Symantec uses Fake AV tactics to make sales!

Fake AVs scare users with misinformation to fork out $$
Symantec scare users with misinformation to fork out $$


I don’t think it’s fair to compare them directly to a fake AV. Sure they are stretching the truth and relying on their vague language to protect themselves, but it’s not like they’re selling a false product. I don’t like what they’re saying but I wouldn’t classify them as acting like a fake AV.

I love some parts of the article though. It really explains why Symantec is waging such an underhanded PR campaign against free security software. Free AV’s are starting to become very popular and I assume cut into their sales.

However phrashing such as this

“The reality is, free is not enough. It’s like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm.”
is enough to make me mad. The real truth is that any detection based software is not enough. Norton is a very good product, but it's not bulletproof. That's what they're avoiding telling people. It's easier to use, for some people, then CIS but it doesn't protect you as well.

Now ZoneAlarm on the other hand fits the description of a fake AV very well these days. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then read through the topic.

Shame on ZoneAlarm.

“The reality is, free is not enough. It’s like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm.”

What inspired the epithet ;D

I have a feeling that this could only say a person who totally not professionally competent in their occupation or complete liar. There is no third…

I’m confused, what does more damage to users of Symantec. :slight_smile:


How is this misinformation? Symantec are talking about a range of criteria, such as prevention, detection, removal, useability, compatibility, performance. Do you have independently made tests that show that a free products can beat paid products in all these criteria combined? If not, then you are spreading misinformation and using “fakeav” tactics to scare users into using free products ;D

I don’t think so. They’re talking about free basic protection. The protection is the key of Symantec declaration.
CIS 5 could achieve a better prevention level than Norton due to its default deny policy (and not default allow as the legacy antivirus).

Sorrty, not sure where your point is - protection is exactly “prevention, detection, removal, useability, compatibility, performance” the exact point I made that you quoted in your post. I agree that CIS can theoretically achieve better prevention, just like you say. But Symantec aren’t talking about prevention. Prevention is just one aspect of protection. They are talking about protection - a wide ranging criteria. This is the exact point I feel Melih is missing.

Rather than jump the gun and run around screaming that Symantec uses fakeav scare tactics (stooping even lower than their level), do you not feel Melih could have done better by asking for polite clarification? I think this approach is much better for the Comodo image.

isn’t it bit late to talk about “protection” when you talk about " malware removal" :wink:

Protection is about “keeping a clean pc clean” its not about removing malware from an infected PC.

You can try to play with words, but we know that what Symantec is doing is no different than what Fake AV companies do, they are both scaring end users to fork out $$.


Wow, I didn’t think you’d step into such a massive hole. So let me get this straight, the COMODO CEO does not care about users that are already infected? He wants them to reformat their PCs, or what?

With this attitude, you’ll never make it to the security mainstream - the fact of the matter is, people install software on infected PCs. They do this a lot. When your competitors let something through, and a user, annoyed with them comes to Comodo, they need to cure their PCs first. The vast majority will not reformat their PCs, for a number of reasons.

Protection is prevention, and a whole other range of criteria - “prevention, detection, removal, useability, compatibility, performance”. This is not a quibble about words, this is how it works - by saying protection is just prevention, you are saying you can’t protect those already infected.

You can try to play with words, but we know that what Symantec is doing is no different than what Fake AV companies do, they are both scaring end users to fork out $$.” - an entirely subjective opinion, not backed up by evidence, designed to market your product. (That is of course, my subjective opinion).

We made it clear from day 1

our goal is “to keep a clean pc clean” something not many can provide :wink:

Infected PC market is of course a big market, but I can’t put my hand on my heart and say that, yes we cleaned your PC 100% :frowning: You can never guarantee 100% cleaning…thats called re-format…

however, now that we have achieved the best “prevention” architecture and technology, we have started focussing on the “infected pc” market and will get something to that user base.

As an FYI: If you keep a clean pc clean, then the need for malware removal will be less.


Finally, me and you have a fair bit to agree on. Like I posted in the other thread, to compete with the market leaders that are Kaspersky and Symantec, you can’t not address those who are already infected. You need to do this. That segment is huge.

And this is exactly what Symantec mean when they say that paid products are better than free ones - they are looking at different criteria, not only prevention, because there are different customers - like those who don’t reformat. Whilst I agree that their statement is pure marketing, unfortunately so is yours. What they say does not mean that their tactics are those of fakeavs - they think that their product is better overall. Now how you test this is open to interpretation - it always has been - it’s the well known bane of methodological testing in the security industry.

