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Antivirus Software Isn’t Very Secure, Researcher Finds

Ever since the “I Love You” virus affected large swathes of email users, computer users had to learn the multiple ways that are required keep their computer’s myriad components safe. The frequent tools include computer updates, anti-malware software and antivirus software.

But there’s a problem when the touted safety tools contain inherent flaws. Already, you can’t trust any and every software that is advertised to remove spyware and malware. In an article from Tom’s Guide, Joxean Koret, a researcher in a Singapore-based firm, stated that many trusted antivirus software programs have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit and turn your antivirus software against you.

How Can This Be?

According to the article, antivirus software updates depend on Internet access, which means that the encryption URLs still matter. And when those updates are in progress, if the URL says http instead of https, then that means the software is vulnerable to hackers’ exploitation. However, just like any other software or website that requires a password, as long as the software is programmed to access the Internet with https web addresses, then this vulnerability will be fixed. Some companies have already faced the vulnerabilities head on because Avast, ESET and Panda confirmed that they fixed the reported vulnerabilities. How they were fixed was not reported, but unlike cars that are discovered to contain serious flaws, no recalls were used to fix the problems. Although the news is alarming for anyone who puts their a lot their trust in using antivirus programs to keep their computers safe, attempts to fix the vulnerabilities will not put significant strain on users’ abilities to use their computers for work and personal purposes.

The news about the Heartbleed bug last spring prompted strong advisory notices about changing user passwords on many services, including on Yahoo and Facebook.

With the Symantec vice president losing faith over the future of Norton Antivirus, the idea of questioning antivirus software’s lasting power is alarming, considering that the software has existed for a certain number of years.

How serious is the Antivirus Issue?

Computer vulnerabilities require constant vigilance, and an approach to computers as though they were human beings. The computer software engineers are the computer doctors who often have to read up on the latest computer health news.

But when failures happen, they can be large-scale. One example is the University of Maryland having the information of their alumni, students, faculty and staff be exposed to hackers. Another example is the Target incident where millions of shoppers had their information exposed, including their credit card numbers.

With the fact that hackers can wreak havoc when they get the chance to do so, it is natural to want to figure out solid solutions to these security problems. Although the software engineers will know a lot more about these vulnerabilities than the average user, you’re going to have to rely on your common sense when it comes to the Internet. It’s not just who you let into your Facebook circle, but also the websites you visit or click on. Antivirus software can still be useful when an accessed webpage and you receive the notification that the antivirus software blocked a harmful website. On WindowsEightForum, which is independent from Microsoft Corporation, some users caution against uninstalling the antivirus software as well. One example of a suspicious link is the advertisement that states awareness of the antivirus vulnerability news, but offers a general solution to the problem, which the advertisement states is possible to download.

The opportunities to learn HTML and other forms of code will look a lot more attractive in light of the https news. Computer users may not have one hundred percent control over the Internet’s inner workings, but as the saying goes, “knowledge is power.”