Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Avira makes me WannaCry

It's humbling when you perform due diligence and still get it wrong. For years I've used Avira as my anti-virus product since it is consistently in the top 3 or so in detection and performance rates according to various antivirus researchers.

But the free version of Avira did not detect WannaCry. Not from any lack of ability but rather because Avira wanted to differentiate their "Pro" version from the free version by limiting the ability to handle ransomware to the Pro version.

Screenshot of Avira failing to stop WannaCry

Why would ransomware ever be considered outside of antivirus' basic scope? The free version of Avira almost certainly has ransomware protection now but I have switched to BitDefender. Kaspersky's AV also has a good detection and performance rating while also having protected against WannaCry. NewEgg runs sales on Kaspersky all the time so that's probably what I'll be using later.*

I've paid for Avira before because I hate the ads, but I manage a lot of computers and there's too much competition to really pay for a dozen licenses as insurance. And not extending protection to "free" users is a major failing in my opinion so I doubt I will use Avira again.

* Uninformed people think Kaspersky is some kind of Russian backdoor but any top intelligence agency can easily break into any typical PC, antivirus or not thanks to "features" like Intel's Management Engine. WannaCry itself shows that the Russians shouldn't really be our top concern.

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