Antivirus software is dead and over 55% of attacks go unnoticed, says security expert at Symantec

A recent statement from influential Symantec manager Brian Dye, shows how he believes Antivirus software to be insufficient in today’s sophisticated cyberspace. Dye progresses to claim how hackers increasingly use unorthodox methods that result in around half of all attacks going unnoticed, even with antivirus enabled.

The company’s response to relentless hackers is their recently unveiled “detect and respond” scheme, working in conjunction with their “protect” system already implemented. The aim of this strategy is to minimize damage to the victim, while logging the attackers methods in a database for future protection.

Mr Dye stated how "Antivirus protection is not a moneymaker" and so Symantec is looking to other methods for bringing home the cash. This has resulted in an updated product line; one example being their proposal to sell intelligence to their clients. The company is also set to introduce a "response team" for compromised businesses that have suffered from a security breach. Their well established security software Norton Antivirus will remain a core part of their business model as it accounts for 40% of their profits. 

Since the 1980's, Symantec has played a key role in protecting users. The company discovered the method for the hacking of ATM machines through the use of a smartphone, only a matter of weeks ago. It's good to see Symantec still developing new services, only time will tell whether the "detect and respond" scheme will prove to be effective.

Source: Wall Street Journal via The Guardian | Image via epochuniversal

 

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You know what's wrong with some of you guys, you think that all people are extremely smart as you and spend most of their time on computers. You don't want to know what goes on with my dad's laptop when it has no anti virus on it (eset smart security). well you know. lots of toolbars. annoying search engines. sluggish PC. and all of that crap, only because my dad tried to google search a thing. If eset didn't existed, I advised my dad to get a mac instead instead of doing his business on a windows.

[I had initially written this over in another forum in response to the WSJ article, and do apologize for the copypasta, but it seems to me that there's a dimension to this discussion which is largely going unanswered. Also, as a disclaimer: Please do keep in mind that I work for a competitor to Symantec, so as to consider any potential bias. AG]

Hello,

What I find interesting about Mr. Dye's comments is how they kind of parallel comments made by Eva Chen, the CEO of Trend Micro, back in 2008: [url="http://www.zdnet.com/trend-mic...ars-3039440184/"]Trend Micro: Antivirus industry lied for 20 years[/url].

I will admit, the anti-malware marketplace is crowded, and it requires continual investment, both in terms of capital expenditures like facilities and equipment, and also in people--not just in terms of constantly hiring new ones, but making the one's you've already hired more capable. In addition to all of that, you have to engage in mixed development methodologies using both agile and waterfall models, because your virus lab staffers are going to on a continuous release model, compared to (for example) the folks developing the enterprise remote management tools. That can make things like professional development tracks pretty interesting, not to mention dealing with issues like burnout. And that's just on the people management side of things.

On the technology side, one has to deal with a constantly changing threat landscape where every so often you are conducting original research into an area, trying to figure out how it works. Plus, you get to look at lots and lots of poorly-written code. And in addition to all that new stuff, you're constantly going through old stuff, too, looking for ways to optimize it and make it better (e.g., less costly to perform in terms of computing resources), potential bugs, etc.

It all requires a Herculean amount of effort, and it is certainly understandable when companies like Trend Micro and Symantec might look at their investments and say, "Hey, this isn't working for us from a financial perspective." However, it's equally important to note, that not every anti-malware company is Trend Micro or Symantec. They are all structured differently, have different ways of doing things and have different ways of determining priorities, not to mention little things like successes and failures.

That one or two companies are having a struggle of making it is routine in any industry, and over time some will flourish and some will go away. While it's interesting that the complaints seem to be coming from the larger companies, it's not unprecedented, either. The PC market is a classic example of this.

In any case, I believe the issues here to be fundamentally financial ones in Symantec's case and not a technological ones, and likely limited to just a few other anti-malware few companies which are capitalized in a similar fashion. Symantec has some fantastic researchers working for it, and there's no question to me that they can continue to come up with innovative anti-malware techniques. If the company is unable to develop on them, I think that says less about "antivirus being dead" and more about the ability to create revenue-generating products.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Na, AV isnt dead. Its actually called Anti-Malware now. And all AV programs have some kind of malware scanning capability. The only thing that died here is the name Antivrus.

Dead? My mum has about 5 free anti virus's and cool search toolbars installed that she got bundled with like 2 bits of software its far from dead.... It's just turned into crapware is all.

