Saturday, May 31, 2008

Race To Zero

These guys are holding some sort of contest to see how many people can sneak viruses and malware past antivirus software.

I must say I can't believe that the contestants will be all that challenged. I am frequently given virus- and spyware- infected computers to try to repair, although lately I have had limited success, as the latest malware has just gotten so complicated and hides itself so well.

In every case, the victim will be running one of those glossy, useless products like Symantec or McAfee. The last computer I was given to try to sort out was running McAfee and there were no less than nine McAfee processes running on the machine. Did they prevent the spyware installing itself? Of course not.

As far as I can see, all Symantec/McAfee does is sap the computer's processing power and plague the user with unwanted popups until the time comes that they get some real malware on their machine.

The difference of course is that the hapless user has had to pay for these dubious benefits.

Personally, the first thing I do on any computer is remove all the AV bloatware. If I'm lucky, this won't render the machine unbootable. But at least I will then not see the hard disk constantly thrashing as the AV software endlessly churns through all my files.

It strikes me the Symantec/McAfee business model is to milk the gullible for subscriptions for their utterly useless products while employing the dumbest people in the industry to keep pushing out so-called 'updates'. The most junior Russian hacker can and does run rings around them.

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