A Symantec big-wig recently stated that the anti-virus solution is ‘doomed to failure’. It’s good that somebody within Symantec has some product knowledge, but with respect to Symantec, their woes are self-inflicted. They took what was originally a nice neat utility and systematically turned it into a monstrous piece of invasive software which did everything except make life easier for the user of the computer on which it was installed. This is true of others too. They started off small, light ad non-invasive, and turned onto the Symantec path.
There used to be rumours that the anti-virus people put out virus stuff to justify the existence and cost of the solutions, but I doubted that because I was always one for giving the benefit of the doubt. For me, that changed when Symantec put out their Personal Firewall for testing by a select band of pros, firing what were essentially wet blotting paper blobs at a cardboard wall. The projectiles left a mark, but that was about it.They wanted to claim the tests to be a great success, and did anyway despite protestations from many of the test group.
Even when your anti-virus alerts you to something, it must be very easy to stop, a bit like the blotting paper blobs in the firewall tests. Everything else seems to get through regardless, causing total mayhem for thousands of users.
I think that ant-virus solutions are definitely under-stressed, only having to guard the back door, but we do still need them even if at present they don’t have to guard against too much Any hint of users dumping anti-virus would undoubted see more visits to back doors.
Or would it? Who knows..
For now, delivery of crippling code and re-directors must be way more fun for the ‘bad’ guys. They see the results of their work written in tears in open forums, and have the added knowledge that they are making ‘monkeys’ out of the end users..
The lesson here is not to believe the anti-virus tests because all they prove is that certain products will stop malicious stuff of which they have prior knowledge. We are never told what the projectiles are, only that they were stopped to varying degrees See here..
Note that Microsoft Security Essentials gets a bashing, non-competitive no less, yet users of MSE and many professionals have yet to see any computer running it go down to virus infections in the REAL world. Compare this with the problems which users have with the super-invasive security suites which seem to block perfectly legitimate stuff for no good reason, and then make it hard to resolve, and the case for running MSE becomes a very good one.
Boycott the big suites. They offer the user no better REAL WORLD protection than MSE, while extorting subscriptions for protection against benign stuff.