Unfortunately, while the Antiviruses themselves might be ineffective these days, malware itself has never been so prevalent on Windows PC's.

But the promise to protect her PC, not slow it down and allow her to search and fine stuff more easy. She even has a few free "tuneup" utilities that help "speedup" windows. Amazing for free i think.

Just look at stuff like Avast, Norton (with all those "free" extra features).

Can't see why no one would not have a virus scanner on there system with all these special offers software vendors are doing giving them away for free.

Vester said,

Can't see why no one would not have a virus scanner on there system with all these special offers software vendors are doing giving them away for free.

Well I suppose catching 50% of them is better than nothing at all that's true. Personally, I prefer a system which doesn't have that problem in the first place.

Dot Matrix said,
Anti-Virus has been dead for years now.

Agree, with Windows 8, or even Windows 7 (and all windows updates installed) with default security settings turn on, it is almost impossible to get affected. You need to click like 10 different times on "Yes" and "Allow" before the user himself allows and manually give permission to the virus or malware to affect the system.

Would not say Windows with default settings is that secure, there have been plenty of zero days that came through IE9 to 11 on their default settings.

Windows 8 with the proper setup is pretty much unaffected by malware. Windows 7 isn't. No AV for people using Office on a desktop is very bad. But put IE in 64bit mode, add EMET into the picture and just for giggles put MSE onto it and it gets quite hard to get infected on 7 as well.

Just give me a simple (well as simple as it can be) piece of software that scans my PC for viruses when I ask it to.

I don't really care about protecting me from possible threats and scanning my email/messages/whatever else they scan now. (Again within reason)

I don't visit untrustworthy sites, don't mind if I build up few cookies before emptying them myself and I don't need my anti virus to also be a firewall, temporary file cleaner, spell checker and document editor as well. It's too much bloat - oh and I know none of them edit documents or spell check them yet.


Im all for software that's simple and does one thing - Im happy to pay each year - it doesnt need to have a new feature in order to keep me, if anything when it gets too bloated I stop paying.

Orange Battery said,

I don't visit untrustworthy sites, don't mind if I build up few cookies before emptying them myself and I don't need my anti virus to also be a firewall, temporary file cleaner, spell checker and document editor as well. It's too much bloat - oh and I know none of them edit documents or spell check them yet.

It's not the untrustworthy sites you should be worried about. It's the completely legit websites temporarily hacked with malicious code placed on them.

Dye progresses to claim how hackers increasingly use unorthodox methods that result in around half of all attacks going unnoticed, even with antivirus enabled.

Wasn't there someone on this site the other day claiming that with Windows Defender, they never get infected? Yeah right. An antivirus, including Windows Defender, these days, is about as efficacious as prayer.

Symantec is absolutely right. They are not saying their solutions are bad, they are saying that the role of Antivirus and other local based Security suites will be fade out as they are realizing the fact of the new PC reality we are leaving in. We are moving away from, download and install Applications, desktop based email clients etc. Apps are installed from secure Stores, emails come and go from webbased clients with state of the art security systems running behind them, while the OS security level and has dramatically increased and its based on super modern new architectures. These are only a few examples of the new and totally transformed computing era. All of the above does NOT means of course that we are totally safe, especially in todays world that everything is online, it means however that the traditional Antivirus, as we know it for decades and grow up with, is becoming obsolete.

Phouchg said,
Which would be these secure stores you speak of?

Microsoft Store, Apple App Store etc.
Again they are not perfect, but the whole way of submitting Apps, meet the requirements (quality and security) in order to get published, has totally changes the rules of the games over the years while it will only get improve as we are moving forward.

Add peer reviewed repositories to that list as well. GNU/Linux has had them since its inception, and one of the major reasons why malware can't spread effectively on it.

simplezz said,
GNU/Linux has had them since its inception, and one of the major reasons why malware can't spread effectively on it.

I really wish you'd stop using this line as you know full well this isn't 100% true. It doesn't take random downloads to get malware. Mitigating factor, sure, if you never, ever stray outside of the repository. Pity that isn't going to happen a lot. The only saving grace it has is that currently most malware authors just don't care, there's no money in it. Well, except the server side of things, and they've shown time and time again how secure it really is.

Max Norris said,

It doesn't take random downloads to get malware. Mitigating factor, sure, if you never, ever stray outside of the repository.

