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  • Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

    I've mentioned before that there's lots of 'expert opinion that anti-virus programs are useless against competent attacks. I was browsing through some Linux related sites and came across this article:

    https://sites.google.com/site/easyli...y#TOC-Firewall

    Whilst the article is Linux related, the warnings are particularly applicable to Windows systems - because they are the most popular systems to be targeted and also are notably more vulnerable.

    Here are the main points:

    "b. Antivirus introduces a dangerous vulnerability
    Furthermore, antivirus software sometimes even actively endangers your system: AV software itself is currently being attacked more and more. Because it has by definition high permissions on the system and because it's often inadequately protected against hacking.... This makes AV software an ideal target for hackers.

    Antivirus applications have been designed to read and open as many file types as possible. Because everything can theoretically contain a virus. Unlike ordinary applications, which can only read and open certain specific file types.

    For example: word processors can usually only open document related files, and no mp3 music files. For media players the reverse is true.

    Because antivirus can read and open everything, and actually does precisely that during a scan, its potential vulnerability (attack surface) is much bigger. And therefore also its attraction as target for people with malicious intentions. That's not just theory; more about that later....

    c. No real protection against zero day
    Even the claim of antivirus companies that their products offer some protection against "zero day" attacks is misleading: the antivirus software itself is just as vulnerable to zero day attacks as the software it claims to protect.

    d. False sense of security
    Finally, antivirus software gives you a false sense of security, which might make you less cautious about installing software from external sources."

    Jim

  • #2
    Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

    Seems we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.
    John

    "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

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    • #3
      Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

      Long time Debian GNU/Linux user (since 2001). I've never used any anti-virus software and never had any problems. I do however only install software from reputable sources and make sure the packages have been signed.

      Unless you have some Windows software that you *must* use, I would recommend using a Linux based distribution instead. Even if you have some Windows software you must use you can still use Linux as your base system and run the Windows software in a VM or emulator.

      As far as photo software is concerned there is a wealth of solutions including: RawTherapee, Darktable, GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, UFRaw etc.

      Try a Linux distro, it doesn't cost anything and you won't be disappointed.

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      • #4
        Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

        You all know my views!
        Paul
        E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
        flickr
        Portfolio Site
        Instagram

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        • #5
          Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

          Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
          You all know my views!
          I was thinking of you when I wrote it, Paul!

          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

            Originally posted by fitheach View Post
            Long time Debian GNU/Linux user (since 2001). I've never used any anti-virus software and never had any problems. I do however only install software from reputable sources and make sure the packages have been signed.

            Unless you have some Windows software that you *must* use, I would recommend using a Linux based distribution instead. Even if you have some Windows software you must use you can still use Linux as your base system and run the Windows software in a VM or emulator.

            As far as photo software is concerned there is a wealth of solutions including: RawTherapee, Darktable, GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, UFRaw etc.

            Try a Linux distro, it doesn't cost anything and you won't be disappointed.
            I started with Slackware in the 90s. IIRC the kernel was at 0.95. I spent several years with Slackware, recompiling the kernel each time a new one came out. I've since migrated to Xubuntu.

            I only use Windows in order to run Photoshop. I find the Linux distro graphics tools still aren't up to PS. Colour management is still tricky, though I haven't delved into it much.

            Jim

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            • #7
              Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

              Originally posted by Jim Ford View Post
              I spent several years with Slackware, recompiling the kernel each time a new one came out. I've since migrated to Xubuntu.

              I only use Windows in order to run Photoshop. I find the Linux distro graphics tools still aren't up to PS. Colour management is still tricky, though I haven't delved into it much.
              Jim
              Oh well, trying-out Linux isn't appropriate for you

              For everyone else there are many Linux distros that are suitable for the novice computer user. I haven't had to compile a kernel for years.

              When I am designing stuff for commercial print runs I use a colour managed process, all done on Linux. It used to be a problem getting Linux drivers for some calibration hardware, but even that isn't such a problem now. Working with 16-bit images and using profiles is fairly straightforward. I mostly use RawTherapee and find it an excellent raw photo editor. Others swear by Darktable, but I've never used it.

