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Concerns Over Security Software 116

Arthbunot Bullwinkle writes to mention a BBC article exploring concerns about the future of security software. The piece looks at trends toward 'free' security products, such as ZoneAlarm, and wonders aloud about where those products will find themselves after Windows Vista is released. From the article: "'Now maybe the good ones will actually get rid of that attack but at the same time they may drop maybe 10 or 20 other attacks onto your system.' The bottom line, according to Mr Day, is that when you download free security software you cannot be certain what you get. But completely free security software may be a thing of the past when the new version of Windows hits the shops early next year. "
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Concerns Over Security Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:45PM (#16072770)
    I'm pretty sad Windows Vista is apparently killing this off.
    • What about the gazillions of people who won't be upgrading to Vista as their hardware won't be able to support it? There will still be a demand for the security software as long as they don't upgrade to Vista. This article doesn't even address that phenomenon.
      • 1) I, for one, won't be "upgrading" to Vista anytime soon.
        2) It won't kill off iptables
        3) I can't believe people still use iptables.
        • by symbolic ( 11752 )
          3) I can't believe people still use iptables.

          As opposed to...what? That bloated proprietary junk? I'd MUCH sooner run IPTables on a linux-based firewall than use any of the proprietary consumer stuff I've seen. There's no comparison.
      • That's a very valid point. We keep seeing these sensationalist articles about how much damage Vista is going to do when it comes about to this or that, as if everyone running Windows is going to switch en masse. In what universe will that take place? There are still people running 98 and 2k now, so why do these authors assume that 90% of Windows boxes are going to be running Vista less than a year after it's debut? Besides that, most Windows-users were running 98 (or, oh God, ME) when XP came out and XP was
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:51PM (#16072797) Homepage
    How is software that one pays for inherently safer?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dissman ( 997434 )
      It's not... they are talking about spyware laden programs to remove spyware. I think it's because most people are cautious on what they spend on.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Because Microsoft says it is!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by j35ter ( 895427 )
      Cause you can put the blame on the guy who sold you this stuff.
      Managers usually dont like free software out of liability concerns...weird, the obviously never read the EULA!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Managers usually dont like free software out of liability concerns...weird, the obviously never read the EULA!

        Or maybe they've noticed that EULAs aren't necessarily worth the paper they're written on. Has any EULA's "no liability" clause actually been tested in court?

        I suspect that it would be a lot easier to convince a judge that you're entitled to damages when you paid $2M for software from some vendor than if you had paid nothing.

        Of course, this all is assuming that when you said "free software",

        • umm a couple of bits of info
          1 if you buy a Redhat box (maybe enterprise desktop whatever) you have a number to call if you buy several pallets of boxes then most likely you have your own personal "ShadowMan" to call.

          2 littering for any reason is bad (and damages your Witness) SPAM for any reason is bad even if its the Kosher kind.
          • 1 if you buy a Redhat box (maybe enterprise desktop whatever) you have a number to call if you buy several pallets of boxes then most likely you have your own personal "ShadowMan" to call.

            I don't understand; What is your point? Red Hat Linux is mostly, if not entirely, free software.

            2 littering for any reason is bad (and damages your Witness) SPAM for any reason is bad even if its the Kosher kind.

            Yes; That's my point.

    • by Heembo ( 916647 )
      It gives you a clear target to SUE when shit hits the fan!
      • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:02PM (#16073019) Homepage Journal
        It gives you a clear target to SUE when shit hits the fan!

        Man, is that old chestnut still around?

        Let me answer the same way I answered my country programme director when he raised the same issue vis à vis commercial support for FOSS. He said to me that 'confidence' was very important, and that some managers just liked to feel that they had some recourse, even if that feeling was effectively fantasy.

        I looked at him and said, 'Since when is it our job to indulge people's fantasies? We have a fiduciary duty to our clients to provide them with the truth, and when indulging their misconceptions works against their best interests, we are duty-bound to advise them of the truth.'

        So now I'm going to say to you: You can't sue. If you do, you won't win. You gave up your right to sue when you agreed to the license.