To make it worthwhile for malware writers, it needs to be able to infect many systems. It just wouldn't work on enough Linux PC's to be cost effective. That was my point, not that a small number of systems couldn't get infected.

Could you trick one or two GNU/Linux users into installing malware? Sure. How about tens of thousands or more? No. And that's the economics of malware. It's very easy to infect millions of Windows PC's due to the way most of the users run their software.

Max Norris said,

The only saving grace it has is that currently most malware authors just don't care, there's no money in it.

We agree there ;)

Max Norris said,

Well, except the server side of things, and they've shown time and time again how secure it really is.

That's really intrusion/hacking, not viruses/malware. Sure they might place malware on it once they get in through a SQL injection exploit, but that's not what we're talking about here is it.

Often times, poor server security is just the result of bad practices, not the OS itself.

simplezz said,
To make it worthwhile for malware writers, it needs to be able to infect many systems. It just wouldn't work on enough Linux PC's to be cost effective.

Right, that's because there's so few people using it on the desktop side of things. That'll change dramatically if the popular goes up due to say SteamOS or whatever.

simplezz said,
That's really intrusion/hacking, not viruses/malware. Sure they might place malware on it once they get in through a SQL injection exploit, but that's not what we're talking about here is it.

It's part of the same problem -- malware isn't just downloaded, many times it's due to vulnerabilities in software, be it your web browser, a part of the OS or some other component. And it has happened in the past with Linux. Look no further than the servers that got hit with the Phalanx rootkit, the Rails servers that turned into self-propagating worm machines (Code Red anyone?), etc etc.

simplezz said,
Often times, poor server security is just the result of bad practices, not the OS itself.

Many times it has nothing to due with bad practices. Just look at the front page news for examples of this. The admins running the faulty software didn't do anything wrong, and yet..

Max Norris said,

Right, that's because there's so few people using it on the desktop side of things.

You mean ten's of millions of PC's? I'm sure malware writers would love a piece of that. The problem is that there are many different distros, all of which have different configurations. It's very hard to attack that en masse. That and the fact that most users get software exclusively from peer reviewed repositories.

Max Norris said,

That'll change dramatically if the popular goes up due to say SteamOS or whatever.

Well, let's look at Android shall we? Lots of malware written for it, but guess what, it's all on third party app stores in Asia and the middle east. The play store itself has < 0.1%. Repositories are very much like app stores, and SteamOS is no different.

Max Norris said,

It's part of the same problem -- malware isn't just downloaded, many times it's due to vulnerabilities in software, be it your web browser, a part of the OS or some other component.

And that's where GNU/Linux's package manager comes in. It updates all software on the system not just the OS like in Windows.

Max Norris said,

Look no further than the servers that got hit with the Phalanx rootkit

Never heard of it. Most attacks I've seen use SSH in some way, then put the malware on there.

Max Norris said,

the Rails servers that turned into self-propagating worm machines (Code Red anyone?), etc etc.

If I had a choice between running a GNU/Linux server or Windows, well let's just say it's not really a choice when it comes to security is it lol. But I digress, we've talking about consumer PC's, not servers.

Max Norris said,

Many times it has nothing to due with bad practices. Just look at the front page news for examples of this. The admins running the faulty software didn't do anything wrong, and yet..

I've seen quite a few examples of admins not keeping the software updated, poor passwords, and incorrect configurations.

simplezz said,
You mean ten's of millions of PC's?

Most of which are servers, and dwarfed (by far) by, well, everything.

simplezz said,
Well, let's look at Android shall we?

Yes, and if you'll notice above, I do mention that 100% of the people will not stay to their user repositories. Just looking at various "first things to do" guides for the most popular distros having you add third party repos right out of the gate. And again, if gaming ever does become popular in Linux, so will piracy. And I doubt you'll find the pirated Steam games in your local repository...

simplezz said,
And that's where GNU/Linux's package manager comes in. It updates all software on the system not just the OS like in Windows.

If those machines are staying up to date, and if the vulnerabilities are caught in time. Linux's track record is getting rather spotty there.

simplezz said,
Never heard of it. Most attacks I've seen use SSH in some way, then put the malware on there.

Ah. In that case Google is --> thataways. Easily found.

simplezz said,
I've seen quite a few examples of admins not keeping the software updated, poor passwords, and incorrect configurations.

Sure, and that's dangerous in any OS. And I've seen plenty of examples where that doesn't do jack to stop exploits which have nothing to do with setting things up properly.

