Free Antivirus with least system usage

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Free Antivirus with least system usage

Ray Kloss
My daughter is going off to school in a few weeks and that are requiring all comes utters be up to date with security updates and have antivirus software. They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers (as they use both Windows and Mac, maybe they are afraid of macro viruses or passing a virus to a Windows user).

So I am looking for an antiviral program for her (against my better judgement), but I know she will just install anything they point her to. I would like to have one that does not take a toll on the system when she is using it and does not bother her Crashplan backups. There was a good article on Mac security by Joe Kissel, and he listed a few free ones, but did not compare them.

Any experience with using these antivirus beasts in the wild and with ability to turn them on and off? I don't think she needs it, but the IT guys there are making this policy.

Thanks,

Ray





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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Marilyn Matty

> On Aug 15, 2015, at 10:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> My daughter is going off to school in a few weeks and that are requiring all comes utters be up to date with security updates and have antivirus software. They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers (as they use both Windows and Mac, maybe they are afraid of macro viruses or passing a virus to a Windows user).

A lot of schools require antivirus software that must automatically scan and update, as do many companies. Some mandate one or two particular products. No antivirus, no access to the campus IP services, or to the network anywhere.

Although Macs have traditionally have been resistant to viruses, malware, etc., they are not immune. Viruses, malware, etc. are becoming more and more sophisticated. An outbreak can cause a lot of havoc, damage, and security breeches. The cost of curing any outbreak can be disastrous.

Marilyn


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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Mike Noonan-2
See if this helps in your choice of AV.   I use Sophos runs without intrusions, silently, no noticable slow-downs.  just works.  
Does catch windows viruses for you goal of preventing pass-thru. .

http://www.av-comparatives.org/mac-security-reviews/
HTH  Mike


On Aug 15, 2015, at 9:09 AM, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:


> On Aug 15, 2015, at 10:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> My daughter is going off to school in a few weeks and that are requiring all comes utters be up to date with security updates and have antivirus software. They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers (as they use both Windows and Mac, maybe they are afraid of macro viruses or passing a virus to a Windows user).

A lot of schools require antivirus software that must automatically scan and update, as do many companies. Some mandate one or two particular products. No antivirus, no access to the campus IP services, or to the network anywhere.

Although Macs have traditionally have been resistant to viruses, malware, etc., they are not immune. Viruses, malware, etc. are becoming more and more sophisticated. An outbreak can cause a lot of havoc, damage, and security breeches. The cost of curing any outbreak can be disastrous.

Marilyn


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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by Ray Kloss

> On Aug 15, 2015, at 7:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ...They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers

I'd pick a different school, one that knows what they're doing.

Seriously, that sort of thing is a red flag. I've turned down jobs that places that had such policies because it was good warning that they didn't have a clue and I knew we'd have serious conflicts down the road.


> On Aug 15, 2015, at 9:09 AM, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> A lot of schools require antivirus software that must automatically scan and update, as do many companies. Some mandate one or two particular products. No antivirus, no access to the campus IP services, or to the network anywhere.

How on earth do they know? Does IT come and inspect your computer? What's to stop you from turning it off or uninstalling it later? Do they have regular inspections? Does the anti-virus software report to them? If so, that's scary and even more of reason to avoid such a place. (I'd wire my own wifi or use cellular data rather than put up with such nonsense.)

I suspect most just want you to sign a paper that says you have anti-virius software to protect them from liability or scare more users into running it. Typically I just say I have it (technically the Mac OS already has limited anti-virus software built-in, so you're not lying).

And how do these Draconian polices work for devices like iPads and iPhones that have no anti-virus software available?


> Although Macs have traditionally have been resistant to viruses, malware, etc., they are not immune. Viruses, malware, etc. are becoming more and more sophisticated. An outbreak can cause a lot of havoc, damage, and security breeches. The cost of curing any outbreak can be disastrous.