        • So now I'm going to say to you: You can't sue. If you do, you won't win. You gave up your right to sue when you agreed to the license.

          You should note that ALL licenses have to obey the law. Did you notice that all liablity disclaimers end with "... to the extent provided by applicable law" or similar phrases. Maybe applicable law have to be changed (or does already, I don't know really) so if you pay for a license you get some kind of protection for your money.

          I just want to point out that this case is not
          • "... to the extent provided by applicable law" .... if you pay for a license you get some kind of protection for your money.

            So, how many people do you know of who have successfully sued Microsoft for selling them broken software?

            I've pretty much lost track of the number of people who think that AVG Free is faster and more effective than Norton's. -- and, of course we all know that OpenBSD can't hold a candle to Windows for security holes.

            Even if you could successfully sue MS for $selling you broke

        • You gave up your right to sue when you agreed to the license.

          IANAL, but I do lots of contract negotiations on behalf of my company. I do know this: A contract cannot allow the contracting parties to agree to ignore the law. In many jusisdictions, "lemon laws" and consumer-protection laws take precendence over any license agreement (or other contract).

          So, for example, the license agreement may say "software sold as-is with no warranty", but in many states require that all goods sold have basic fitness and

        • I RTFA, which could place me in the minority. Something bothered me about the article's view point; That we should all wait for the manufacturer of the product to create the necessary patch. Given historical events, that idea paints a picture of me, (waiting), as the peasant farmer; While the invading hordes come over the hills. Not cool.

          "slowly, one by one, the penguins steal my sanity" - Unknown
    • Because you can pay somebody to care about security. Come to think of it, it's probably even more true of free (as in freedom) software that you've paid for, because it's easier to catch a cheater when you have source code.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paeanblack ( 191171 )
      How is software that one pays for inherently safer?

      The price does not magically alter the safety, but the infrastructure required to collect and process payments does add some measure to the software's pedigree.

      To implicitly trust software that's purchased shrinkwrapped in a Walmart is foolish, but it's certainly far, far, safer than the "Click Here Now!!" spams. It's not the price that conveys trust, but the investment the seller has made into the distribution chain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kimvette ( 919543 )
      It's the warm fuzzy feeling some people get when they choose something they paid for over something that's free, because, if it's free, it's no good, right?
    • How is software that one pays for inherently safer?

      How many free and open source projects are starved for staff and funding? I get security updates from my cable ISP about four times a day.

      • Wow, if it has enough security holes to be able to be patched four times a day.... then you might wanna look somewhere else.
      • by morcego ( 260031 ) *
        You might as well ask yourself how many non-free, non-oss projects/companies die every year.
    • by saskboy ( 600063 )
      Paid security software is much more dangerous on average. The only way crooks make money on "security software" is by tricking people into paying for the stuff that introduces more crap onto the system, like McAfee, Symantec, and Bullgard and the spyware ilk.
    • It is hard to somehow disregard the cost factor when determining the worth of what you are using.

      I almost think our brains are hard-wired to think that we "get what we pay for". Perhaps the roots of this idea is that the vendor/seller, creator, etc. really put a lot into the product, and fair is fair, charge what it is worth.
      So, some of the free products are just as good, because they tell you the creator of the software is on a mission, having been wronged sometime in the foggy, distant past, and is not go

    • Yeah, I think Symantec showed us just how safe the software we buy is.

      (open sarcasm)
      That Norton Security Suite didn't have any spyware or anything built into it. It didn't basically root kit everyone's machine that installed it.
      (end sarcasm)

      I'm all in favor of the open source guys. I run ClamWin on several machines. I've found it to be reliable and quite effective. I keep hoping that they'll release an enterprise type console where I can force updates, force scans, and lock users out of their settings.

      I
    • I don't know why anyone would blindly download something without researching it, but I wouldn't put it past him. I always search for its name to look up its reputation, and to dig up the dirt [if any] on it. More often, I go off of my friends' tips for good apps.

