We've seen plenty of crowdsourced anti-spam apps, but Jesse
points us to a company called Immunet that claims to be launching a free "cloud-based, collaborative anti-virus" solution
. The idea is that people install it, and as soon as anyone detects a virus problem, that info is shared with all of the other users, thereby (in theory) working much faster than today's brand-name anti-virus products. However, I have to admit I can't figure out how this works. For anti-spam stuff it makes sense -- since anyone can recognize spam. But how can it work for anti-virus? Who's determining what the actual virus is? How is it protected against false positives? None of that's clear. I went through the company's website, and it seems to just skip right over the question of actually detecting the virus. It makes fun of the established anti-virus providers for taking too long in examining suspected viruses in their lab, but never explains how the detection occurs otherwise. In fact, about the only
thing I can figure out from the company's own language is that it's going to simply use the virus definitions found in those other products installed on people's computers. If that's true, then it won't actually be any better or faster than those companies it was making fun of earlier. The whole thing sounds full of buzzwords and hype, but appears to have little substance.