Max Norris said,

Most of which are servers, and dwarfed (by far) by, well, everything.

No, I'm talking about desktop Linux PC's, there are millions out there.

Max Norris said,

Yes, and if you'll notice above, I do mention that 100% of the people will not stay to their user repositories.

100% don't need to. Just enough to make writing malware for it cost ineffective, which is currently the case.

Max Norris said,

Just looking at various "first things to do" guides for the most popular distros having you add third party repos right out of the gate.

And those repos come from vetted sources. I highly doubt some rogue site could convince enough users into installing dodgy third party repos. But I suppose anything's possible.

Max Norris said,

And again, if gaming ever does become popular in Linux, so will piracy. And I doubt you'll find the pirated Steam games in your local repository...

Well if the F2P trend keeps up, most games, even proprietary ones will become free anyway.

Max Norris said,

If those machines are staying up to date, and if the vulnerabilities are caught in time. Linux's track record is getting rather spotty there.

It's certainly better than Windows, where there's all manner of outdated third party software, and no way to automatically update them all.

Max Norris said,

Ah. In that case Google is --> thataways. Easily found.

You know the ironic thing. Most of the compromised Linux servers I've heard of were used to spread Windows malware ;)

simplezz said,
No, I'm talking about desktop Linux PC's, there are millions out there.

That's cute, and yet still a drop in the pond.. ~2%? Add a few zeros to that and we'll talk. As I said before, that's the big reason why there's so little malware for Linux, the money isn't there for them to take notice. Server oriented malware on the other hand is a big issue because a good percentage of servers are *Nix based.

simplezz said,
Well if the F2P trend keeps up, most games, even proprietary ones will become free anyway.

Yea... no. Just look at sales numbers and the cost of producing big games. It works on mobile devices because they also feed you ads. On the PC's, not so much.

simplezz said,
It's certainly better than Windows, where there's all manner of outdated third party software, and no way to automatically update them all.

And again for the third time, it's only good when 1) they actually catch it and 2) if the machines are actually getting updated. There's quite a few out there that are not, just look at vulnerabilities targeting old versions of Apache for example. Besides.. do you think commercial third party software is going to be free to download from your repository? No. Just look at what's already available.. Autodesk, JetBrains, etc etc.. you're downloading by hand, sorry.

simplezz said,
You know the ironic thing. Most of the compromised Linux servers I've heard of were used to spread Windows malware ;)

Nothing ironic when again, they're going where the money is. Vulnerable servers make wonderful delivery mechanisms.

Windows Defender+Smartscreen and MalwareBytes
and some Common Sense 2.0 will get you a long way

Rarely do I even keep Windows Defender enabled, Malware scan once and awhile. Just secure your browsers as much as possible, Keep your OS up-to-date and you're about as golden as you can be!

dingl_ said,
Windows Defender+Smartscreen and MalwareBytes
and some Common Sense 2.0 will get you a long way

Did you not read the article?

Here is the important bit for you:


Dye progresses to claim how hackers increasingly use unorthodox methods that result in around half of all attacks going unnoticed, even with antivirus enabled.

That's right 50% of all attacks go completely unnoticed by antiviruse software. So while having those things might make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it's a false sense of security, one that could be shattered at any moment.

That's why I don't rely on it much, I said my antivirus is disabled 95% of the time, I may do a Malware scan once every so often because MalwareBytes is fairly good at digging around. but other than that I rely on common sense .. keeping my OS updated and securing my browsers(locking down IE11)

dingl_ said,
That's why I don't rely on it much, I said my antivirus is disabled 95% of the time, I may do a Malware scan once every so often because MalwareBytes is fairly good at digging around. but other than that I rely on common sense .. keeping my OS updated and securing my browsers(locking down IE11)

Get EMET :) That 50% going by unnoticed, wont go by at all.

Antimalware software is by definition reactive measure. It can only try to protect against something that has already found its own way or has been introduced manually into the system. And when it does, there's a writing on the wall that the actual emergency is not the one at hand, but the bleeding holes that need be plugged... most often in the firewall, software, policies and usage practices.

In my dealing in the past with Symantec Endpoint protection and the consumer versions, the viruses cause less problems to the systems that it did.

Dadwen said,
In my dealing in the past with Symantec Endpoint protection and the consumer versions, the viruses cause less problems to the systems that it did.

At the end of the day, security products are designed to stop something from doing something and conditional common sense is hard to program for.

