Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Norton Antivirus Sucks

I just got back from a trip, where I got hit with the Virtuemonde virus. Norton never even picked it up. When I contacted Norton, they told me that they would escalate the problem, which I learnt meant paying Norton $99 to fix it.

Fortunately, Malwarebytes, along with Spybot, fixed it. I wonder what Norton actually does except slow down my computer.


gordon said...

Hear! Hear! Norton just about killed my computer a few years ago, and it took me ages to get Norton out of the system - it's like a virus itself.

yoshi said...

Anti-virus programs can only deal with issues that they know about. Which isn't helpful when variants of the same virus can be released within hours and even minutes of the previous release. So it doesn't matter if its Norton, McAfee, Sophos or whatever ... new virus's will be missed.

Keep your machine patched and always use the very latest version of your anti-virus program.

Or just buy a Mac.

Anonymous said...

I finally ripped out McAfee when it was taking hours for a print job to get started. Removing it completely required purchasing a Registry cleaner. The Antivirus program was very incapable of removing itself.

Norton seemed to cause less system slowdown at first, but kept getting worse. Finally I have Norton set only to do weekly virus scans; everything else, as much as I can get it, is turned off.

Anonymous said...

Norton made better motorbikes - they should stick to what they know. I gave up on them years ago. I just use AVG free and am careful. Failing that I follow the instructions on the net for removing whatever I have caught. (Mac is fine as long as you are not using Bootcamp or Parallels to swap to windows... Intel Macs are very, very nice.)

One Salient Oversight said...

I don't use an anti virus at all.

I'm one of those insufferable people who run Linux and think it is da bomb, which it is.

Daro said...

Ha! I wrote a review of Norton Security so stinging it still hits the top 10 in anti-Norton reviews after 5 years. It nearly cost me my client it was so bad.

Norton and McAfee are junk for 2 reasons:
1. Because they are so "high profile" most hackers write with them specifically in mind. So they're worse than useless; they'll cheerfully chirp away that all is well while you get screwed.
2. They long ago gave up meaningfully trying to stop the unstoppable; namely, rootkits, trojans, registry exploits, WELD, etc. That's all in addition to common viruses. They just shoot at 80+% protection and hope for the best with multiple warnings.

Use NOD, Avast or Kaspersky. In that order. But even then, they won't last forever before finally being broken down by an onslaught of malware banging away at first damaging your settings and then later exploiting the hole.

What do I use? After 8 years of studying registry hacking: nothing. I've rewritten and closed off my registry in 10's of thousands of ways to inoculate my XP PC. M$ have built in the most asinine number of open services and keys that you'll never, ever use that neither Norton nor MaCafee ever dare to touch for dear of angering M$. So I almost never, ever get infected. And when I do, it shows up immediately and I kill it manually.

Tips for knowing if your infected:
Does your mouse pointer feel "heavy" (delayed on movement)? Or jerk away suddenly? Do your sounds like the "click" when you open a folder no longer play? Do appearance changes you make to folders reset back to default ever? Do any windows change size or pop down unbidden?
Bingo, you're infected.

To FULLY remove Norton or McAfee there is a free removal tool for each of them. Just Google their names with "removal tool".

Leigh Caldwell said...

If you're interested in some of the industry background to this issue, Security Myths by John Viega is a good read. It is written by an ex-CTO of McAfee and explains why antivirus software kind of does, and kind of doesn't work - outlining some alternative approaches like cloud malware detection that will be more effective.

Disclaimer: the author is a friend of mine.

Anonymous said...

McAfee and Norton suck, AVG and Webroot are far better and can always find the problem, webroot is also damn good at finding HackTools Viruses and Trojans.

Sean Heeger said...

I haven't use antivirus apps since 2002. I just learned to teach my systems not to hear "bad guy".

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