Stop Crying Virus Wolf

from the calm-down-everyone dept

Aha. Now that vmyths has shut down, it appears some other folks are finally realizing that anti-virus, security firms, and the media tend to massively overhype the risks of many security violations and viruses. Of course, one single article isn’t going to make a difference. Vmyths took on this task every day for eight years, and it did little to change the way the industry acted. The simple fact is that everyone involved has the incentive to keep on hyping. Security and anti-virus firms hype because it lets them get more attention and sell more products. Reporters run with the stories, with little critical thinking, because it makes good copy that sells. Telling people that the virus scare they’re hearing about is overhyped doesn’t generate much interest.

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Comments on “Stop Crying Virus Wolf”

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Some Random Guy says:

Think you are wrong

I have nothing for respect for Rob and his work at Vmyths, but perhaps the fact that it never gained traction says something about the issue. Perhaps viruses aren’t overhyped. Unless you’ve managed a corporate network during CR, Nimda or SQL Slammer virus incident then you may not realize that viruses actually do exist and can cause problems. My 2?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Think you are wrong

I don’t think either I or Rob at Vmyths ever claimed that viruses don’t exist, or that they don’t do damage.

However, consistently, the risk of those viruses is overhyped by security companies and the media. Every other day there’s another report about some virus, and how many viruses actually effect you? For every slammer, there are at least a hundred useless warnings.

sbdwestpac says:

Re: Re: not the only problem

For years the biggest problem we had wasn’t viruses or virus warning, but virus hoaxes. Someone would get a virus hoax email, Join the Crew, AOL4Free, etc… and would send it to everyone on the arsenal. And people who received it would either forward it to everyone on the arsenal again or do a reply all to reply to the originator that the message was a hoax. On three separate occasions this crashed the mail server within a six month period. The only silver lining was that it got us a much better mail server.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

who cares about security?

I’d say the problem is just the opposite — most people don’t take security at all seriously. They hide their heads in the sand and figure they don’t have anything to worry about because their computers haven’t been broken into yet (at least as far as they know). The problem will continue unless Microsoft ever decides to change policy and stress security over ease of use.

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