Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

A stroke of genius

12 October 2017

What is it about anti-virus software that attracts so many rogues and bad actors?

We all know the McAfee story and Symantec has come in for some very bad press in recent times for "mis-issuing" security certificates.

Well now Kaspersky are coming under the spotlight for alleged collusion with Russian authorities to spy on US government and other parties.

Of course Kaspersky have denied any involvement but reports in the media seem quite damning.

Of course using anti-virus software to do your spying for you is a stroke of genius and Russia ought to be at least given recognition for this clever approach.

What better way to inspect every file on a potential victim's computer than to do so whilst also scanning for viruses?

I mean... AV software is trustworthy, right?

Also, whilst any other application with a trojan in it would immediately ring alarm bells if it began accessing files without authority -- reading every single file on your network is exactly what you'd be expecting AV software to do.

So clever!

It gets better...

People expect AV software to report back to HQ and upload potential new signatures as well as downloading an update to its own signature database of known malware -- so if it encrypts the juicy bits of your files and uploads them to a foreign server that's also going to fly under the radar.

I wonder just how much valuable and sensitive information has been siphoned out of machines which gave their AV software full access rights and authority to run wild in a sea of "top secret" data.

So that's McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky... gosh, just who can you trust these days?

What about Linux?

Well, as most of us know, the NSA has actually contributed significant amounts of the code for Linux and although this stuff is supposed to be peer reviewed and open to the close scrutiny of the entire Linux community... how can we be sure that something isn't buried deep inside?

The reality is that these days, nothing is safe once it's committed to a computer.

I've seen quite a few examples of security leaks even with air-gapped computers thanks to devices that pick up the extremely weak electromagnetic signals that travel from keyboard or LCD into the ether.

Perhaps the only slightly satisfying aspect of this situation is that even big brother has lost his privacy. However, I'm sure that governments around the world will feel much better after reading the reassuring phrase: "Only those with something to hide have anything to fear".

Touche'

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

Why EVs might cripple New Zealand
Electric vehicles (EVs) look set to take over from dino-juiced personal transport within the next decade or so...

Is the next-tech beyond hobbyists?
I'm a lucky guy...

Are we overdue for another global pandemic?
It's been almost exactly 100 years since the last global pandemic swept the world and killed millions...

Here come the Johnny Cabs
I'm sure all Aardvark readers have already heard the recorded conversation between a hair-dressing salon receptionist and Google's AI "bot". If not, go search for it and listen...

Here comes the big one?
The mainscream media is at it again...

Fast enough for me
A couple of months ago, I splashed out on a new PC...

Yes, time travel is possible!
Stephen Hawking has invited time travelers to his memorial service...

The most ambitious Mars mission yet?
There have been some pretty impressive attempts to do science on the Red Planet in recent decades and I for one have just loved the results...

A life-changing gift
I read a story in today's Stuff about service stations, and how they rob you blind each time you fill up your car, by selling you confectionery, pies,coffee and other impulse-purchase products at highly inflated prices...

Audiophools on the loose again
Do you remember listening to your first compact audio disk and being appalled by the thinness of the sound, the lack of richness and the clearly audible encoding artifacts?...

Live each day as if it's your last
Last week I went to the doctor...