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Author Topic: Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money?  (Read 8056 times)
mouser
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« on: March 02, 2012, 07:59:16 AM »

Interesting points here -- nothing really new just confirmation that an antivirus program is not going to catch the newest attacks:

Quote
The problem is that most criminals are smart enough to test their attacks against popular antivirus products. There’s even a free website called Virus Total that lets you see whether any of the most popular malware scanning engines will spot your Trojan program or virus. So when new attacks pop up on the internet, it’s common for them to completely evade antivirus detection.

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ha14
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 09:10:19 AM »

Antivirus are kind of students they learn to catch later.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »

I view anti-virus software the same way I view all security software (firewalls, anti-malware, etc.). I see it as being insurance for my computer the same way I have insurance for my car and home. You may grouse about the money you shell out annually for no visible benefit when things are non-eventful, but when disaster strikes that's when the investment shows its true value & you're glad you're covered.

Sure, there's about the same chance my PC will get infected as my house being hit by a tornado or a storm blowing the roof off my house, but I think I'll keep my bases covered, thank you very much.

Full disclosure: I'm a unique case. All of my security software has lifetime licenses so there's no ongoing yearly cost for me to run them & when I'm on the internet I behave like the digital equivalent of "looking for trouble." I go to a lot of those web sites your mother warned you about & yet, I've never been infected due to my layered security approach. Contrast that with friends and family who have gotten their PCs nuked by something simple as banner ad exploits.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 11:07:36 AM »

Well, I do not use any anti-virus software on a permanent basis and the last problem I had with a virus was many years ago. It is a desktop computer, there is a firewall in the modem and I am the only user. If I had a notebook with wifi and were traveling with it, I would consider using one.

Keeping software updated, not connecting to devices of untrustworthy origin, not opening suspicious email attachments or installing suspicious software, not visiting extremely dangerous web sites (or if then with Opera, because who would bother writing a virus for Opera?) works just fine - no antivirus needed.
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wr975
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 01:16:04 PM »

I used to be a "no AV, just common sense" user. But these days are long over. It's just too dangerous "out there". One wrong click or hacked homepage and it's over. Wasting hours of time to get rid of malware... I've done it several times. I don't want to do it again.

I'm running an antivirus (MSSE), anti-malware (Malwarebytes) and WinPatrol. They won't catch the latest and newest virus in the wild, but what are the chances of getting a 0-day malware?
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 02:44:02 PM »

I basically take Innuendo's view - the cost of running an antivirus program and firewall, in terms of money and cpu cycles, seems low enough that it's worth doing, even if the chances of it catching anything useful are slim.

I don't think i've ever in all the years I've used a computer, had a virus detected in a program/document that i didn't already view as too suspicious to run.  Except one or two cases that an item was caught on a compromised web page.

But I would never assume that something is clean just because an antivirus program doesn't detect something.  I view them only as a minor line of defense.

I think the point about antivirus software not catching brand new malware is just one more reason why it always pays to try to delay using new stuff whose source you are unsure of.  Let the other canaries go into the mine first..
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Innuendo
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 03:50:25 PM »

I used to be a "no AV, just common sense" user. But these days are long over. It's just too dangerous "out there". One wrong click or hacked homepage and it's over. Wasting hours of time to get rid of malware... I've done it several times. I don't want to do it again.

When you can go to perfectly legit, big-name web sites, and get infected through an exploit in a banner ad... It's like you said. The days of just using common sense are long over.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 01:47:44 PM »

Years ago there was such incident with an old IE... There always is a chance of something like this happening again, but not a big one - keeping your software updated and using a non-mainstream browser should lower the chance of infection to a level I have no problem with.
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timns
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 02:01:27 PM »

These articles really irritate me. It reads as a case of being "contrarian" just for the sake of it. Maybe he had to find something to grind out to meet a deadline.

I'd file the article alongside such things as "why you should eat more salt" and "why it's ok to put your credit card details in email"

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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 03:09:43 PM »

When you can go to perfectly legit, big-name web sites, and get infected through an exploit in a banner ad... It's like you said. The days of just using common sense are long over.

Truer words were seldom spoken. Cool Thmbsup



These articles really irritate me. It reads as a case of being "contrarian" just for the sake of it. Maybe he had to find something to grind out to meet a deadline.

I'd file the article alongside such things as "why you should eat more salt" and "why it's ok to put your credit card details in email"



Bingo. Thmbsup

(Besides, with excellent free products like MSE available for the download, what difference does it make? You can't waste money you haven't spent. mrgreen)
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vetegr
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 07:54:42 PM »


A good firewall.  I use Comodo Firewall.  Not the big Security Suite; it tends to slow the computer down.  Just the firewall.

Malwarebytes AntiMalware, free version, and do regular manual scans.

WinPatrol and Threatfire keep an eye on suspicious behavior without depending on a never-quite-complete database of known viruses.

Sandboxie.  Can't praise Sandboxie enough.  Free, easy to use.  Run your browser (or email or any other program) in a sandbox and any malware will infect only the sandbox.  Delete the sandbox when you're through and the infection is also deleted, leaving your system clean.

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Redhat
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 08:06:36 PM »

After a few years hiatus using Mac OS X, I've just come back to Windows (alongside the Mac still though) and it's funny, I was in a total panic to install AV and Windows Updates before anything terrible happened.

I'm a sysadmin of a Windows network, so maybe having alerts screaming up at me all day blurs my perspective. But, even as a careful user, you never know what might happen at 3am when you're tired as hell and just click that UAC alert to get rid of it..