      Plus, I think that paid software actually has the potential to be more dangerous. You could either download an app and find out it's malware...or you could *pay* for an app and find out it's malware! At least the free versions let you see if it'
    • by blkros ( 304521 )
      Because the people who want to sell it to you say so.
      Trust them.
      And, of course, Microsoft thinks that closing off their OS even more, will make it safer. HAHaHa.
    • hacker will like the challenge that kidda tricky..no matter the software that we use paid or not..althought is a good to used paid software rather than download from internet..how about piracy software that those people buy?people also pay for it ('',)
  • Maybe chris had troubles fixing computers, as stated here [bbcworld.com] but we would hope there would be LESS of a need for 3rd party security apps with Microsoft's next gen Windows release...
     
    btw, what about Kate Russell below him, I wonder how she feels about pentration testing...
     
    I sacrifice my karma in the name of cthulu!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:52PM (#16072802)
    when you download free security software you cannot be certain what you get.
    ...On the other hand, when you buy Norton, you can be certain that what you get is crap.

    But completely free security software may be a thing of the past when the new version of Windows hits the shops early next year.
    ...However, retail security software will continue to exist as these products cater to a demographic that does not understand computers, and these people will always exist.
  • by Dissman ( 997434 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:53PM (#16072805)
    The biggest problem that I see with Vista is that everyone will be encouraged to use nearly identical software. It's why most viruses written get past Norton at least for a few days... everyone knows to test Norton and McAfee to be sure your virus works.

    I've always gained a bit of security by using Mozilla rather than IE... by viewing my e-mail in plain text rather than HTML. By using Zone Alarm rather than a Norton or Microsoft product. When you have everone using one piece of security software, it's less secure because if you can infiltrate one, you can infiltrate all.
    • ZoneAlarm is itself malware. See the first two questions on this page [brettward.co.uk].

      • ZoneAlarm is itself malware. See the first two questions on this page.

        And what other unsubstanciated personal opinion do you want us to swallow from you?

        Congratulations. You just won the bullshit of the day award!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by The MAZZTer ( 911996 )

        Wow, you believe what a random guy wrote on a random website? OK How about I try:

        ZoneAlarm is NOT malware.

        Haha! You're confused now!

        And as for that webpage, if the author simply didn't make their button url have the word "advert" in it it probably wouldn't be blocked by ZoneAlarm, durr. Adblock knows better than to let "advert"s though as well.

      • I have ZoneAlarm, and I see the advertise button there perfectly. So, the guy's lying.
    • What if you can't infiltrate the one piece of security software? Wouldn't it be better for everyone to have that one?

      Certainly, it's better to have alternatives if there's some problem with the existing one. But I think the downside of having one standard setup to rule them all is mostly negated by F/OSS -- rather than all the security work (and all the other work) going into many separate pieces of software, they go into one.

      I am not saying there shouldn't be alternatives, but every time I hear the anti-
      • Yes, if you can make perfect security software, that would be wonderful, but, in the real world, programs have bugs. ZoneAlarm is not necessarily any better than Norton or McAfee. It may even be worse. (I don't use any of them, I wouldn't know.) The important part is it is different. An attacker cannot realistic plan for dozens to hundreds of unique system setups. You mention F/OSS, but different Linux distros can be very different, and there are plenty of classes of applications with competing offerings (K
        • Sure, they do share most of the Linux kernel, but even there every distro has their own set of kernel patches.

          And when there are gaping security holes, they usually affect every distro. You don't usually see "Only affects distro x." It's not just the kernel, either. There's glibc, among other things -- we do try to share libs where it makes sense. This also means, when a fix is issued, it affects everything.

          The point is, the kernel gets closer to bug-free every day, and fixing a bug in the kernel fixe

          • Very true, a lot of lower level stuff is the same and shares patches. I was more thinking of the GUI applications that a user would be using. Even there, say, a media player, is probably using the same back-end code to play a video or song no matter which media player you are using (if it's a video, probably ffmpeg). (Hey, they could have buffer overflow bugs.)