I still think the way forward for your product is to add removal, and rather than make brash statements that can hurt image (you don’t want to appear as though you are bickering), you should concentrate on getting independent tests on all criteria, and helping develop methodology. This would make you look like a champion of the security industry, rather than someone who has a marginal product that they are furiously trying to market.

Just imo of course.

I don’t think Melih is comparing thier product to a fake av, just comparing tactics used. Kind regards

My point is that their tactics are not like fakeavs. Their claim isn’t misleading - you just have to read the words carefully. They aren;t debating that paid has better prevention. They are saying paid has better protection, a valid claim (nothing to do with tactics of fakeavs).

They clearly state “protection”…and Infected PC was NOT “protected” hence they been infected. An infected PC can not be called to have “protection” cos it is infected.

I must respectfully disagree that they refer to “cleaning” when they say “protection”.

And this is at the heart of the AV industry problem in general…

AV is a tool invented in around 1987 to “clean” infections…
Yet this “cleaning” tool is being sold as "protection…

The basic technology didn’t change…so what has happened since 1987 till now, to make people think that this “cleaning” tools can actually “prevent” malware? Well, its called Marketing :)…of course they have improved in idenfitying and cleaning…but architecture stayed pretty much the same…with “reactive” architecture that cannot stop “infections”.

Comodo re-invented the way we defend the Computers! Just like Planes were invented that change the way we fight wars…just like Nukes were invented to fight the wars…which changed the way we fight…

We changed the way to fight malware! We truly innovated, new ways and solved the cause of the problem and not the symptom! the theory is: If you keep a clean pc, then this particular user will not need malware removal.

AntiVirus is the only industry where we as consumers spend $10B a year yet we still get infected! Surely there is something wrong with that :wink: Do you know how many paying customers still get infected? Too many!!! Paying for “protection” you don’t get!!! You know why? Cos what you pay is NOT build…NOT designed…NOT architected to protect…remember 1987? its a cleaning product being sold as “protection”…It cannot keep a clean PC clean!

Get onto a plane in NY…insert your USB…before you land in California, voila…you are infected!..Is this what you paid for? Is this protection?


Well Paid doesn’t have better protection, which makes their claim false!

An infected PC needs to be cured before it can be protected. Either through reformat, or through a program. You cannot protect it unless you do this, you yourself state this. If your product can;t disinfect, you can’t protect. This is the exact point Symantec is making when they say they have better protection. They can (better, not absolutely) protect users who come from a different product to them, who have already been infected.

You need removal for protection, unless all your customers reformat. Period. So their claim is valid. They use different definitions to you - just because they do, you can’t accuse them of operating like a fake av.

You are very funny!

So your argument is based on Symantec thinking that everyone is infected!..if that is the case, they should put in their marketing material that people ONLY should buy their product if they are infected!

You are trying very hard Begemot…god bless you…i don’t know why you are trying so hard…maybe you love norton…or some other reason…but your reasoning is losing credibility…but i do appreciate you spending some “considerable” time here trying to defend Norton and their Misleading Statements…

Symantec is misleading end users by saying Free doesn’t protect… This is very very misleading and no different than what Fake AV products do.


I’m glad you find this “funny”, not “concerning”.

I am trying so hard, because I’d quite like to see your product improve, and I don’t want to see Comodo users mislead. If you don’t understand what the competition does or says, you won’t be able to do that.

My argument is not based on Symantec thinking everyone is infected. It is based on the fact that Symantec understand that protection is multi-criterial, and does include things like removal. You have to look at a broad range of customers, not just the ones who are infected or not. That’s why their claims are not misleading, a point that you seem to be missing throughout.

If you don’t understand their definitions, you can’t claim them to be misleading.

If you claim removal isn’t part of protection, you say that millions of people who won’t reformat can’t be protected.

They say paid products are better than free, because as a result of testing, on a range of criteria paid performs better than free.

Well look at this statement from Symantec:

“Freeware vendors have created a false perception that free, basic security is enough to protect you from today’s online threats,” says Janice Chaffin, president of Symantec’s consumer business unit. “The reality is, free is not enough. It’s like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm.”

Can you honestly and credibly claim that this statement is about cleaning? talks about “online threats” not infected PCs…it says like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm…

Can you really defend them after this statement?


No one said it is about cleaning. It is partly about cleaning - a security suite is judged on a vast range of criteria, of which cleaning is one of them. If that’s not how you do it, you have to recognise that’s how AVC does it. If you look at different criteria in AVC’s tests, and weigh everything together, Symantec’s statements really do add up.