You catch 'em, we kill 'em


Ever wondered how the Pope, Stewart island and plague victims can be in the same post? wonder no longer :)

, posted: 26-Nov-2008 17:37

Basically this is a rehash of a comment I wrote in repsonse to the review of Microsofts free security / av software.  ( http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?ContentId=8005 ) I include it here as it has direct relevance to virus busting but also because i see this as a disaster in the making. I feel like the dude looking out to sea watching a tsunami approaching and knowing there is nothing I can do but grab my surf board and hope that the afterlife is better than this one.

To those who don't know - mole men, troglodytes and overly snobbish MAC users who don't know there is life outside of OSX  - Microsoft have announced they are going to give away their Live One Care product for free. Well truth be told they have announced Live One Care is a sales failure, they are pulling it as a product and giving away their security software for free.

Hence my worried look and allusions to disaster. While I know there may be some truth to the rumour I am becoming a grumpy old man, I have lived long enough around IT circles to pick trends and this is one pick I don't like.

Here is why -

Buying (or not buying in this case) security off microsoft is like buying realtime sex lessons off the pope (by which I mean the previous one who is dead now - no offence intended to any catholics who see this).

Having failed in making their victims customers pay for One Live Care they are now going to mess with the general populance by trying to take the market - flogging their dead horse for free - screwing up the market and security offered by AV vendors who actually know what they are doing.

Who ( by which I mean the general populance of PC users) is going to purchase or install a real (non-M$) AV or security solution when they already will have one for free courtesy of M$ - thus rendering thier PC's security as exposed  as a Stewart Island Beach in a howling Southerly.

M$ - Hear me and hear me good.
The MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool) sucks and is incapable of removing any real level of infection - after touting it you dropped it into the back ground as a dead dog in favour of Windows Defender.
Windows Defender - (snigger snigger snigger). Slow as two dead dogs tied together, as useless as MSWT but with more bloat and able to leap onto your systems RAM screwing it faster than Casanova on heat. It doesn't catch viruses, it doesn't prevent viruses and it bloats systems quicker than a dose of giardia. Enough said.
Live One Care - didn't sell - Hey Bill! Do you think there is a reason it wasn't successfull? I can assure you it is not lack of advertising - If I see another advert pop up pushing that product I'll most likely scream.
So what else kills product launches and sales success. Hmmm - I know - is it possible Microsoft is an unknown vendor so their product is hidden by lack of exposure. Yeah Right!!

Lack of distribution channels? - ISP / Broadband bashing aside we are capable of downloading it so it is not that.

Oh I know - it's even more shite than the previosly mentioned sucky offerings. Yup - that will be it. It sucks - its ineffective - it has a milllion better alternative offerings out there that beats its pants off. Such awesome names as Nod32, Malwarebytes, Spybot S & D, Blacklite, and other less salubrious options including Mcaffee, & Nortons. Even free software such as ClamAV, FProt and AVG free are streets ahead of one care.

I'll stop reviewing Microsofts screwedSeverly, suxreally, security software and systems here as I am having trouble breathing in between laughing my donkey off and retching in disgust
Having failed in all the above to provide security for your nightmare of an operating system you are now going to tout it for free. Please do us all a favour - give up your delusions of security ability and save us all a truckload of pain by not forcing your previous pay-for failures on us a  free gift. Gifts like these were banned by the Geneva convention when tossing plague victims into beseiged citys went out of vogue.

Seriously - giving it for free means we are likely to have it foisted on us via service packs and updates in the same way as MSRT, Defender, Application Execution Checking, DEP, User Access control, changed internet settings via IE, MS VPN, Windows Security Centre etc all has been.

It will also mean real AV and security solutions will be over looked or discarded for the free offering. Or worse - people will still use their other AV solution and install M$ Av along side it - No AV is bad on a PC - One is good - two or more is an invitation to disaster. Try putting a couple of cats in a sack and see what happens. Not pretty is it? Well that's what happens when two or more AV systems run simulataeneously. Fur flies, the claws come out and eventually all your system is capable of is spewing up cat balls & bleeding quietly in the corner.

I am not praranoid - really I am not - but looking at the list of crud in an average Vista / XP system designed to keep it safe I have to wonder if M$ make money selling hardware to handle the bloat or if security vendors some how failed to pay enough back handers to keep Windows out of the security game and so prevent M$ touting their own stuff.

Seriously - why does a Windows XP machine, which ran in 70MB of memory (SP0 - No AV installed) need 256MB just to get started today? More functionality? I think not - more security bloat? You betcha - and now here comes more for free.  Well more bloat anyway coz it sure as politicians lie isn't goint to keep us safer - quite the opposite infact. False security is worse than no security at all and the average user will think M$ security might actually work - another urban legend at large.

In the 10 years since Win98 M$ still cant solve their basic operating system security issues and rather than doing the basics right are going to foist more crap on us. Hi Bill - stop it dude. People already have the 1000 pound gorilla of <oxymoron ahead>M$ security </oxymoron ahead> loaded and running. Dont try and get them to trade up to the 2 ton elephantine mirage that you hope to replace One Care with. Spend money on actually getting the security basics right.

My verdict - DONT DONT DONT DONT DONT DONT touch this and DONT DONT DONT let your customers touch it either. Free crap is still crap - which ever way you receive it. Seriouly folks - the Emporer has no clothes.