            As I understand it, buffer overflow checking is not done everywhere because it is slow and sometimes the programmer can be sure that there will not

            • Portability is currently handled by distro maintainers.

              This is true. It's also not nearly as bad as it could be. I can still download a binary build of Doom 3 or Quake 4 and run its installer script, and have it pretty much just work on any modern distro, x86 or amd64. Gentoo provides an ebuild for convenience, not because it wouldn't ordinarily work.

              Malware could be confused by a different directory structure in a different distro.

              Maybe, maybe not. Distros tend to be converging on directory structur

    • and by using a product that actually shows you the functionality of html or any of the other higher functions we all risk the security but if you live in professional secure business the viruses are held at bay and you never I repeat never experience an impact to your daily life. I have been in one for over 5 years and would have to say that I only experienced the 4 hour delay in my SQL database server response as they patched it. Once that was done they were back online. A virus has not been able to inf
      • by Dissman ( 997434 )
        I read my *e-mail* in plain text... There is really no reason that my e-mail has to be flashy and glitzy or take input from an SQL database... that's not what I, or most everyone else needs from e-mail. In fact, with all the time you'd waste just making a simple e-mail message glitzy, i can get a fuckton more work done... and live in relative peace from a lot of the subliminal spam that's making it's rounds.

        Not to mention... Why is using Outlook and Internet Explorer... "being part of the 21st century?" Fi
  • by Jarnis ( 266190 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:54PM (#16072809)
    This is yet another good reason to avoid upgrading for now.

    Personally, one of the major reason why I haven't taken RC1 into actual use beyond testing it a bit is lack of compatible 3rd party firewall.

    Then again.. situation was pretty similar when Win2K came out - early on nothing was compatible. XP was easier because it is effectively a reskinned Win2K, and 99% of Win2K apps worked out of the box - even security products.

    Vista is quite a bit more than a reskinned XP, as lots of stuff under the hood has been reworked, and again it's just like Win2K - nothing works intially, but I'm sure over time the problem is going to be fixed. In fact, it's surprising how good the situation is, considering official launch is still several months away.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by dbIII ( 701233 )
      There's another solution - put your MS Windows machine under adult supervision with a network card that runs another OS and has a firewall with a web front end on it. External hardware firewalls are another answer and are a lot cheaper than the internal ones - but both avoid the problem of having to be comaptible mith the new Micrsoft Internet Protocol stack by only dealing with the packets - TCP, UDP or whatever. The only way third party networking stuff would run with Vista if the networking stack reall
      • by Jarnis ( 266190 )
        ... and they provide no application-level outbound filtering.

        Which is pretty much needed in today's "every program wants to call home" world. I want to decide what a (new) program gets to do as far as the network connection goes.

        I do have a firewall box between my computers and the world, but it only protects against inbound junk. It's impossible to manage against outbound threats without application-level blocking.

        Yes, in theory one could program a box to do stateful packet inspection and block specific ap
    • I agree that there is no real reason to 'upgrade' a Microsoft operating system. MS has reached the point where they have received a sum of money for a reasonably functional operating system on nearly every PC in the world. So the only way that they have to keep their profits and stock price high is to convince everybody to buy the same reasonably functional again and again at full price. But if you remove the eye candy, is MS Vista or whatever significantly better than the OS that you bought from them th
      • by Jarnis ( 266190 )
        Sadly if one of the major uses for the PC is gaming, 98 is obsolete, and 2K is starting to have some (rare) issues - mostly due to braindead programming or deliberate 'breaking' of apps to require XP. So for gaming, currently you have to have 2K or XP, and XP has less 'oddball' issues without any real drawbacks.

        And in the future, with DX10 getting no backport, you will either get Vista, or scrap PC as a gaming platform.

        I have no hurry to swap to Vista - it's still unfinished and probably will need it's fair
    • Jarnis: "Vista is quite a bit more than a reskinned XP, as lots of stuff under the hood has been reworked"

      Nope. It's just a reskinned XP with more DRM thrown in to the mix. Microsoft discovered that all their brilliant plans were not possible without proper programmers, so all the "improvements" were quietly dropped, and the same old crap was moved into the "new" product. It as a few extra "nag" boxes, to give the illusion of "security", but it's got even more significant holes than XP.

