point out that if you can’t sleep without having some kind of antivirus software running, it better be Windows Defender.

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What's really insidious is that it's hard for software vendors to speak out about these problems because they need cooperation from the AV vendors (except for Google, lately, maybe). Users have been fooled into associating AV vendors with security and you don't want AV vendors bad-mouthing your product. AV software is broadly installed and when it breaks your product, you need the cooperation of AV vendors to fix it. (You can't tell users to turn off AV software because if anything bad were to happen that the AV software might have prevented, you'll catch the blame.) When your product crashes on startup due to AV interference, users blame your product, not AV. Worse still, if they make your product incredibly slow and bloated, users just think that's how your product is.mIf a rogue developer is tempted to speak out, the PR hammer comes down (and they were probably right to do so!). But now I'm free! Bwahahaha!