More information

Other related posts:
I'm glad I'm mad - it is better than being dperessed.....








Comment by freitasm, on 26-Nov-2008 19:14

Microsoft is not going to give Windows Live One Care for free. It's a completely different product in the making.

For example Windows Live One Care is not only AV - but includes network maintenance, printer sharing and backup.

The new security product will be just that - a security product. No other features but what it is supposed to do. And it won't have the same code as today's Windows Live One Care but it seems to be based on the more robust Forefront which uses a completely different set of technologies.


Author's note by nunz, on 26-Nov-2008 20:01

Hang on a minute - I've already spotted a gaping flaw in what you just posted ;)

>The new security product will be just that - a security product. No other >features but what it is supposed to do. And it won't have the same code >as today's Windows Live One Care

Since when has Microsoft ever thrown away its existing code base and started clean? There is still legacy DOS Format stuff involved in windows XP and the only reason I am not sure if it is in vista too is I am just too lazy and despondant to find out (yet).

The same will apply to any new MS security initiative. Besides forefront isn't just security. Its other stuff too like One Client Sign On etc.

Identity Lifecycle Manager (beta), Active Directory, Rights Management Services (RMS), Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), Windows Cardspace Security: Forefront Client Security, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint, Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (beta), Forefront Server Security Management Console, Internet Security & Acceleration Server, Intelligent Application Gateway, Forefront Codenamed "Stirling" (beta)I see stuff in there that impinges on ADS badly and by the looks of it tries to tie you in even tighter with MS single sign on crap. what's more - ADS has nothing to do with malware / external security. It is for internal authorisation on a network - not malware protection and removal .Already (if the new stuff is based on forefront) it has bloat issues and the normal MS problem of tying its tenticles into areas not required rather than just doing one job and doing it well.

I dont want MAPS, NAPs and cardspace. It doesn't enhance my security by preventing outsiders hurting my systems. It instead resricts me as a user from doing my job unmolested while doing very little to actually slow down external crud.

The latests DEP, IE policy and updates are killing me in XP and the other Ms bloat for secuity purposes is a nightmare in vista.

Forfront is heavily aimed in the direction of the issues I face above while providing very little to stop external greeblies kiiling my system.

I would rather the new stuff was based on one care than forefront. At least one care was only minimally intrusive in terms of privacy and tie in to the MS totalitarian  - one provider state mentaility they have.

The only way I'll belive this new stuff is any good is if it stops adding new functionality and instead removes the old crud inflicted on me as a user and does basic security remediation such as completly removing IE from the OS and totally killling ActiveX from being runnable as part of the GUI / Explorer processes. Then I might be minorly tempted to consider they have done something worth while.

I also dont think it negates my arguments above. name one security initiative Ms have succeeded in for the average user that has actually worked and reduced or at least not increased bloat.

If live one care had succeeded they would have kept it. This new free initiative is largely owing to the failure of their previous security initiatives.

I don't take financial advice from a bankrupt and nether am I going to entrust me OS security to the care of MS. Like I said - their track history is one of abysmal failure - I don't see any departure from the monopolistic, over the top, invasive, strap another  plaster on blue - she'll be right apprach. MS need to go KISS - this new initiative is not a step in that direction. sorry - not convinced ;)

 


Comment by David Sterry, on 27-Nov-2008 13:34

I have not had the pleasure of using this free product but I feel I will soon. I think the main problem with Microsoft making security software is that they can't see the security forest for the trees. I think it's hard for them to look honestly at Windows and create an effective solution.



The biggest add-on market besides Office is security software and MS can only be alienating those companies little by little with every release of this type of software. But what can they do? There's still a big market out there as long as Windows is #1.



As I think about this, maybe Microsoft is trying to reinforce or add credibilitiy to the security industry by launching their own pseudo-product.



It's got to be better to them than the alternative of people switching to truly free software like GNU/Linux. If you're sick of security software, cd keys, and product activation sucking your life away, I'd highly encourage you to give a Live CD from one of the popular distributions a spin.


Comment by David Sterry, on 27-Nov-2008 13:45

I haven't had the pleasure of using this new product but I feel I will soon. The main problem with Microsoft making security software is their inability to look honestly at Windows and create an effective solution.



The biggest add-on market besides Office is security software and MS can only be alienating those companies little by little with every release of this type of software. But are security vendors to do? There's still a big market as long as Windows is #1.



As I think about this, maybe Microsoft is trying to reinforce or add credibility to the security industry by launching their own pseudo-product that's easy to beat.



You have to admit that's better than the alternative of people switching to truly free software like GNU/Linux. If you're sick of security software, cd keys, and product activation sucking your life away, I'd highly encourage you to give a Live CD from one of the popular distributions a spin. Then this whole discussion can become history.


Comment by Jones, on 27-Nov-2008 21:33

Wow, you are angry. About something being free? :-)



What do you think of the desktop vulnerability report and the security intelligence report, they seem to make MS security record look quite good really.


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nunz's profile

Shane Hollis
New Zealand


Shane started Virusbusters twelve years ago to provide fixed price IT support for home users.

Daily battles through the world of viruses, spammers and other malware has left an indelible impression on him so he decided to try to give back some of the help he has received over time.

Hopefully crazy ideas, virus removal tips and other help can be found in this new blog. who knows, it might even be worth reading one day.