Yeah, right. Way to go for being senselessly sensationalist. Viruses cause far more problems than the antivirus. The fact that you have to deal with antivirus issues more often than virus issues is not related.

audioman said,
Yeah, right. Way to go for being senselessly sensationalist. Viruses cause far more problems than the antivirus. The fact that you have to deal with antivirus issues more often than virus issues is not related.

while back had Sep11 R3 (I think) and it's firewall drivers Teefer (Believe the name for it) kept bugging out and blocking everything and would not uninstall (or Sep would start in a reinstall loop on it's own and not stop had to get a special program from Symantec that did a manual removal of it to clean it off the system before it was usable again.

warwagon said,
EMET + Sandboxie FTW!

I have installed EMET 4.0 beta about a year ago, and didnt notice any sideeffect of it. But in the recent 1-1,5 months I started to see IE certificate error popups from EMET, crashing my IE11 w7 x64, and all sort of strange issues.

soder said,

I have installed EMET 4.0 beta about a year ago, and didnt notice any sideeffect of it. But in the recent 1-1,5 months I started to see IE certificate error popups from EMET, crashing my IE11 w7 x64, and all sort of strange issues.

maybe you should update EMET. Since the 4.0 there has been lots of updates: 4.1, 4.1 update 1, 5.0 preview 1 and 2.

this will solve your issue with certificate pinning, since the certificates data in your old version are severely outdated.

also, crashes may be caused by 3rd party addons or antiviruses that inject code in the IE process that is not compatible with EMET's protections, leading to a crash.

I can tell you on a clean install of Windows/IE, EMET doesn't cause IE to crash.

"Norton Antivirus will remain a core part of their business model as it accounts for 40% of their profits"

and 99% of those sales are from OEMs bundling it with new PCs......and 99% of those are uninstalled. Basically 40% of their profits come from people paying for it, who don't want it.

glen8 said,

and 99% of those are uninstalled. Basically 40% of their profits come from people paying for it, who don't want it.

That applies to lots of software, including an OS *Cough* that comes bundled with the majority of PC's.

audioman said,
No. People actually want Windows.

How do you know that? As glen8 so rightly pointed out, most of the Windows sales come from OEM bundling.

When was the last time you got a choice about which OS you wanted installed on your PC when you bought it from a store? Never would be my guess. That choice is taken away from consumers, thus popularity has nothing to do with Windows marketshare, and everything to do with OEM bundle agreements.

People are quite content without Windows on their phones and tablets, why not on their desktop PC's too?

How do I know that? People want Windows, not Mac OS X and not Linux, for their work in various fields, and that's a fact. Most of them prefer it (those who have actually had experience with the various operating systems). Many have switched from Mac OS (X) to Windows even in areas where Mac used to dominate (multimedia, audio production etc.), they just like the operating system's coherency, simplicity and the fact that everything works properly on it. Deal with it, Windows is the best OS today in every field except networking.

simplezz said,

People are quite content without Windows on their phones and tablets, why not on their desktop PC's too?

Because most users are thick and can't handle linux and its software packages that consistently lag behind the best.

I am writing this from a linux box btw.

Windows is the best we have got interns of a desktop OS that can be used by practically anyone, on the hardware you want. The main thing you have to remember is that windows was successful because of its ability to run well, no matter the silicon.

The only reel contender to Windows would of been OSX, But apple always wanted it to be only available to mac hardware. This ran counter to what the market wanted from a PC, and that was freedom to change hardware, without being tied to the OEM's environment.

Windows allowed people to carry their software over, even if they got a computer from a different manufacture.

audioman said,
How do I know that? People want Windows, not Mac OS X and not Linux, for their work in various fields, and that's a fact.

A fact I'd dispute. I'd like to see some empirical evidence for that claim.

audioman said,

Deal with it, Windows is the best OS today in every field except networking.

I do software development and graphics work exclusively on GNU/Linux because I find that it's the best platform for my work. So I guess you've got one exception to your rule at least ;)

Toysoldier said,

Because most users are thick and can't handle linux

Not from my experience. I've installed Linux distros for lots of people and they often take to it immediately.

Toysoldier said,

and its software packages that consistently lag behind the best.

I find it's quite the opposite. I can search for all my software from one central location - the package manager. It's simple, quick, and efficient. And the available free software is vast and diverse.

Toysoldier said,

I am writing this from a linux box btw.

What distro?

