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Former Mozilla Engineer Warns of 3rd Party Antivirus Software

Engineer claims 3rd party software can “poison the software ecosystem”.

Robert O’Callahan, former top engineer for Mozilla has, in a recent blog post, criticized 3rd party vendors of antivirus software, warning customers not to buy AV software, or uninstall it if they already did. He said that AV vendors don’t follow “standard security practices”, unlike Microsoft whom he called “generally competent”, and suggested that users should simply stick with Windows Defender, the antivirus solution which ships with Windows.

“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,” explained O’Callahan, “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.”

O’Callahan recommends sticking with Windows Defender

Many antivirus software developers have recently been criticized, including Symantec for shipping over 20 products with zero-day flaws. AVG also came under fire after it was discovered that their privacy policy allows them to sell the browser and search history of their users. Microsoft meanwhile, have been actively working to ensure that Windows 10 is the most secure version of the operating system yet, especially with the introduction of the Windows Defender Security Center which will ship with the Creators Update scheduled for April.

Microsoft has admitted that the earlier versions of their OS, from Windows 7 and below, are not as secure, and O’Callahan noted that “third party AV software might make you slightly less doomed.”

source: ZDNet

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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