How Effective Is Your Anti Virus Software?
Two decades ago computer viruses were passed around from disk to disk and rarely had the destructive power that modern day viruses posses. There was little commercial intent behind the viruses being written with most of them being created by bored teenagers or curious computer hackers.
During the 90’s as people started sending more and more emails, virus writers would try and trick people in to downloading and opening email attachments (something which still works quite well today). Even then, the virus would generally mess the computer up and stop it from working, there was still very little commercial intent.
Fast forward to the present day and computer virus writing is very big business for criminal gangs around the world. The monetary reward can be huge by writing viruses that log all the users data such as passwords and credit card numbers which are then sent silently to the gangs around the world. Another way viruses have been commercialized is by creating ‘botnets’ which can serve multiple purposes such as being ordered to send junk data to a specific website (known as a Denial of Service Attack) or even turn them in to email servers and send out tens of thousands of emails per day without the computer owner ever knowing.
By commercializing computer viruses in this manner, the gangs can make, or even extort money – one virus that appeared in Japan scanned the users browsing history to look for adult sites and then sent the owner an email saying they would make the information public unless a ransom was paid. Another example is to hold the computer hostage by encrypting all the files unless a ransom fee is paid to return the computer back to a working state.
Because of the highly targeted nature of these new viruses – the people that viewed various adult sites were targeted because they used a specific P2P client – many of the world’s leading computer anti-virus software makers are struggling to keep up with the vast number of new malware, viruses, ransomware, trojans, worms etc. that pop up each day. Infact, given the amount of GUI tools available some people believe that “script kiddies” are contributing up to 1,000 new viruses each day, although the vast majority are simply variations on existing viruses rather than brand new creations.
The spread of computer viruses is compounded by the fact that data portability is so easy nowadays. There are a multitude of ways to send and receive data, it’s even possible to put a highly destructive virus on a computer network which has no connection to the Internet as the Iranian authorities found out earlier this year.
For every anti-virus software that is available, there are many stories of how they failed to update their database when a new threat was reported, infact months can go by from the time a new threat is identified and the software is updated to automatically remove it – and that’s assuming that the virus is ‘big enough’ for them to warrant spending time and resources creating the removal code. There are stories of extremely specialized viruses that are designed to target high net worth individuals to gain access to their computer and accounts.
You might think that Norton have got their act together to protect you from all known threats? Well, a quick search reveals that this isn’t quite true, there are plenty of computer viruses that Norton doesn’t have protection for. And what about Kaspersky? Often showcased as one of the best pieces of anti-virus software available, but plenty of reports show there are a few gaps in their armour.
Introducing Social AV
Social AV is a new way to fight the ever evolving threat of targeted micro-viruses by pulling together technical experts from all over the world to contribute to a vast database of every known computer virus out there – but even better, specific instructions on how to remove the virus.
Never before have we seen a centralized crowdsourced approach for computer security which brings together IT experts, security analysts and affected users to collaborate and neutralize the computer virus threat.
Social AV is the perfect website for any corporate systems analyst who wants to stay ahead of the game to ensure their network is secure. Since Social AV is a centralized, collaborative environment which is completely independent from any AV software company you will find all the updates and all the removal instructions in one place.
Security consultants will also find Social AV an invaluable resource as they are able to find all known viruses with the removal instructions so that they can inform any companies that they consult for. Imagine being hired as a PC security consultant and being able to identify and remove viruses that their AV software missed – a long term contract is almost guaranteed!
Hackers, geeks and nerds, if it wasn’t for these guys a) there would be no computer viruses to speak of and b) there would be no one to come up with the instructions on how to remove it. A hacker can prove their skills by figuring out how to remove viruses and gain prominence within the PC security community.
Visit SocialAV.com today and start getting fixes for all the viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and keyloggers way before any of the software AV companies come up with any solutions.