Antivirus software does have a use, but that use is to protect you against viruses already discovered. If something new comes along, it ain’t going to do diddly against it. This is why Symantec and McAfee products are referred to as a ripoff; those “definitions” you download are freely available online.
That said, antivirus is more useless in some platforms than others. And a respected name in antivirus, AVG, might have been using that uselessness to cover something shady.
The problem is their “Mobilation” app, just pulled from the Windows Marketplace store. Mobilation scanned your phone for viruses. One problem: there are no viruses for Windows Phone. Better safe than sorry, right? Problem number two: Microsoft took steps to keep viruses out in the first place — an app on a Windows Phone can’t access system files or other applications, so if you downloaded a virus under cover as an app, it wouldn’t be able to do much and Mobilation would be unable to find it. It can only look at your photos and music.
Problem number three: Mobiliation doesn’t really scan that well. It basically looks at filenames for a few specific strings (virus names and, weirdly, “Hebrew” in Hebrew. Seriously.) and that’s it. So it’s a crappy free app. What’s the problem?
The problem is that it pulls just about every possible scrap of information it can find about you and uploads it to AVG’s servers without telling you. AVG claims it’s a phone tracking feature…which is weird since A) Windows Phone already does that and B) it doesn’t allow multitasking, so the thief would have to run the app for you to track the phone.
In short, AVG put some software up for free that misrepresented itself while secretly performing another function without the user’s knowledge or consent. Soooo…they introduced a Trojan, then?
I want more like this!
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