Who the hell started selling Anti Virus as prevention?

First PC Virus was 1986

1986, January: The Brain boot sector virus (aka Pakistani flu) is released. Brain is considered the first IBM PC compatible virus, and the program responsible for the first IBM PC compatible virus epidemic. The virus is also known as Lahore, Pakistani, Pakistani Brain, as it was created in Lahore, Pakistan by 19 year old Pakistani programmer, Basit Farooq Alvi, and his brother, Amjad Farooq Alvi.

First Anti Virus was provided in 1987

There are competing claims for the innovator of the first antivirus product. Possibly the first publicly documented removal of a computer virus in the wild was performed by Bernt Fix in 1987.

Now if you look at all the historical evidence, Anti Virus was created for removing infections. So how come end users have been conditioned to think that this reactive cleaning technology that we call Anti Virus will protect their computers from new day zero malware? Who have created this marketing misinformation and when? Why does it still continue?


Why? Becomes times have changed, They have on-access scanners now.

Anti-Virus can be considered as prevention. That is of course, If it neutralizes the threat - stopping it from performing a malicious action.

And who the heck started selling fake antiviruses for cleaning a clean computer?? With proper marketing you can get people to buy anything, you don’t even have to have a working product. :-\ :-\

Default deny is a much more efficient way to “prevent” stuff… But its not always the best who wins and becomes the obvious choice for everyone… It has happened many times in the history that a “inferior” or at least weaker product with no clear advantages has beaten a much better one and made the good product go out of business…

I don’t think it matter that much who started it. AV’s was a good option to prevent stuff, when that was the only option. But its new times now. AVs are still recommended since there is money exchanging hands.

Many of the PC magazines and stuff of that nature is pumping people with info about Antiviruses when they want to teach their subscribers about PC security…
I guess marketing and lack of knowledge/caring is the reason why people think AV’s secure a computer and is a good way to stay protected. :o :o

but they started selling as prevention before they had on access…why?


(:AGY) Oh that sucks, how can you prevent some thing, if you cant detect it before it does damage? (:AGY)

AntiVir were released by in 1988

So maybe it was Avira? just saying.

They did? Link pls.


I don’t think those companies had Web Sites in 1988-89 :slight_smile:


No pic, No proof

I now come back to my orginial comment;

If i may, where is your proof that AV companies were selling their AV as a Cleaning solution only and not prevention until they had On Access as you claim?



^ Here you go.


all i see the timeline and how AV evolved…
nowhere does it mention that until On access it was cleaning only post On access its prevention. Can you pls pin point where it says that?

Also why were Companies selling brand new PCs with AV pre on access scanner days?

Seriously Kyle, do you really think that until on access came about, AV industry was only selling Anti virus to infected customers as cleaning and not to the masses as a solution to Virus protection?


If I remember correctly Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit included VirusGuard for DOS and WinGuard for windows back in the mid to late 90’s These offered ‘protection’ of sorts. basically they just loaded into memory and did their best to scan for rouges.

A time doesn’t matter.

Because some security provider said they’re provide (and sell) for more than 20 years but fail in usage and quality. :stuck_out_tongue:

That company’s name started with letter “A”.


Antivirus solutions were initially designed as individual utilities to detect and remove specific viruses. However, as the number of viruses increased, antivirus 'toolkits' were released. These included an on-demand scanner which would search for the viruses currently in existence, and in some cases a cleaning utility. By the end of 1990, an increase in the number of viruses to nearly 300 caused antivirus vendors to implement real-time protection, and to supplement signature based analysis with heuristics, behavioural analysis, emulation and other techniques.

Anyway, Are you saying that AV’s can’t be considered as “Prevention?”
Here is a good article, Pay attention to the first page;

If the AV is able to detect the threat and neutrilize it then, It has effectivly Blocked the threat from doing any harm = Prevention.

Only the ones it knows of :slight_smile: how about the ones it lets waltz in? Where is prevention for them?

Its like me saying I am the best 100 meter guy but only if you compare me against everyone else who is slower than me :slight_smile:


Anti-virus programs can prevent infection if,and only if, you are not one of the first ones to be hit by a new one. Technically, they can be said to be prevention and some of the best ones do prevent infection by some new things with their heuristic capabilities. The problem with that is that the serious malware writers test their “product” against existing antivirus solutions before releasing it into the wild. The top AV companies are very fast to provide detection of new threats so, for most people, they do prevent infection.

Not comparing AV’s to anything - we all know that it’s a “cops and robbers” type thing. My point is that AV’s can be used considered prevention. - And as you pointed out It’s only the ones it knows about, though.

You see that becomes false sense of security… thats why there are tens of millions of people being infected still… living in the land of the false sense of security using AV to protect themselves.


Melih, I’m not commenting on the efficiency of AV’s…

When it comes to human diseases, detection is also considered as a form of secondary prevention as it provide a chance to identify specific pathological conditions in early phases (raising the chance of benign prognosis).

In a way AVs could be assumed to carry prevention for what they are able to detect.

Primary prevention also includes:

  • Preventing exposures
  • Improving resistance
  • Education to diminish risk-taking behaviors

In a way AVs also improve resistance and they could prevent exposure to what they detect though it is unlikely they promote any related education as they are notorious for luring people to the wonders of unmanned security.