Most of us realize that having an anti virus software installed on your pc/laptop is as normal as having an OS installed. Its like one can’t go without the other and most people consider an anti virus software a necessity.
A former Mozilla engineer, Robert O’Callahan, seems to disagree. He has openly said that you should not use third party anti virus software or uninstall it if you are already using one.
On the other hand, he deems Windows Defender which comes pre-installed with Windows 10 better than the other anti virus software.
Windows Defender The Unlikely Hero?
In his blog post, he says that you should stick with Microsoft’s own Windows Defender and that you should regularly update Windows to keep the Defender up to date.
At best, there is negligible evidence that major non-MS AV products give a net improvement in security. More likely, they hurt security significantly; for example, see bugs in AV products listed in Google’s Project Zero.
These bugs indicate that not only do these products open many attack vectors, but in general their developers do not follow standard security practices.
It should be mentioned here that Google’s Project Zero is a team of security engineers that look for vulnerabilities and security issues in software. The team found major issues in Symantec’s Norton anti virus which is very popular among the general public.
Create More Problems Than They Solve
O’Callahan blames the companies behind third party anti-virus software for not following standard security practices. He called Microsoft better than these third party anti virus software makers. These anti-virus software create problems thanks to their invasive policies and badly implemented code which creates security issues for web browsers.
It “hooks itself” to other software on your computer and at times with your OS’s kernel.
Wastes Developer Time
Some of these block Firefox’s updates (Mozilla’s poster child) which makes people think that the web browser is to blame and not their anti virus.
O’Callahan explains that:
Several times AV software blocked Firefox updates, making it impossible for users to receive important security fixes. Major amounts of developer time are soaked up dealing with AV-induced breakage, time that could be spent making actual improvements in security.
He says that when your web browser crashes on starting up, users blame the browser and not the anti-virus which is the real problem. O’Callahan argues that most of the developers’ time is used up circumventing anti-virus software and that the vendors of these anti-virus software refuse to cooperate with them as well.
To sum it all up together, O’Callahan thinks that third party anti virus software is mostly bad and that users should rely on Microsoft’s Windows Defender that comes with Windows 10.
Via Indian Express