Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Consumer Antivirus Blogs

OK, I give up, what's up with all the blog sites run by the antivirus vendors - in particular the consumer-level antivirus products? Every day the post essentially the same damned blog entries. What is the purpose of those blogs?

You know the blogs I mean. Day-in, day-out, 20+ antivirus companies post the same mind-numbing blog entries covering their dissection of their latest "interesting" piece of malware or phishing campaign. The names of the malware change, but it's the same blow-by-blow step through of another boring piece of malware, with the same dire warnings that you need new detection signatures and offering up the same recommendations readers should follow to protect themselves.

I guess my question is "after a decade producing essentially the same blogs each day, who the hell do they think they're writing these blogs for?" I'm pretty damned sure that the end user isn't reading them the day they're churned out. I'm guessing that a couple hundred die-hard information security folks around the world have configured their RSS readers to download each day's worth of posting - but I'm pretty sure that all but a tiny fraction of those guys actually read more than a handful of the entries on any day.

I suspect that most of the blog entries are merely mandated responses to some marketing initiative to generate new content for the websites and help maintain a certain SEO presence. The content doesn't really matter. It's not like real people are using the data in a meaningful way... its for the machines.

I sometimes wonder if half the malware or phishing blog entries are completely made up. They may as well be generated by an automated routine for all the value they contribute to the community - let alone the actions they initiate for the end users of the vendors products.

I'm sure some marketing weenie or sub-junior malware analyst is prepared to justify the 2 hour investment in writing and posting the blog... and how someday someone will search for that particular piece of malware and the details will be online surrounded with their branded material and links back to the download page for the product... but come on, is the effort worth it? The antivirus vendor blogs would be a thousand times more interesting if the posted a photo of Grumpy Cat every day... it could even be the same photo every day...

Can we stop this farce, this joke, this waste of time that is the daily postings of yet another totally uninteresting piece of malware or phishing email and stop pretending it's news?

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