Up to couple of weeks ago I have always used Symantec for my antivirus software. But in the last two weeks I decided to try McAfee AntiVirus, which comes as part/component of the McAfee SecurityCenter and provided for free to Comcast subscribers. So, I installed it on some of the machines I have at home.
A side note about my home network. I have couple of mid-towers, couple of laptops and a server. I use VNC to remote into the machines. For those of you who do not know what VNC is. It is an application used to remotely view the screen of another computer and have full control of it, almost as if you were there. I say almost, because the user has only software control and is not able to do anything physical to the machine, like a hard reboot for example. Hens â€œremoteâ€ :).
Back to McAfee. McAfee AntiVirus has a security feature called PUP â€“ Potentially Unwanted Program. On each box I installed the antivirus, VNC was recognized as a PUP shortly after the installation was completed. Now, one would only expect that if the antivirus software recognized an application as potentially harmful to the user it will quarantine the application and disable its ability to interact with the computer until further action from the user. Well, it did NOT!
I was able to set McAfee to trust VNC through VNC. In other words, if I was an attacker I would have been able to set the antivirus software to trust my invasive program and I would have maintained my control of the victim’s computer.
McAfee SecurityCenter â€“ secure … uhhhhh ….. only on the out side.
I suppose McAfee’s excuse would be – â€œwell you did not install other components of the SecurityCenter. Like for example the McAfee Firewall.â€ Oh yeah? Well, if that’s the case why do you even have a feature like PUP in your antivirus software? Response: â€œuhhh … sell more of our software products?! Hopefully.â€