Macs are not immune from viruses, but the only stuff that's been spread in the wild have been Trojan horses and malware. Completely different. Anti-virus software will not protect you from those. If you do stupid things like open mail attachments from people you don't know, download pirated software, etc., you can get infected even if you have anti-virus software.

While I understand why committees make decisions like these (it's easiest to make a blanket policy), it's a disturbing trend as such arbitrary policies don't make sense for all situations, don't understand the underlying technology, and address the symptoms rather than the disease (the real cure is user education).


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine
www.xdevmag.com




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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Nello Lucchesi

> On Aug 15, 2015, at 1:42 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How on earth do they know? Does IT come and inspect your computer? What's to stop you from turning it off or uninstalling it later? Do they have regular inspections? Does the anti-virus software report to them?

I was wondering exactly the same thing.  I'm not aware of any way that the network can monitor whether you are running antivirus software … unless, of course there's software on your computer to tell them.  (Maybe I'm wrong, in which case I'm sure someone will correct me.)

On a Mac, I'd be concerned about putting such software on my computer.  

- nello



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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Marilyn Matty
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2

> On Aug 15, 2015, at 2:42 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 7:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> ...They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers
>
> I'd pick a different school, one that knows what they're doing.

Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:

http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30

Marilyn


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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Kim Gammelgaard
I really think Marc and Ray have a case here: Any association that demands Antivirus up-front must be run by IT non-experts, like this Google paper shows:

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.dk/2015/07/new-research-comparing-how-security.html

Notice the graphic and ask which non-expert suggests using antivirus software at their institution. I am actually speechless that institutions like that have such limited knowledge and real-world experience to have those kinds of policies.

Best regards

Kim



> Den 16. aug. 2015 kl. 00.01 skrev Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]>:
>
>
>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 2:42 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 7:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> ...They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers
>>
>> I'd pick a different school, one that knows what they're doing.
>
> Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:
>
> http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30
>
> Marilyn




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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Chris Poterala
How should universities handle thousands of computers they cannot manage that are connecting to their networks?

It's easy to say "user education" but it's not some kind of conspiracy to require people to have some form of security software installed.
 
Non-IT experts make all manner of decisions that impact the users and maintainers of IT infrastructure at lots of organizations.



> On Aug 15, 2015, at 6:54 PM, Kim Gammelgaard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I really think Marc and Ray have a case here: Any association that demands Antivirus up-front must be run by IT non-experts, like this Google paper shows:
>
> http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.dk/2015/07/new-research-comparing-how-security.html
>
> Notice the graphic and ask which non-expert suggests using antivirus software at their institution. I am actually speechless that institutions like that have such limited knowledge and real-world experience to have those kinds of policies.
>
> Best regards
>
> Kim
>
>
>
>> Den 16. aug. 2015 kl. 00.01 skrev Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>
>>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 2:42 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 7:48 AM, Ray Kloss <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> ...They recommend Sophos and even want antivirus on Mac computers
>>>
>>> I'd pick a different school, one that knows what they're doing.
>>
>> Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:
>>
>> http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30
>>
>> Marilyn
>
>
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Randy B. Singer

On Aug 15, 2015, at 4:06 PM, Chris Poterala wrote:

> How should universities handle thousands of computers they cannot manage that are connecting to their networks?

They should get a low-cost educational site license to an excellent security software suite and make it freely available to every student.  This is how colleges with knowledgeable IT staff often handle the problem.

Other thoughts:

Sophos is free, but I've heard more reports of it causing debilitating rotating beachball problems than any other AV program.  

Avast is free, and fairly highly rated, but it installs adware and has other problems:
http://www.thesafemac.com/avast-installs-adware/
http://www.thesafemac.com/?s=avast

ClamXav is a fairly safe AV program to choose in that it isn't fully interactive, and thus doesn't cause the rotating beachball problems that most other AV programs do.  However, it is no longer free.  It is now $30:
http://www.clamxav.com
Unfortunately ClamXav, for the price, isn't as full featured as some other AV programs.  For instance, it can't clean an infection and leave the underlying program in perfect condition.  In most cases you have to delete the underlying app and reinstall a fresh copy.

