Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Antivirus Software: Not As Protective As You Think

Most of us think it’s vital that you keep your antivirus software current. This is how we can protect our systems from viruses. Recently MIT's Technology Review published an article that opposes this “given” we have all lived by.


Antivirus Software: Unreliable?


The antivirus software that we have paid for and long relied on to safeguard our information may not be effective. The technology is running a race with malware programs and malware is winning. More sophisticated and tricky to detect malware comes out every day and this is very concerning to those of us who access the Internet on a day-to-day bases.


Burned by Flame


The Technology Review story concentrates on Flame, probably the most complicated examples of malware ever discovered. According to the story, Flame has been copying documents and making recordings of audio, keystrokes, network traffic and Skype calls and taking screenshots of all this activity from the computers it has corrupted. What’s the worst part? Flame has been doing this for around two years, according to the Technology Review story. And during this time, not a single bit of security software discovered this particularly clever bit of malware.


An Industry Under Siege


Wouldn’t it be nice if Flame was the only malware that could get by antivirus software? Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are quite a few that are more than difficult to detect and as soon as antivirus software gets upgraded, malware is developed that challenges it even more. This doesn't mean it's not necassary to take all measures available to protect your computer, like keeping your antivirus software up to date. You should just be aware that there are viruses out there that may slip through. Hopefully the antivirus industry will eventually catch up with the growth of viruses and malware.

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