Wednesday, March 24, 2010

bad advice: disable your av

i'm sure you can probably think back and remember at least one example of a piece of software you've installed in the past that came with directions suggesting you disable your anti-virus before you install.

that little pearl of anti-wisdom has been with us a long, long time and has always irked me. the software industry, whether too lazy, too hurried, or to ignorant to know any better, decided that rather than resolve whatever conflict they may encounter with security software it would be better to train users to drop their defenses.

what could possibly go wrong?

plenty could go wrong, of course, not the least of which being that once the users are effectively trained to drop their defenses when told it would be trivial for malware authors to distribute their wares with instructions telling people to disable their av. who needs to develop technical measures to bypass anti-virus when you can simply tell users to turn it off for you and have them do it like good little trained monkeys.

well, nowadays more and more applications are being delivered to users over the internet, specifically over the web, and along with that, anti-malware products are focusing increasingly on web-borne threats. as such you can probably guess this was bound to happen eventually:

yeah, this WTF moment was brought to you by a facebook application development company called chainn who thought it would be a good idea to tell users to disable (or even remove) norton anti-virus. hey, it worked well enough back in the days of desktop applications, right? why not facebook applications too? i mean, really, what's more important, online safety or finding out how you fit in amongst your friends?

apparently they also have some problems with adblock plus - i wonder why?


Anonymous said...

That is the worst bit of advice I have every heard these companies deserve the a gigantic slap with a wet noddle, lol, and I would never turn of Sophos no matter who told me too :)

jnievele said...

Actually, removing Norton AV _is_ good advice, they just forgot the "and replace it with a better and faster AV software" ;-)