Ad Man Gamer said,
Windows is the best we have got interns of a desktop OS that can be used by practically anyone, on the hardware you want.

You mean the hardware an OEM gives you. Because the only way you'll get drivers for Windows is if the hardware ships with it, unlike with Linux, where It'll run on virtually anything, even hardware designed for Windows.

simplezz,, your very specific specialized graphics work has nothing to do with the majority and you know that. I know that Windows is the best OS for most people's work, that's just a fact, live with it.

simplezz said,

You mean the hardware an OEM gives you. Because the only way you'll get drivers for Windows is if the hardware ships with it, unlike with Linux, where It'll run on virtually anything, even hardware designed for Windows.

This is just false. Windows does have base drivers that will run hardware that obeys standards.

When you install a new GPU / Flash drive / mouse / keyboard / HDD / USB hub Etc. It will usually run on the base drivers just fine. Quite a few things you can buy will use only the base drivers, as they are not doing anything that goes out of bounds of what they can handle.

The fact these things work on Linux is a result of this standardization, and individuals spending their time to reverse engineer drivers for hardware on the market.

Ad Man Gamer said,

This is just false. Windows does have base drivers that will run hardware that obeys standards.
When you install a new GPU / Flash drive / mouse / keyboard / HDD / USB hub Etc. It will usually run on the base drivers just fine. Quite a few things you can buy will use only the base drivers, as they are not doing anything that goes out of bounds of what they can handle.

No one's talking about mass storage, usb, or SATA, which are published well defined standards. We're talking about GPU, network, and other non-public and company specific driver models. As an example, good luck finding Windows drivers for those first generation netbooks that shipped with Linux. They don't exist. Or perhaps Chromebooks. People assume Windows has great hardware support just because the hardware shipped with Windows comes with drivers. Well duh, of course hardware shipped with Windows is going to have drivers for it.

well, Norton Antivirus has been known as the worst antivirus in the world. so, what can you expect from the company behind it.

acido00 said,
well, Norton Antivirus has been known as the worst antivirus in the world. so, what can you expect from the company behind it.

McAfee would like to disagree

duddit2 said,

McAfee would like to disagree

McAfee IS the world worst antivirus product. Ever. Seriously the worst. It renders a 2000$ brand new laptop to a 200$ aged crap immediately after it has been installed. Without SSD, using just 5400 RPM standard 2,5" notebook HDD, you will tear out all of your hair, piece by piece, if McAfee has infected your computer.

Askew_ said,
I remember when McAfee wasn't such a bloated mess

I remember when it was for DOS and came on a floppy, and something named Norton was to speed up your system not drag it down to a crawl... ok feeling old now.

Dadwen said,

I remember when it was for DOS and came on a floppy...

I never had a AV program on dos... had a DOS virus creating program though... fun times... at least for me, my father's computer though, not so much

I look at AV software as bloatware, with warnings for cookies and other false alarms. All it does is start scanning your pc at the time you would least want it to, and constantly bug you with all sort of useless popups.

Buy 1000$ pc add 100$ AV solution and you have shiny new pc that has a performance of 700$ pc without AV.

...Seriously? My AV app is currently consuming 0% CPU time and 20.8MB of memory, in statistical terms Windows Explorer is responsible for more resource usage than my antivirus app.

I use Symantec and it's by far the best a/v software in my opinion. And all of my 6-core (HyperThread=12-core) is consuming 0% of the CPU.

I know it sounds conspiracy theory and all, but I've always wondered about if some of these companies release some of the viruses... or virii... or whatever the plural is suppose to be.

margrave said,
I know it sounds conspiracy theory and all, but I've always wondered about if some of these companies release some of the viruses... or virii... or whatever the plural is suppose to be.

maybe that's something that could have happened in the 80's.

but in the internet era, there are a lot of financial incentives for malicious developers to create malwares (stealing credit card numbers, mining bitcoins,...).

not to mention malwares designed to spy on high value targets.

Antivirus companies don't need to create malwares to justify the existence of their products nowadays.

margrave said,
of the viruses... or virii... or whatever the plural is suppose to be.

Viri, second declension neuter noun. if you take the latin for venom/poison/acrid element. Although it is irregular because usually second declension neuter nouns end in -um in the nominative singular.

simplezz said,

Viri, second declension neuter noun. if you take the latin for venom/poison/acrid element. Although it is irregular because usually second declension neuter nouns end in -um in the nominative singular.