If you have made up your mind that you are going to install AV software on your Macintosh, it seems to me that the free options are not a good choice.  If you are going to install AV software, and pay for it, you might as well get the best product you can find.  Intego's Virus Barrier usually wins unbiased comparison tests, e.g.:
http://www.thesafemac.com/mac-anti-virus-testing-2014/
and seems to cause the fewest problems of the fully interactive AV programs.  It is currently going for only $40:
http://www.intego.com/antivirus-internet-security-x8

However, given a choice, I think that AV software, for now, for most ordinary Mac users, is more trouble than it's worth.  There aren't any really prevalent threats, and AV software itself can cause too many problems.  Instead, staying educated and keeping your Mac fully updated is probably the best choice if you aren't a business person or someone with special security concerns.

___________________________________________
Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
___________________________________________






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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Al Varnell
Randy,

Although I agree with most everything you had to say in the rest of your posting as well as the majority of this section, in my experience you overstate one aspect of Mac Malware in general and ClamXav in particular.

It’s certainly true that ClamXav is not as full featured as some (even many) other AV programs.  Over the past ten years of it’s existence, it has always been a simple malware detector, relying on the ClamAV scan engine which was originally designed to protect e-mail servers, but evolved to cover all forms of malware on all platforms.  

Now that ClamXav has gone commercial, it’s a full time job for Mark Allan’s company, rather than a hobby, and he has said:
> We have many new features in the pipeline for ClamXav and OS X going forward. Unfortunately I can't comment on exactly what we have planned, but we will definitely be moving beyond simple anti-virus software in the future.

I do know that improvements to the method used to remove infected e-mails and protection against Adware are high on his list, but only time will tell.

Over the several years I have helped hundreds if not thousands of users in dealing with infected files found by ClamXav (and a few other A-V scanners as well).  During that time I believe there may has been one Flashback infection variant which disabled Safari to the point of having to replace it (I’m not even positive of that) and at least one strain of Adware that modifies one or two files in Firefox which require it’s complete replacement.  To the best of my knowledge, no A-V software is or ever was capable of “cleaning” these infections.

OS X malware is not like a lot of Windows based infections where malicious code is injected into an existing file.  The ones that I recall are MS Word Macro viruses back in the 1990’s and QHost in 2011 (modified /etc/hosts file).  As stated, ClamXav cannot “clean” these files, only delete or quarantine them for the user.  There are instructions available for manually repairing them.  It’s possible that other A-V software includes such a repair capability, but I have not had an opportunity to observe such a feature.

My bottom line is that way over 99% of all malware that can impact OS X or it’s applications can be effectively eliminated by simply removing files installed by the malware that were never part of the OS, any application or document.  ClamXav will allow the user to do easily do this (except for e-mail which can be eliminated but is more complicated).

Full disclosure: I provide uncompensated tech support on the ClamXav Forum and am not an employee of Canimaan Software Ltd.

On Sat, Aug 15, 2015 at 05:16 PM, Randy B. Singer wrote:
>
> ClamXav is a fairly safe AV program to choose in that it isn't fully interactive, and thus doesn't cause the rotating beachball problems that most other AV programs do.  However, it is no longer free.  It is now $30:
> http://www.clamxav.com
> Unfortunately ClamXav, for the price, isn't as full featured as some other AV programs.  For instance, it can't clean an infection and leave the underlying program in perfect condition.  In most cases you have to delete the underlying app and reinstall a fresh copy.

-Al-
--
Al Varnell
Mountain View, CA







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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

@lbutlr
In reply to this post by Marilyn Matty
On Aug 15, 2015, at 16:01, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:
>
> http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30

That page refers specifically to Windows-only software and includes Windows screenshots. There is no mention of Macs.

It also appears to be referring to their own internal machines on their internal network, not student machines. (Note the HIPAA reference).

--
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.


