Virus v. Trojan: not just about semantics

Whenever a new trojan appears for Linux, Mac OS X, or (now) Android, inevitably you get a crowd of ignorant panic-mongers up in arms saying “See? [fill in the blank] gets viruses, too! Ah ha! Better install that antivirus now.” Now, apart from the fact that so-called “antivirus” software is for all practical purposes useless […]

The antivirus paranoia culture

Recently, I’ve spent some time looking at the computer section of Yahoo! Answers, and it’s a fascinating place from a sociological perspective. If the questions and answers popular there are indicative of what common attitudes and practices are among Windows and Mac users, then this is how a typical user operates: Install free antivirus software […]

Does Ubuntu need antivirus?

This is a very common question that comes up on the Ubuntu Forums from new users migrating from Windows. The answer, of course, is “No, Ubuntu doesn’t need antivirus.” Linux (and sometimes Mac) users often get accused of being smug or complacent for saying they don’t need antivirus, so I think I have to clarify […]