Of course it's long been established that we're all over-thinking things like this and it's perfectly correct to say "viruses". There's no reason for English speakers to follow the rules of other languages.

Those "other languages" are the basis for your language, and the fact that people who speak only or mainly English have mutilated many languages in ridiculous as well as sad ways, while inevitably destroying the quality of the English language itself as a result, is reflected in obnoxious statements like yours.

margrave said,
I know it sounds conspiracy theory and all, but I've always wondered about if some of these companies release some of the viruses... or virii... or whatever the plural is suppose to be.
HBGary did that with one of the A/V known as McAfee. LulSec or Anonymous found out about their plan when they hacked HBGary site. HBGary site is now listed by WOT as bad web site.

audioman said,
...inevitably destroying the quality of the English language itself as a result, is reflected in obnoxious statements like yours.

The evolution of the English language over the past few centuries has never stopped. It's precisely why English has so many adjectives, adverbs, and different ways to turn a phrase, making it the world's richest language to write creatively in.

So, while people still need to learn the difference between "you're" and "your" and "it's" and "its" to be able to communicate effectively, it does NOT mean that your version of English is sacrosanct or immutable. History has, in fact, shown that it is not.

So, you owe this person an apology for insulting them as a result of your ignorance and arrogance.

audioman said,
Those "other languages" are the basis for your language, and the fact that people who speak only or mainly English have mutilated many languages in ridiculous as well as sad ways, while inevitably destroying the quality of the English language itself as a result, is reflected in obnoxious statements like yours.

Oh come off it. The languages that English borrowed from all borrowed from other languages themselves, and mutilated just as much in the name of adapting those languages to essentially the 'look and feel' of the new one.

Just look at every idiot putting a 'u' in 'color'. Why do they do it? Because the French did it? So what? The French just took it from Latin, where it was originally "color". The 'u' was an addition for the sake of consistency with the rest of the language.

How far back would you go for your righteous crusade against languages evolving? Would you replace every word you speak with the oldest documented parent of that word? You draw a line somewhere just like everybody else does. You just came to the selfish conclusion that the line you drew was more righteous than the lines of others.

Whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy, man.

The short-sightedness of this idiot is incredible. He thinks he has some special appreciation for language that others lack, but all it does is portray how ignorant he is of the reality of language.

Any high schooler who took Japanese as a second language figured out in a week that they don't have plural forms of nouns, and figured out in two weeks that they borrow heavily from western languages. So are the Japanese hurting English and ultimately themselves by not inventing an entirely new concept of pluralization just to fully support the original grammar of western words? Should they only write western words using western alphabets instead of approximating them with katakana?

And what happens if some language starts borrowing from Arabic or Russian, where there are as many as six different ways to pluralize a word depending on which number is modifying it? Does that language now have to adopt and teach this completely new system of rules just for a handful of words?

Derp.

Edited by Joshie, May 9 2014, 9:16pm :

Joshie said,

Just look at every idiot putting a 'u' in 'color'.

That's how the word is correctly spelt in modern English. Only Americans misspell it.

Joshie said,

Why do they do it? Because the French did it?

Not quite. Before the Norman conquest, and even some time afterwards, old English words such as hiw (hue) were employed. The French brought with them a large vocabulary, which was mostly derived from vulgar Latin.

So you see, 'colour' is the only form of the word to have ever existed in the English language. An extant word wasn't altered to fit the French spelling, it never existed in the vernacular (Latin was never the vernacular), before the French arrived in 1066.

Joshie said,

How far back would you go for your righteous crusade against languages evolving?

'Virus' comes directly and unaltered from Latin so it's quite valid to use the plural. Unlike 'color', which has never existed in the English language.

Joshie said,

Would you replace every word you speak with the oldest documented parent of that word? You draw a line somewhere just like everybody else does.

The line drawn is the most immediate source of the word. So 'Colour' comes directly from French, and 'Virus' comes directly from Latin.

You're a moron if you think my comment represents any "crusade", as well as a rude, vomit-inducing freak. Show some respect to "other languages" and history in general, instead of dismissing everything while thinking you're special. Idiot.

What exactly is meant by "selling intelligence to clients"?

You can't make stupid people smart just by taking their money....

EDIT: ohhh. they're selling them pieces of paper telling them what is infecting them, and why it is...

rr_dRock said,
What exactly is meant by "selling intelligence to clients"?

If you have an unintelligent client, you can do good business...