10 May 14 – Symantec says antivirus is dead

Home Forums The Poll Discussion 10 May 14 – Symantec says antivirus is dead

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Racerbob 3 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #2276
    Nick Francesco
    Nick Francesco
    Keymaster

    Interesting statement from an antivirus company!

    #2277

    HotDawg
    Participant

    I think they have decided they can’t make large amounts of money with the free alternatives doing as good a job.

    The antivirus war has always been one of putting fires out — not doing much toward the prevention of the fire in the first place.

    In the early days, compilers for C and such had options that would check for buffer overflow. So many security issues these days seem to be due to the ability to overflow a buffer and get into memory areas the hacker isn’t supposed to have access to.

    Maybe there needs to be more effort put toward making applications bullet-proof in the beginning, rather than the constant patching that goes on.

    #2279

    RChandra
    Participant

    Actually the sophisticated antivirus programs no longer have just a list of patterns/signatures but also use heuristics to detect “virusy” behavior. So in a sense this is “fire prevention.”

    There will always be software flaws, even in the face of tools such as you mentioned which can flag buffer overruns. Some subset of these flaws will be exploitable. Buffer overflows and stack tricks are certainly prevalent but I have to believe they’re not the only exploits.

    #2280

    RChandra
    Participant

    My antivirus is running Linux. No, it’s not invulnerable, but I guess for many reasons it’s not a popular target. Plus when flaws are found they’re fixed sometimes within hours. Take Heartbleed…reported on a Monday (I think), updated Xubuntu package applied on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

    #2283
    Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    In the early days, compilers for C and such had options that would check for buffer overflow. So many security issues these days seem to be due to the ability to overflow a buffer and get into memory areas the hacker isn’t supposed to have access to.

    Maybe there needs to be more effort put toward making applications bullet-proof in the beginning, rather than the constant patching that goes on.

    We could stop writing so much stuff in C? Ruby, Python, Java, and others are immune from buffer overflow.

    #2292

    HotDawg
    Participant

    While languages like Python and Java may be immune from buffer overflow, I don’t think they are as efficient in generating nice concise code for a particular platform. Some of those languages profess to have compilers — I suspect those compilers only do a half a job as far as generating machine code. I know the old Microsoft Basic compiler generated many, many calls to a library package of routines.

    C, on the other hand, can be compiled into machine language which is close to what someone writing in assembler would produce. Turn the optimizer on, and it may do even better!

    Interpretive languages certainly have their place — but not generally for operating systems and utilities.

    #2293

    Racerbob
    Participant
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