      Game Over, Microso
      • by Jarnis ( 266190 )
        Sorry, you are a misinformed troll.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windo ws_Vista [wikipedia.org]

        I will repeat myself: Vista is quite a bit more than a reskinned XP.

        No, it's not perfect (hey, it's a Microsoft product), and it will most likely have it's fair share of new holes, but MS has definitely done a lot more than when they reskinned 2K as 'Windows XP' (*that* was a reskin job).
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @05:57PM (#16072815) Homepage

    Um, I hate to defend Microsot, but unlike Internet Explorer, which had no need to be integrated into the OS as much as Microsoft claimed it was, but basic network security features are exactly the kind of thing that should be built into the OS. I hope that antivirus programs eventually become obsolete (likewise with firewalls *anywhere* except perhaps in extremely sensitive environments, but that's probably a long way off).

    Now, I'm not particularly confident that Microsoft will actually manage to render third-party security software obsolete, simply because the company just isn't all that good at software development, but I'm certainly not going to rebuke them for trying.

    • sigh. s/Microsot/Microsoft/; s/but basic network/basic network/;
    • MS generally provides pretty basic versions of software for their included versions. As you noted, IE is an exception, but things like the firewall, defragmenter and so on are functional and fine, but really don't compete with the stuff you can buy.

      The defragmenter is a great example. Windows 2000 and above have a built in one. It works on NTFS and FAT drives and does an ok job. How then do companies like Executive Software and Raxico survive making replacements for it? Simple: They make more feature rich v
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by value_added ( 719364 )
        MS generally provides pretty basic versions of software for their included versions. As you noted, IE is an exception, but things like the firewall, defragmenter and so on are functional and fine, but really don't compete with the stuff you can buy [...] The defragmenter is a great example. Windows 2000 and above have a built in one. It works on NTFS and FAT drives and does an ok job. How then do companies like Executive Software and Raxico survive making replacements for it? Simple: They make more feature
        • What's the fact that the included software was license from Executive Software (something I was aware of) got to do with anything?

          The point still stands: For most tools, MS includes a simple version, good enough to get the job done. This leaves plenty of market for those that want to produce more full featured versions for profit, sometimes including MS themselves (as in the case with Office and Wordpad).

          With defragmenters the included one does an ok job, but not a great one. Most people indeed no NOT purch
  • "We've seen plenty of examples where an attacker will actually create their attack either in or as part of a free security tool," said Greg Day of McAfee.

    It's ironic that somone from McAfee would dog free products that compete with them. The only AV products I've found on customer systems that were disabled by an infestation were Norton and McAfee products. People running free AV and firewall products are at least as safe as those running Norton or McAfee.

    • by Tx ( 96709 )
      Never mind being disabled by a targetted infestation - I've dealt with several systems that have been crippled by Norton software itself.
      • Never mind being disabled by a targetted infestation - I've dealt with several systems that have been crippled by Norton software itself.

        Yep, 95% CPU usage from a Norton process is always a fun sight to behold. McAfee is even worse because certain versions have a bug that causes CPU usage to go through the roof when a certain logfile exceeds a size limit. Solution is to move or delete the old log.

        -b.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim Browse ( 9263 )

      I'll never trust McAfee after a friend of mine installed the trial version of their AV software.

      On day 29 of the 30 day eval, it flagged a virus as being present on his PC. Suspicious, he set the clock back to the day before, and rebooted. No virus found. Restored the clock to the day before the eval ran out, and McAfee AV found the virus again.

      Not exactly trustworthy behaviour.

