Get PJ Media on your Apple

VodkaPundit

You’ve Been Hacked

May 5th, 2014 - 2:09 pm

None other than Symantec Veep Brian Dye says that anti-virus software is dead:

Rather than fighting to keep the bad guys out, new technologies from an array of companies assume hackers get in so aim to spot them and minimize the damage.

Network-equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc. JNPR -0.16% wants customers to place fake data inside their firewalls to distract hackers. Shape Security Inc., a Silicon Valley startup, assumes that hackers will steal passwords and credit-card numbers so seeks to make it difficult to use the pilfered information. FireEye Inc. FEYE +0.20% created technology that scans networks for malicious-looking computer code that made it past the first line of defense. FireEye recently paid $1 billion for Mandiant, a small firm led by former Air Force investigators who act like cyber-Ghostbusters after a data breach.

Symantec seeks to join the fray this week. It is creating its own response team to help hacked businesses. Within six months, the Mountain View, Calif., company plans to sell intelligence briefings on specific threats so clients can learn not just that they are getting hacked, but why as well.

That’s great for big corporate clients, but what about small businesses where the owner is also likely the entire IT “department,” or for home users?

To be fair, Dye also said that, “We don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.” I’m guessing that means his company will keep selling antivirus protection to consumers, but that their big money will come from corporate clients.

There might still be money to be made if two conditions were met:

• Symantec’s own “protection” would stop something significantly more than “just 45% of cyberattacks,” as the WSJ story claims.

• Symantec’s software weren’t such an in-your-face, pain-in-the-rear to use.

It’s been years since I had to deal with Norton’s security suite on an every day basis, and I don’t miss it one bit.

All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I suspect the article comes from the AV companies trying to drum up new business. Note that just about every major player started out selling a single-use program and they've all blown up into "suites." Even ZoneAlarm has fallen victim to this pathology. They're looking for more revenue.

Another reason might be Microsoft's Security Essentials. Free with XP & later, automated virus updates, easily scheduled regular deep scans as well as quick scans for downloads, etc. It seems to work quite well. And it's free.

Put them together and we have falling revenue & market share. Time to fire up the FUD machine!!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Relying on static signature based detection was doomed a long time ago. Researches can't add signatures as fast as malware authors can change their code. It's a losing battle. In fact, most AV software doesn't check all signatures, just what they think is the most prevalent "at the time". So old virii could technically still work (though most of the time the OS has hardened by then so it wouldn't work anyway).

Better solutions involve only running signed, validated code (like 0Max0's comment below) or looking for anomalous behavior (which can be hard). Enforcing better coding practices to prevent exploitable bugs would help too - MS (for all the faults) have made huge progress there compared to other vendors. Nothing is completely safe though.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been extremely happy with Malwarebytes. They just did a major revision, going from version 1.75 to 2. It's caught a bunch of stuff that version 1 didn't get.

Unfortunately, they also went from lifetime license to 1 year subscriptions for version 2.

Happily a pretty good deal is http://www.malwarebytes.org/eureka/ where they're still selling another 3000 or so lifetime licenses. I guess they want to cater to the folks scouring the net for the older licenses. Happily, it takes the worry out of fakes, since it's their site.

I'm not affiliated, I'm just a computer geek by day and the free lifetime computer support person for a large extended family by night. Malwarebytes has been a godsend to me.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does this mean I should get rid of my AVG Free?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you really like AVG, for quite a while, Newegg was selling Malwarebytes with a free license to AVG. There should be a few floating around eBay and such for pretty cheap.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Years ago, AVG definitely helped me. Now, I don't know if it's just a benign cyst on my hard drive.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've banished anything Symantec from any of my wife's and my computers, but my mother-in-law insists on keeping it.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rumor has it that it has gotten far less horrible in the last decade. I only have that second hand, though.

For many years, one of my most used utilities was Symantec's own "remove all traces of Symantec programs".exe, and it worked very well.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Personally, I have never put trust in antivirus software preferring the "clean hands policy": always know what code you run with what privileges. This worked perfectly well for me on Win* and even better on Linux.

The mobile OSes, unfortunately, are significantly less transparent to administer, to the point of not giving the owner of the hardware root privileges by default (and of course iOS really puts you through the wringer to achieve that). That's one of the reasons I don't take currently existing mobile platforms seriously. If you surrender control over your operating environment to the vendor, you're no longer responsible for your own security.

Just wait till this problem hits cars, big time...
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Symantec and McAffee are horrible CPU and memory sinks. I use Clam AV. Far as I see it works the best for the price, which is free. Windows defender is another. It's not great, but it's free more or less and works on some level.

Nearly all the people I know that were hacked did something stupid. Like click on an attachment from someone they didn't know. So step #1 - don't do stupid things. And I know Stephen isn't a huge fan of google, but for trivial email it can't be beat. Most of the web services - Google, and even verizon, do scanning for you.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems to me that most of the attachments my clients click is from people they do know. Their email accounts just got hijacked. I'm a fan of outsourcing my email scanning to Google too.

I'm pretty sure that Barry's snoops are reading all the packets going past anyway, as well as the vast majority of my email going through Big Data anyway.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All