Will Patent Battles Make Your Computer Less Secure?

from the hurray-for-patents dept

Just as a new study is coming out suggesting that anti-virus software is getting worse at actually protecting your computer comes some other news that there's a brewing patent battle in the anti-virus world, with one firm, Trend Micro, going after a bunch of other companies for daring to use similar techniques in trying to protect computer equipment. If ever there were a perfect example of patents being used to hold back progress, this would be it. Computer security is incredibly important -- but it's a rapidly changing field, as both the "good guys" and the "bad guys" need to be constantly adjusting. Preventing firms from being able to use one method (and to improve on it, change it, build on it, etc.) simply gives the malware writers a huge leg up. They have no such qualms about building off of others' work, and this will simply lead to malware getting further and further ahead of security software, as security companies are held up in their ability to continue to adapt.

Filed Under: computer security, patents, security
Companies: trend micro


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  1. identicon
    Joe Krahn, 27 Dec 2007 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: AV software is unimportant to security by

    Matt, that is wrong. For example, a bad e-mail client can be so susceptible to viruses that the only way to ensure safety is to never open any email that has not been scanned. Lately, this has gotten easier because service providers scan email even if the user does not, and Microsoft is finally starting to add security to it's products (even though adding security as an after-thought causes the sort of hassles seen in Vista).

    As for non-Microsoft platforms, they do have vulnerabilities to hacking, but not viruses. Viruses are a Microsoft feature. Linux does not need AV software, but does need the firewall and other built-in security features.

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