  • by Bryansix ( 761547 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:06PM (#16072843) Homepage
    Is it just me or does this guy sound like he is talking out of his ass? There will always be those "fake" security solutions out there that offer themselves for free but are actually spyware/malware. However, there is a large community of people who keep track of these programs and I can tell you that if GriSoft or the makers of ZoneAlarm started dropping trojan horses or spyware on your computer that there would be an uproar and you would hear about it. Right now it is pretty sad for the security companies that charge for their solutions. Every virus/worm that comes out nowadays automatically defeates Norton Anti-Virus or is design to escape its notice. Therefore solutions like Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus have a leg up sometimes in defeating these problems. In addition, none of the pay solutions do anything useful to prevent or get rid of spyware. While you can upgrade Ad-Aware or Spybot, both have free versions that work great!

    I wonder how much Symantec paid these guys to write this article.
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:10PM (#16072857) Homepage Journal

    Is Bill Gates planning an invasion of Canada [openbsd.org]? I know his "Trusted Computing" initiative is designed to eliminate choices [debian.org], but will that junk really work?

  • Pure FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nolife ( 233813 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:13PM (#16072865) Homepage Journal
    The bottom line, according to Mr Day, is that when you download free security software you cannot be certain what you get.

    Mr Day is Greg Day of McAfee.
    His intentions are for spreading FUD. There IS bogus spyware software and virus removal tools out there. Odd thing though is some are free and some you actually have to pay for. Having a cost does not make it legitimate at all and Mr Day is stating a criteria that unless you pay for it, chances are it may be a scam. Of course this also implies if you did pay for it, it is not a scam and that is far from the truth. Instead of breaking the FUD campaign into free and paid for, it should be split into "well known and trusted" and "not well known and trusted". Mr Day does not want it to be decided on well a known and trusted basis because to reach that status takes time and effort by a company, he wants everyone to just assume his companies software is the best solution and of course that HAS to come at a price.
    Sorry vendors and computer users but these are not binary decisions and it takes some research either way. Free or not free.
  • It's not like Windows Live OneCare is getting great reviews by anyone who's doing a comparison based off what threats it stops and which ones it doesnt. Even Ziff-Microsoft publications rated it #7th out of 10 a month after its release.
  • "...it has also released its own security product known as OneCare. The all in one package is designed to look after your computer and all your data, ..."

    Let's hope that all they are looking at is *security* related. Blind trust so often being a really Bad Thing®.
  • by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @06:49PM (#16072979)
    "The bottom line, according to Mr Day, is that when you download free security software you cannot be certain what you get."

    Can we not say the same for commercial software? How many people are still buying Norton Anti-virus despite it's somewhat public record because of it's brand name and price tag? What about firewall software? We've all seen plenty of reviews and comparisons showin firewall A to be better than firewall B and vice versa, but some of the best firewalls for Windows _are_ available for free (e.g. Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall [free version] or the rapidly developing Comodo Firewall).

    Nothing guarantees that because a product has a price tag attached it is better than any other product.

    How to find something reliable and trustworthy? The same way people have been doing it for years - identify knowledgable and reputable third-party reviewers, communities, and do a little research.
  • by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @07:05PM (#16073037) Journal
    Based on the fact that Vista will have been exploited seriously before it's even released. What M$ product hasn't been hit hard in the first week of release? I still have serious doubts about the ability of anyone in Redmond to spell security, much less do anything about it!
    • What M$ product hasn't been hit hard in the first week of release? I still have serious doubts about the ability of anyone in Redmond to spell security, much less do anything about it!

      When you learn how to spell "Microsoft" maybe someone off the Slashdot pages will listen.

      • So you criticize use of M$ to represent "Microsoft". The name refers to Microsoft's roots as a developer of implementations of the BASIC programming language. Microsoft's first products were BASIC interpreters for several 8-bit microcomputer platforms, notably including the Altair and Apple II. In fact, BASIC is the product line that Microsoft has continuously produced since the company's inception (Altair BASIC to Applesoft BASIC to GW-BASIC to QuickBASIC to QBasic to Visual Basic to VB.NET). Versions bef

      • by BCW2 ( 168187 )
        I used a 2 character abreviation that happens to state exactly what "small & limp" (Microsoft) stands for, anything that brings in money, whether it works or not is meaningless.
  • So does this mean that the 30 and 90 day trials of Norton and McAfee products are filled with malware or they lower their security settings to entice you to buy at the end of the trial period? Lol!

