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ScrewUpgrading

Anti-Virus programs are a virus

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I was messing around with my computer and decided to install AVG Free Edition 7.5.524 to see what it would do to my computer, and also to see if it would detect any viruses that ClamWin missed.

Besides being a gigantic resource hog and slowing my computer down by 50%, AVG didn't detect any viruses. Mind you, this was the outdated 2008 version, the last to work on Win9x.

I've been using ClamWin for the last 3 years or so. Never had a single virus on Windows ME. (I should clarify what I just said: ClamWin has never detected any viruses, but that doesn't mean I'm virus free).

So, I've decided there's no point in having Anti-Virus installed. All it does is drain system resources. I see no point in "signature based" anti virus software. By the time it detects something it's too late. You're gonna have to reinstall windows anyway. I have more faith in a good reformat than I do the ability of anti-virus programs to "repair" a virus infection.

I was using my sister's laptop with Vista on it. She finally let me fiddle around on it for more than 25 seconds. Anyway, after some checking I noticed she had no anti-virus software installed. Only the Microsoft firewall that came with it.

I decided to download some programs while she was busy to see how many viruses were crawling around on this 6 year old laptop. I figured her default browser (IE 8) would be filled with spyware and viruses.

I downloaded ClamWin, SuperAntiSpyware, AVG2011. None of them found any viruses/spyware. Nothing. I promptly uninstalled them.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised. She manages to get by on just Microsoft's firewall. It's all that's necessary.

I figure if Windows Vista can get by on just using a firewall, being newer and more prone to the latest virus attacks, then Win9x could too. In fact, Win9x should be practically immune as long as you have a firewall and are careful of what you download. Correct me if I'm wrong. Seriously, shouldn't it be easier on Win9x b to "plug up all the holes" than Vista? Or am I missing something?

So I removed Clamwin. Worthless piece of junk never detected anything anyway. And I just freed up 12 Megs of RAM. I'm never using an anti-virus program again, unless it's something portable and light, which can fit on a flash drive, or it's like Dr Web or Stinger ( i.e. single executable files). If you ask me, anti-virus programs are a virus in themselves. They're useless, they do nothing, they slow your computer down, they allows Anti-Virus vendors access to your computer. Sounds like a virus to me.

I always suspected in the back of my mind that the people who write viruses probably worked at McAfee or Symantec anyway. It's a scam!

I'm trying to get my computer as fast as possible and streamlined without useless crap clogging it up. So, adios virus scanners.

Edited by ScrewUpgrading

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On 9x you really need no AV soft, I have not had any for over 3 years now and time to time scans at work with Nod32 don't reveal anything harmful. 2K I cannot comment on, but on XP you definitely need some virus protection I have had several occasions when I did a fresh install, went on to download some soft and blango the mouse went above some ad or something and I had virus infestation. PC was near useless and at that point I did reinstall as time to remove them to actually get programs run again so you could install them would have taken more time than reinstall. Windows vista and 7 seem to be quite stable, but both being current targets I would install something on it (something = anything but AVG, that one indeed is a virus...).

In any case, on 9x I use nothing locally, but for all beyond I do install something.

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I haven't had a virus since my fresh install about a year ago. I'm running Windows Xp and just remove Microsoft Security Essentials. (It did slow my computer down) Uninstalling it, I definitely seen a difference.

I haven't gotten a virus in a long time, but then again I'm behind a router and firewall. I don't download from unknown sites, and I use a host file with about

180,000 websites blocked.

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On my 98 I have no antivirus either, but just a firewall. Of course I don't use a web browser on it either.

For a newer OS, I agree most AV are resource hogs. The lightest ones are MSSE and Avast.

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I used to have Avira and later Avast running in the background but nowadays I just have Avast installed but switched off and use it only for on-demand scanning.

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not all are scam, but I personally avoid hyped products and stick with one I know for longest time (I won't advertise which is it)

enough to say is, from XP to "7", it never missed anything and it isn't bloatware, been sticking with same product for ~5 years now

use your product with HOSTS file, properly configured Firewall and a good browser that has popup/scam blocker

Edited by vinifera

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What about NOD32, I've heard it's pretty lightweight.

Would a definition like:

Not as bloated as most other ones[1]

be OK? :unsure:

jaclaz

Notes:

[1] Anything "Norton" or "Symantec" released in the last, say, 8 or 10 years excluded as they are ONLY a mass of bloat (IMNSHO)

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I always suspected in the back of my mind that the people who write viruses probably worked at McAfee or Symantec anyway.

At one time, that might have been possible but nobody ever proved it. There's no need for an AV vendor to do that any more. There's already way more than they can keep up with. Identifying and blocking malicious code was fine when there was a few dozen or hundred of them, not the 6 and 7 digit quantities we have now. IMO, the AV is an idea that has long outlived its usefulness and should have died long ago. The primary reason AVs are still around is because they're profitable for the vendor. They keep users dependent on constantly updated signatures in order to get any semblance of protection (rented pseudo-protection at best). I wouldn't call them a scam, more like a racket where the flawed design of the OS (the "out of the box" default-permit settings) creates the need for something to protect it.

