back to article Trend Micro's CEO says 'AV industry sucks'

Trend Micro’s CEO threw down the gauntlet to her competitors last week, proclaiming that hackers are ahead of the game and that the anti-virus industry “sucks”. Chief exec Eva Chen, who co-founded the Tokyo, Japan headquartered-firm in 1988 with Steve Chang, announced last Wednesday a radical shift in business strategy for …


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  1. Corrine

    The AV industry sucks

    And Trend Micro is leading the charge.

  2. Christian Berger

    Racing against AV-vendors ist like racing against a dead horse

    Seriously in the past you had good people working in the AV companies. They disassembled viruses and even were able to cope with polymorph viruses.

    Today they cannot even write simple pieces of software without writing buffer overflows. Their programms break when they need to scale gigantic ziped files.

    Currently it's a bigger risk to run virus scanners than to not run them. Especially on normal PCs. It might be different with Windows PCs, but those are resetted to their original image uppon boot in good installations anyhow.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    EX Trend Micro customer says 'Trend AV sucks'

    Thank god our trend solutions runs out on the 29th. with web filtering products that doesn't even have sites like "myspace" or "facebook" in its filter list and email gateway products that can't successfully deliver email (if they have a . in the wrong place as 1/10 of our email seemed to).

    Good by trend & good ridance. I hope you pull this out of the bag because lets face it your other products sucked.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Proprietary Advantage?

    If we're supposed to look to the likes of microsoft for "innovation and progress", the world is in even greater decline than previously thought.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    5.5 million new viruses is a sign of success

    If there were only 55 new viruses, virus scanners would be simpler to maintain so it would be much harder to justify expensive upgrades.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Great, but...

    The problem is that better malware detection doesn't necessarily sell an AV product. Users find it very difficult to compare the protection they get from different AV programs. If those programs operate on completely different principles, it gets even harder because the result depends heavily on which tests you look at.

    My guess is that AV will continue to sell on things like marketing (i.e. spin), support, cost, convenience, system load, false positives, etc., with detection rates still some way down the list. I hope Trend have evaluated their strategy against all those other criteria as well.

  7. Andy


    Isn't she the one that is suing Barracuda Networks for alleged patent infringement for using ClamAV in their product? Claiming that the concept of scanning for viruses at the gateway was their Idea.

  8. Stan

    Bottled water

    Why DO people who have decent tap water buy bottled water? Is it something to do with cool? "Oh no, mustn't drink tap water, I'll turn into Duane Dibbly" Fair enough, when the tap water is full of chemical cack and mostly second hand (shareware) then you don't have a lot of choice, but when your drinking spring water (the fountain of GPL software) why the hell would you want water that tastes of plastic and costs more than beer and wine (in mainland Europe, not the UK obviously. Ha ha ha, that will be the day...). Besides, we don't need your poxy water missus, our virus-eater died of starvation.


  9. Suburban Inmate

    Ahhhh.... Real innovation!

    ...Assuming things go as planned/stated. This is a writeup of a press release. No arguments.

    "But the technology isn't actually available on the market yet. In fact the two enterprise suites announced last week won't land until later this year."

    Has there been a tech demo? Of course not: not even a simulation. It's certainly a good idea, but for the time being nothing more, bar the unreleased dev code deep within Trend. Please don't talk it up as anything more.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    If they run their AV database like they run their MAPS IP database...

    ...then it will mark many legitimate programs as 'malware' while allowing unfettered access to legions of evil malwares, and they'll stubbornly refuse to improve the database claiming "that's what our customers want."

  11. Andy

    Bad use of the term "Open Source"

    Appart from Clam AV , none of the other well known free AV packages are open source. And Clam Av is primariy used by Linux email servers rather than Windows end users.

  12. David Johnson

    AV has lacked innovation for some time

    It takes balls to be this honest, only time will tell if Chen is right, but in a world of conservatism many in her industry are just interested in milking the cash cow. We don't use Trend's software but in our company the AV software is hated, especially on my machine, it runs like a dog. Would Thomson or DeWalt be open about their software or strategy? Perhaps ElReg could get them to open up.

  13. Chris C

    A couple things

    First, with all due respect, the number of new viruses has literally no bearing on the success or failure of the antivirus industry. The antivirus industry is, and has always been, about responding to threats. It's even in the name -- anti-virus. You write a piece of software that protects against viruses. A reactionary industry will, by definition, always be one step behind because it's extremely difficult (if not impossible) to protect against the unknown (without using whitelists exclusively).

    Second, please tell me if I'm wrong, but the way I read the article, it sounds like this new product will require an internet connection for the queries. Does that mean someone without a constant internet connection won't be protected?