    By the sounds of it, Once vista is released, they will cramming their sw with crap to get people to buy it just like the others will.

    Let the feeding frenzy begin!!!!!
    • So does this mean that the 30 and 90 day trials of Norton and McAfee products are filled with malware or they lower their security settings to entice you to buy at the end of the trial period?

      Something like that. [slashdot.org]

  • in a book about psychology i read that "expensive products must be better than cheap products" is a thought that has been burned into our brains. In times of our parents and grandparents this was true (thats why they taught us that) but today it is just not true anymore

    today this thought is exploited by greedy companies that take more money for their products than comparable products cost, so people will think it was better

    I read a test once. a cheap noname dish liquid was place 1... I don't know abou
    • after reading some comments I now see that this guy didn't fall for this old psycho-trick, but is using it against his readers, because he works at McAfee...
  • Bad journalism (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Artcile is obvious FUD. Instead of provide information ot the public about which free security porgrams are not full of spyware, the BBC decide to blanket all free security software as unsafe, and help these companies sell their products.

    It's either bad journalism or an infomercial.
  • I know I can trust my free solution for AV and firewall protection. It's called using a Debian powered p3 box as a proxy. I had two Microsoft Updates fail because the scanner didn't trust them so it must work right.
    • I know I can trust my free solution for AV and firewall protection. It's called using a Debian powered p3 box as a proxy.

      You mean "free" as in speech, right? How much did the P3 box cost, and how much does its electricity cost over its lifetime? Many installations, especially in homes, would do a better job with a firewall/router/NAT appliance with a built-in 100BASE-TX switch and 802.11b/g access point.

  • hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahah....HA! Yes! Of course microsoft will release an operating system that is compltly secure and will not need third party support..and...ummmm.....ya...compltly secure...hahahah
  • OK, now, is Microsoft protecting itself from external threat or protecting it's monopoly?

    On a side note I had difficulties installing ZoneAlarm on Windows XP SP2. These was (seems) to be a conflit between the firewall of Zonealarm and the one in WindowsXP.. ( No network connection was possible) Anyway,

    It is a GREAT idea to isolate IE from the core of the OS. But I should be able to use the Firewall i want (Either the free or paid one.)

    Hargh, it's no use.. Please MS, continue to put barrier and block etc etc
  • you download free security software you cannot be certain what you get

    Because when he buys that software for a price then he can be certain what he'll get ? I won't even go on with that.

    Thing is, whatever good firewall and antivirus and whatever else Vista might contain, I'd rather trust a company with a long record of producing good firewall [etc] software than what MS will include in there. If he so much emphasizes the "trust" part of this whole thing, then the question is [falsely] seemingly simple: whi
  • Interesting FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @01:38AM (#16074534)
    Most security software that is downloaded comes with checksums you can and should check. That way you do know what you download is what you expect.
  • The same concern was when everyone was waiting for the Win 95 to be released. The future of the anti-virus companies especially. We all know what really happened.
  • Just Get Linux. Or Mac. Or *BSD. Or anything that has less security holes than swiss cheese. Microsoft products boast that they are 'secure' but security cannot be claimed, look at WinXP, they said that was secure, but today we know it has more holes than aluminium pits on a pressed CD.

    Microsoft should stop calling their products secure, even the networking stack is screwed. To anyone who upgrades within the first two years, I blissfully stand, point and laugh.

    Note, FC5, Ubuntu 6.06, Mac OS X and OpenBSD

  • 'do I want third parties, other than the manufacturers of the kernel (the core code of a computer's operating system) that I'm using, making changes to that?'
    Well, when the manufacturer of the kernel has a 20-year history of not being able to protect it even half as well as third-party vendors...
    ...yes.
  • every system have their own abilities and disabilities. just support them to do the best nextime..is for our own sake too.. ---- Windows supporter.. :p

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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