On any version of Windows, a user who takes the time to understand how their system works can implement a default-deny policy that will make an AV unnecessary. It's been about 6 years since I've run a resident AV on any system and almost 5 since I've had a manual scanner. IMO, AVs are for those casual users who don't want to know about computers or how they work and don't want any active role in securing it, but still think that they need to run as an administrator. They need an AV to protect them from themselves. The 98CD has a policy editor that's not installed by default. It can be installed from the control panel>add-remove programs>windows setup tab. Use "have disk" and navigate to it. It's located at "Install_CD\Image\tools\reskit\netadmin\poledit.inf". You can use it to create a whitelist of allowed apps and allow only those applications to run. If you want something stronger and more configurable (and a lot more complicated) the free version of System Safety Monitor is the only Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) that is compatible with Win98. Definitely not for the novice.

Seriously, shouldn't it be easier on Win9x b to "plug up all the holes" than Vista?

Yes, it is much easier. XP and newer have a lot bigger attack surface than 98. XP and newer systems have a lot of services running by default, many of which are unnecessary for most users. These services often open ports that are completely unnecessary. On 98, all that's open by default are the NETBIOS ports (137-139). Websites like Black Vipers have extensive sections dedicated to Windows services, getting control of them and the ports that they open. On 98, one configuration change will close the few ports open by default. Instructions for closing those ports can be found here. Unless you need or want control over the outbound connections for individual applications, 98 doesn't really need a firewall. Unlike AVs, some of the software firewalls that are 98 compatible are so light that they have almost no impact on your system at all. Kerio 2.1.5 is one such firewall.

The single best thing that you can do to stay malware free on 98 is avoid using Internet Explorer or remove it completely with 98lite (even the free version) or IEradicator. Any browser (except IE5) is a better choice. You'll not only be less vulnerable to malware from the web (what little of it still works on 98), your system will be faster and more stable.

Anything "Norton" or "Symantec" released in the last, say, 8 or 10 years excluded as they are ONLY a mass of bloat (IMNSHO)

:thumbup The bloat masters. I used Norton Internet Security one time for a few months. My boot time went from 45 seconds to over 2 minutes. Once it finally booted up, my system resources were under 50%, before I did anything. With just casual web browsing, my system would run out of resources in about 30 minutes. Norton would pop up every few minutes, claiming to have protected me from a "wincrash" attack (which I think was nothing more than a port scan). A Google search for info on a medicinal plant one day landed me on a malicious page that completely destroyed Norton's built in popup blocker, after which the rest of Norton crashed, followed by the OS crashing. Once I managed to reboot, Nortons AV claimed I was infected and it couldn't remove it. Found removal instructions elsewhere. Removing it was easy. No idea why NIS couldn't handle it. A few weeks later, first thing in the morning, I found several layers of "alerts" from Norton on the desktop. Sometime during the night, something (never could determine what it was) managed to make the PC dial out (was on dialup at the time) then granted itself internet access through Nortons firewall. Norton kept a very nice log of the entire incident but did nothing to stop it. That was the end of Norton on anything that I use. Never again.

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I lived without AV software on Windows 7 and Vista for about 3 years. 3 times I was infected - once a year. All the three times I handled it myself without system reinstall. Once I just had to boot in Safe Mode and remove virus files from Windows directory and from Autorun in registry. Second was Neshta virus that associated itself with all the exe files and infected them. Had to write a simple program that launches the command line given as its parameters and replace the virus file with it to be able to launch programs. After that cured all the infected exes with Dr Web Cure-it and restored the exe association in registry. Third time had to use some AV tool that I don't remember exactly (like AVZ but not the AVZ) to get rid of a rootkit. Lost some application settings in registry but not so much. Now I'm using Outpost Security Suite that I've got from giveawayoftheday. Computer slowed down 50%, but I think, I'll live with it until my 1 year license is valid. Though I consider AV is not mandatory, you just need to be accurate. 2 of 3 times I got viruses just because I was too lazy to check a suspicious file on VirusTotal.

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The secret service lobby obviously prevented hardware to become virus-proof by design to still allow their own spyware to be installed, which helps the spread of other malware exploiting the same vulnerabilities.

So antiviruses were made, those have a good reason (plausible denial...) of regularly downloading new instructions, of searching whole harddisk contents for some kinds of "patterns", of being encrypted and of uploading things they found back to some obscure places online. So IMO there is no more logical place to camouflage harddisk espionage tools (or even enshroud an entire secret botnet layer) than inside regular antivirus programs. Everybody uses them (me too) and it may be a bad idea not too. But to me each virus scan feels a bit like an invisible house search by mystery intruders. Thus anybody who got a reason to fear NSA or other worldwide watchers scanning their harddisks should better stay away from antivirus software and instead use some exotic hard- and software that is safe enough without.

I don't know if ClamWin (open source) may be less likely to contain national spyware, but depending on the country that made an antivirus, it is easy to conclude whose secret service bugged it as a trojan to watch us.

Edited by CyberyogiCoWindler

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I don't know if ClamWin (open source) may be less likely to contain national spyware, but depending on the country that made an antivirus, it is easy to conclude whose secret service bugged it as a trojan to watch us.

Well, the whole point about Open Source is that you can check and see for yourself.

As a side note, the developing teams between Clam AV and ClamWin are as international and as cross-country as possible.

 

jaclaz

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