April 15, 2010, 3:06 PM — Keeping up with the latest in anti-virus and anti-malware news can be a challenge for even the most diligent IT professional. This Network World “Anti-virus/anti-malware cheat sheet” is designed to give you a leg up on the latest news, trends, analysis and opinion in this most critical of IT subject areas.
Even a bad AV technology can be valuable, because protection against, say, 30 percent of all threats is still a lot better than protection against 0 percent of all threats. However, besides the lousy protection, there's still plenty not to like about old-school AV technology.
At the RSA Conference in San Francisco, security vendors pitched their next-generation of security products, promising to protect customers from security threats in the cloud and on mobile devices. But what went largely unsaid was that the industry has failed to protect paying customers from some of today's most pernicious threats.
The big news at the show had to do with the takedown of the Mairposa botnet -- a massive network of hacked computers that has infected half of the Fortune 100 companies. So-called advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks, such as the one that compromised Google systems in early December, were another hot topic.
A lot of experts will warn you that running two such antivirus programs could cause problems. And they're right, provided the two programs are both resident. Resident programs remain running in the background, and resident antivirus programs check every file that comes into your PC or that you open. Having two programs constantly doing this is asking for trouble, or at least for a very slow PC.
Fake security software "SpywareGuard" and "AntiVirus" are said to be the top two scareware programs out of about 250 fake security programs detected, according to a Symantec report.