Ex Mozilla developer: Ripp of your AV-Software from Windows – except Microsoft’s

Antivirus software vendors are terrible; don’t buy antivirus software, and uninstall it if you already have it (except for Microsoft’s) – says former Mozilla Engineer Robert  O’Callahan.


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I was advocating long years to avoid installing third party antivirus software on Windows. Microsoft provides Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender (from Windows 8 upward) as a basic protection. During my activities as a community moderator in Microsoft Answers Forums I came across many cases, where third party AV software was a show stopper for (feature) upgrades and also some cumulative updates. Also AV software is causing many damages in Windows 10. Another aspect, I mentioned within my German blog post Windows 10: Welche Antivirus-Lösung soll ich einsetzen? was security. While third party vendors promising to secure a system, their software often opens critical security holes within the system. I’ve blogged about several incidents in the past.

Now Robert  O’Callahan wrote a blog post Disable Your Antivirus Software (Except Microsoft’s), outlining, what security experts know but won’t discuss in public. Here is, what O’Callahan pointed out:

  • AV vendors don’t follow standard security practices, so at the end of the day, many security issues affecting the AV itself. Tavis Ormandy from Google has published several critical vulnerabilities in AV software during the last 2 years.
  • 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.

Software vendors know these facts, but won’t speak about that, because they depends on the cooperation with AV vendors. Also Justin Schuh, a security engineer for Google Chrome, has also blasted AV vendors in a long line of tweets. Further details may be read in this blog post and at bleeping computer.


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