    Lastly, if Miss Chen really thinks open source projects have no investment, perhaps she should talk to the folks at IBM and Sun. I'm told they've invested a little bit in open source.

  14. Frank Bellavance

    Who needs an AV anyway?

    Been without one for ages. Glad to live without having to endure the huge slowdowns. But then again, my OS of choice tends to be slightly harder to infect. Besides, as the only place I can write under normal times in my home folder and that gets weekly backups, if I ever get trouble, I just need to format and restore the home folder from when it wasn't infected

  15. Gordon Fecyk

    @AC, Funny you should mention MAPS...

    ...there's commentary just waiting to come out of my mouth on this one, but I'll sum it up by saying I just subscribe to Messagelabs and turn the MAPS services off.

    I've waited for the AV industry to say, "we suck," for the past twelve years. No further commentary needed.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    Why should Trend Micro's web filtering software blacklist MySpace, Facebook, etc.? Are these sites porn, malware, gambling, etc? Not every company wants to block these sites. If yours does, then I'm sure the software lets you add to the block list, as does every piece of web filtering software I've ever come across. Seems like a case of the bad workman blaming his tools.

  17. Wade Burchette

    I was wondering why Trend had gone in the toilet lately

    Granted, a bad Trend Micro is still 4000 times better than McAfee and 1 billion times better than Norton. Still Trend has fallen behind, way behind, on detection lately. Still better than Norton, McAfee, AVG, and Avast. Not better than Kaspersky. Unless Trend improves real soon, I'm going to be an ex customer. I've got no complaints with the software, it is efficient, lightweight, and never screws up your computer. (I was fixed a computer that had Norton installed from HP and the internet would not work until Norton was gone. Sadly, that was not the first time that happened.)

    My complaints are how lax it has become at detecting malware. More specifically, how much it does not detect. There was a day when Trend would get every piece of malware thrown at it. It always did a bad job with viruses. But it used to do a great job with malware. Now I have to run Spybot to finish the job.

    Trend needs to do the basics right first and THEN try to do something special. You shouldn't pull resources out of the basics, but apparently that is what Trend has done. I'll be looking to see if the Russians can do AV better.

  18. wim
    Thumb Down

    trend is indeed losing

    If your own homepage get hacked then it is a bit hard to have faith in your product.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hic hack hoc

    Wasted hours this weekend trying to contact Trend Micro about the 2008/9 Internet Security update they allowed me to download without warning me that it no longer works with Windows 2000. I'm sure they'll refund the money, but the hassle of spending $72 on a completely useless piece of software and having absolutely no one available on the telephone is exacerbated by the ceo's smug posturing.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Suburban Inmate

    This wasn't a press release, it was a "launch event" in London attended by media and analysts, and yep, there was a live demo of the technology, and yep, it worked.

  21. JeffyPooh

    Google this phrase:

    Symantec Sucks

  22. Chris C

    Speaking of AV

    Speaking of antivirus, I'm doing a test install of Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 for a client. SEP is the product which is replacing Symantec Antivirus (the business/corporate edition). With every version since SAV 8, it's been getting more and more bloated. Well, SEP (which has antivirus, antispyware, and firewall) takes the cake for bloat.

    I did a clean install of Windows Server 2003 R2, then installed the drivers, W2K3 SP2, Firefox, and Printkey 2000 v5.10. Memory use at login was 176MB. I then installed IIS (required by the SEP management utility), then installed the SEP management utility and SEP itself. Memory use at login was 893MB. The SEP management utility takes an additional 150-256MB. So the entire SEP antivirus "package" (SEP, the SEP management utility, and IIS) uses 867-973MB of memory on the server. And that was with only one SEP client.

    Is it just me, or does whitelisting sound better every day? It would be more time-intensive to begin with to calculate checksums and create the whitelist database, but it sure would be a lot less resource intensive during normal use.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward re-workmen tools

    Its not that I want them to list it as gambling sites or anything like that your right, they aren't that kind of site. What i would like is for them to appare in any category, Socal networking for example, failing that i would expect any unknown sites to go into an "unknown" category.

    The reason for me needing to block these sites is because we have students on our network. The students should not be accessing these sites during classes (as requested by tutors) If i "black list" the sites which yes trend does allow me to do it then blanket applies across our users and you cant filter it by usergroup leaving them blocked for all staff members.

    This was only the tip of the iceberg with all the trend products, we had all sorts of other issues with things like cross domain authentication, incoming message limits not being applied etc...

    I hope that has perhaps explained it in a bit more detail and prehaps you would like to not jump to conclusions quite so soon.

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