Former Mozilla dev says antivirus software is useless2017-01-27 14:59 by Daniela
Robert O'Callahan, a former Mozilla engineer, advises users not to use antivirus software. He explains in a post on his blog, that a security product can break down other applications running on a computer.
He then goes on to detail how some antivirus solutions blocked Firefox updates when the browser implemented ASLR in an attempt to actually offer users improved security. Users could no longer receive security updates for the browser, and Mozilla had no other option than working with antivirus developers on fixing these issues.
"Antivirus software vendors are terrible; don't buy antivirus software, and uininstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft's)," he says at the beginning of his post.
"AV products poison the software ecosystem because their invasive and poorly-implemented code makes it difficult for browser vendors and other developers to improve their own security," he continues.
"Users have been fooled into associating AV vendors with security and you don't want AV vendors bad-mouthing your product. AV software is broadly installed and when it breaks your product, you need the cooperation of AV vendors to fix it. (You can't tell users to turn off AV software because if anything bad were to happen that the AV software might have prevented, you'll catch the blame.)" he continues.
"When your product crashes on startup due to AV interference, users blame your product, not AV. Worse still, if they make your product incredibly slow and bloated, users just think that's how your product is."
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