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Have some anti-virus firms lulled us into a false sense of security?

By Bill Detwiler Editor ·
In a recent commentary, ZDNet Australia's Fran Foo takes Symantec to task for not appropriately responding to a flaw discovered in Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2004.

Read Foo's commentary on Virus Threat Center:
http://www.virusthreatcenter.com/article.aspx?articleId=130

The flaw allows an unprivileged user to disable the software's auto-protection feature. When asked about the flaw, a Symantec spokesperson told ZDNet Australia that the company would "know more in 24 hours".

Is this an appropriate response from Symantec?

While few, if any, guarantees exist in computer security, how much 'security' do anti-virus vendors owe their customers?

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Loosest anti-virus

by rohit In reply to Have some anti-virus firm ...

Bill, as far as my knowledege and experience says, Norton is the worst anti-virus solution.

If you think generally, why is the solution to a particular virus attack available with a particular anti virus vendor ??? any ideas...

Its the dirtiest part of the whole game plan to generate business by spreading panic in the market. It might not sound true, but there is some relevance to each event.

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Norton ???

by davmax In reply to Loosest anti-virus

Please justify your statement re Norton is the worst anti-virus solution.

I am not a Norton supporter, just wondering how you come to this view. A few clues will do.

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Similiar Experience

by Black Panther In reply to Loosest anti-virus

I wouldn't say the worst but yes I have dumped Norton as well. I actually recommended it to some of my friends and in-laws because of it's relative all-in-one package and ease of use for the less experienced users but in the end I found it 'bulky' resource hungry. Also my friends said the support was expensive ie they wanted to charge $45.00 AUD to answer a simple question. I now use AVG ( with Free Updates ) and have found my computer goes a lot quicker.

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We expect great things at all times. That is a problem.

by gg In reply to Have some anti-virus firm ...

I think one of the issues here is having an expectation that AV vendors should be ahead of the curve with viruses. The reality is that developers at AV vendors are not mystics who can forsee the future threats that some one will think up next week. The best guarantee that an AV vendor could offer is a defense withing a reasonable amount of time, and hopefully a fix for whatever damage may have been done to whatever extent they may.
As for Symantec's response, as a public corporation they would have to gather there PR wagons in a circle before answering a question like that. That is a typical corporate strategy. I would expect any company not to respond to a question like that off the cuff.

In an instance like this, I would think that 24 hours is appropriate and tolerable. Of course, an instantaneous response is best.

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When does the end-user take responsibilty

by philospher In reply to We expect great things at ...

My point is "when do the end-users get invovled and take responsibilty. I agree that 24 hours is a reasonable. End-users need to take more active partcipation in protecting their own machines. As a professional working in the retail enviroment I have seen numerous CPUs returned because of virus contamination. How do we educate the end-users about viruses.

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I really can not see how

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Have some anti-virus firm ...

Granted a lot of people seem to think that because they have an AV product installed they can go and do the most stupid things and be safe. But every AV company is at best only reacting to new attacks hopefully in as short as possible time frame after the attack is found.

More to the point is "Do most people have unreal expectorations of the ability of an AV product to Protect them from their own Stupidity?"

As for 24 hours that isn't too bad after all how long does MS take to respond to a problem and when they do they publish the problem for all the world to see so that any unpatched computers become vulnerable to the "Script Kiddies" who just love to attack. MS is doing half of their work for them.

Incidentally I've just reloaded a customers computer and because it's a freebie I've done it after hours well mostly and tonight before he picks it up latter today I downloaded all of his incoming e-mail. There where 57 incoming messages and 25 of them where infected with various forms of Nestky. If it had of been left up to the user he would have had an infected computer as soon as he got it home.

Col

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I believe that I installed the patch to fix that

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Have some anti-virus firm ...

Problem earlier this week.

On running Live Update I got a WMI update which installed without a problem and didn't even require rebooting.

Col

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