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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

William Bauer
Antivirus must be installed on computers connecting to the University of Florida's wireless network. This is how installation is verified.

http://getonline.ufl.edu/faq.html

---
http://billbauer.net 

Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 16, 2015, at 1:53 AM, LuKreme <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 16:01, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:
>>
>> http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30
>
> That page refers specifically to Windows-only software and includes Windows screenshots. There is no mention of Macs.
>
> It also appears to be referring to their own internal machines on their internal network, not student machines. (Note the HIPAA reference).
>
> --
> This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Marc Zeedar-2

> On Aug 16, 2015, at 4:45 AM, William Bauer <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Antivirus must be installed on computers connecting to the University of Florida's wireless network. This is how installation is verified.
>
> http://getonline.ufl.edu/faq.html

Wow. So it actually installs spyware on your computer and it has to be running to access their network (exactly what I feared). Even worse, the spyware doesn't just confirm you have an approved anti-viral program installed, but it won't let you run certain other software the university doesn't happen to like, such as P2P programs.

Talk about Big Brother!

I note with interest that Linux, iOS, and Android are exempt. I wonder how hard it would be to trick the network into thinking my Mac is a Linux or iOS machine?


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine
www.xdevmag.com


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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Fritz Mills
In reply to this post by Chris Poterala
One way a school could do this would be to use a network-wide firewall that provides Gateway AV/Anti-Spyware/Intrusion Prevention. My SonicWall comes with those services, and it is an entry-level SonicWall. While this wouldn’t be foolproof, it would be better than depending on students alone, and I’m sure there are much more robust enterprise-level firewall solutions than mine that are available.


> On Aug 15, 2015, at 6:06 PM, Chris Poterala <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How should universities handle thousands of computers they cannot manage that are connecting to their networks?
>
>




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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

Curtis Wilcox
In reply to this post by @lbutlr
On Aug 16, 2015, at 1:53 AM, LuKreme <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Aug 15, 2015, at 16:01, Marilyn Matty <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Yale is one of the schools that require antivirus software; I think Harvard does too:

That article is from 2012, other parts of the site seem to use language that's more encouraging and offering software than stating it as a requirement for students.

Years ago, Harvard was trying a system that checked (Windows systems) for antivirus software before connecting to the network but it was only on the part of the network uses in student housing and I think it was only on computers not yet registered (by MAC address). Now it's more as Randy suggests, free ESET licenses (for Windows and OS X) for Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences students.
http://www.eset.com/us/harvard/

>> http://its.yale.edu/news/antivirus-protection-must-be-current-receive-updates-after-oct-30
>
> That page refers specifically to Windows-only software and includes Windows screenshots. There is no mention of Macs.

"Yale University Policy requires the use of an approved antivirus solution on all devices connected to the university network." Student Macs would be connected to the University network.

> It also appears to be referring to their own internal machines on their internal network, not student machines. (Note the HIPAA reference).

The HIPAA reference is in relation to the managed client version. "An unmanaged client is intended for use on personally owned devices."




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Re: Free Antivirus with least system usage

David Ross
In reply to this post by Fritz Mills
Protecting a small business with 100 or so devices is a different task
than a university campus with 100,000 to 1,000,000 devices.

Plus universities are "different" in the US. They have conflicting goals
of freedom of access to most any data vs. keeping bad stuff out of the
campus network. Both enshrined in policies and, in many cases, law.

I'm sure most universities and colleges of any size have firewalls but
keeping out all bad stuff while allowing for freedoms has got to be hard.

On 8/16/15 12:20 PM, Fritz Mills wrote:

> One way a school could do this would be to use a network-wide
> firewall that provides Gateway AV/Anti-Spyware/Intrusion Prevention.
> My SonicWall comes with those services, and it is an entry-level
> SonicWall. While this wouldn’t be foolproof, it would be better
> than depending on students alone, and I’m sure there are much more
> robust enterprise-level firewall solutions than mine that are
> available.
>
>
>> On Aug 15, 2015, at 6:06 PM, Chris Poterala <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> How should universities handle thousands of computers they cannot
>> manage that are connecting to their networks?
>>



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