ESET all the way for me!
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Innuendo
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 03:33:04 PM »

After a few years hiatus using Mac OS X, I've just come back to Windows (alongside the Mac still though) and it's funny, I was in a total panic to install AV and Windows Updates before anything terrible happened.

Fortunately, the rush to install patches & updates before drive-by malware infects your Windows install has been a thing of the past since Windows XP SP2. A lot of things have changed for the better in the Windows world during your hiatus (and some things for the worse...and some even no change at all).

I think overall you'll enjoy the direction Windows has gone & the direction in which it is going.
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Fred Nerd
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 06:02:21 PM »

I got a few viruses when I first started with computers back in 2000 or so.
Then I learned to clean it all up and after playing with useless, resource hogging AV, I now run totally unsecured.

I use Firefox with adblock and flashblock, and know a bit about what email links to open. Also, I do like a software firewall, but even just Windows one is fine.

Also I have found that just about anything can be cleaned with autoruns and HijackThis. Or at least that has always found the problem for me.
I have everything backed up, so that is 'safe'. Just a bit worried about banking and credit cards. So far no worries. Maybe just lucky, but I have had less viruses and problems (ok, none) compared to friends who run Norton 360 or whatever the scaremongers have sold them.


Not saying this is a good idea, but it works for me. Or seems to.



The other one I would like to do, but don't want to pay for the bandwidth is update Windows to spec. Windows Genuine Advantage put me off that anyway.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2012, 08:17:25 PM »

Rootkits, they're quite hard to manage with any security software and windows is the only OS that has tons of them. I have observed few of them on modern windows versions, and they are quite hard to get rid of, so antivirus or not, these creeps are supposed to be dealt with /mbr format.
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BCHOWDHURY
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2014, 12:01:58 PM »

I think anti-virus software is a necessity.
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Edvard
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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 04:42:38 PM »

Rootkits, they're quite hard to manage with any security software and windows is the only OS that has tons of them.
...

Umm...
http://packetstormsecurit...NIX/penetration/rootkits/

That right there is the reason for the existence of Linux/Unix tools like Rootkithunter and Chkrootkit.  Just because you're not using Windows, doesn't mean you're immune.  Personally, despite not running antivirus on Linux for the 10 years I've been using it, I haven't acquired any cooties yet (and I do check from time to time), but then again, I also avoid those things that your average web-wise user already knows about.
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wraith808
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« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2014, 05:08:10 PM »

I think anti-malware and utilities like Malwarebytes and WinPatrol are the better investment.  I've *never* been saved by antivirus.  My wife was just saved *today* by the combination of WinPatrol + Malwarebytes.  Her antivirus program didn't say a word before, during, or after the attack.
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Giampy
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2014, 05:31:25 PM »

My wife was just saved *today* by the combination of WinPatrol + Malwarebytes.  Her antivirus program didn't say a word before, during, or after the attack.

I'd like to know what antivirus you own and the kind of that attack.
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wraith808
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2014, 05:44:30 PM »

MS Security Essentials (up to date) and it was a concerted malware attack, i.e. InstallBrain, Weatherbug, Driver Protect, and one other to do with performance.  Her itunes told her that she needed to upgrade (which was valid) but some link came up and in a dialog to download itunes... but it was only 100k.  It was from what used to be a pretty good download site too... download central?  I forget.  Thankfully, she realized that itunes had never triggered winpatrol, so kept saying no- so many times that it asked if it was bothering her.  A resounding NO on that one.  I think when I upgraded her machine, I'd forgotten to install malwarebytes, so I reinstalled it, and was able to thankfully after a couple of reboots get rid of everything.

I think I'm going to invest in spybot as it's been pretty reliable, though I only use it when I'm cleaning someone's system... it's a one time purchase, which sticks in my craw less than a subscription.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2014, 12:39:55 AM »

Thankfully, she realized that itunes had never triggered winpatrol, so kept saying no- so many times that it asked if it was bothering her.

And that is a classic example of Defensive Driving on the Information Highway! The user was paying attention - OMFG!!!!!

Our clients are typically divided into one of two categories:
   Those that actually read the damn message - Usually resolved with a phone call.
   Those that are infected with (stupidity) something - Tends to cost them a bit (slow learners *Shrug*).


No security software is or can be effective if the user simply and absentmindedly clicks OK ... Reading really is fundamental ... Give the wife a hug, she earned it. cheesy
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app103
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2014, 06:26:10 AM »

No security software is or can be effective if the user simply and absentmindedly clicks OK ... Reading really is fundamental ... Give the wife a hug, she earned it. cheesy

The best antivirus is common sense. Upgrades available daily.*

Any others installed on the system are just layered protection in case that fails, which seems to happen to some people a lot because they don't upgrade their common sense.  Wink

*I once said this in a chat room and someone actually asked me, in all seriousness, for the URL where they could buy and download common sense, and how much it would cost. ::facepalm::
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2014, 07:06:20 AM »

^^  They could get it online.  But it hasn't been updated since 1776:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w...mmon_Sense_%28pamphlet%29


Heh heh
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2014, 07:55:17 AM »

Not only does common sense not get updated, I've found it is also prone to being disabled very easily.  tease
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2014, 09:21:19 AM »

Not only does common sense not get updated, I've found it is also prone to being disabled very easily.  tease

People tend to lose all sense when dollars are on the line.   
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