              I see that support for Photoshop is quite good in Wine:
              https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManag...ss=application

              If I were going to run Photoshop, I would use a VM. I use Virtualbox, mainly through familiarity, and it always works well for me. Install Virtualbox, install a Windows version into that Virtualbox and finally install Photoshop. Running Photoshop is then just a couple of clicks away but you have the peace of mind having Linux as your primary operating system.

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              • #8
                Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                Since Windows 10, I’ve not felt the need to purchase virus detection. I’m sure the defences are anything but perfect, but Microsoft does update them daily; often more than once in a day.

                I read somewhere that Microsoft upped their own game because they regard the anti virus software makers as the biggest cowboys of all.

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                • #9
                  Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                  I have not been able to download any photos from my E1 onto the laptop, as it packed up on my arrival into the U.K. in August. It is one of the reasons I have been hanging around the out of focus area and not posting up photos. Then I went to Ireland. Cutting a long story short, the MacBook Pro in still in the repair shop in London. I am hoping to collect it tomorrow, all fixed and ready to go. It has needed replacements for a burnt out DC board, a new charger, a new battery and an upgrade to an SSD drive. There are no photos, no documents and only basic apps on the laptop, as everything has been wiped clean. The important things are in the cloud. Other stuff is on another MBP in Nairobi.

                  For antivirus on Macs, what do users prefer? Thank you.
                  All the best

                  Phil
                  https://www.flickr.com/gp/gatekeeperphil/44A3Dc

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                  • #10
                    Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                    Originally posted by Gate Keeper View Post
                    I have not been able to download any photos from my E1 onto the laptop, as it packed up on my arrival into the U.K. in August. It is one of the reasons I have been hanging around the out of focus area and not posting up photos. Then I went to Ireland. Cutting a long story short, the MacBook Pro in still in the repair shop in London. I am hoping to collect it tomorrow, all fixed and ready to go. It has needed replacements for a burnt out DC board, a new charger, a new battery and an upgrade to an SSD drive. There are no photos, no documents and only basic apps on the laptop, as everything has been wiped clean. The important things are in the cloud. Other stuff is on another MBP in Nairobi.

                    For antivirus on Macs, what do users prefer? Thank you.
                    I don't use any on my iMac they are more trouble than benefit. I have been a Mac user for over 15 years and never had an issue. (There I have gone and said it now, so thats done it )
                    Dave

                    My Flickr

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                    • #11
                      Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                      Originally posted by wornish View Post
                      I don't use any on my iMac they are more trouble than benefit. I have been a Mac user for over 15 years and never had an issue. (There I have gone and said it now, so thats done it )
                      Dave, thank you. Your reply is reassuring.
                      All the best

                      Phil
                      https://www.flickr.com/gp/gatekeeperphil/44A3Dc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                        I use Sophos free on all my Macs, only time it’s ever found anything nasty has been when I’ve plugged in old ext HDDs or flash drives, and they’ve all been from Windows kit.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                          As I've said before I don't use AV software at all, just a solid firewall (ZoneAlarm) and MailWasher to get rid of any e-mail nasties before they hit my computers. One machine I bought a few years ago came with MacAfee preinstalled which basically prevented it doing its job (a media centre) due to the high overhead. I uninstalled MacAfee since when the machine has worked properly and I've never had a malware issue. Occasionally I have suspected one and run Malwarebytes, but aside from the odd tracking cookie it's never found anything. The best AV strategy in my opinion is care and common sense.
                          Regards
                          Richard

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                          • #14
                            Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                            Originally posted by Otto View Post
                            As I've said before I don't use AV software at all, just a solid firewall (ZoneAlarm)
                            Google:

                            'zone alarm sucks'

                            It also goes for any other 'third party' firewall (but not the native W10 one)

                            Jim

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                            • #15
                              Re: Anti-Virus Programs 'Useless'

                              I tried that; most of the results are several years old and from forums, and appear to be more about the AV aspect of ZoneAlarm which I don't have. My experience with it as a firewall has always been good, and this 2016 PC Magazine review seems to be equally positive.

                              If you search for "Zonealarm firewall sucks" (which is more relevant) you get far fewer negative results and mostly positive reviews. YMMV of course .
                              Regards
                              Richard

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