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Why there is no open source anti-virus? And what problems that will associate with open source?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Steffen Ullrich, Jedi, Xander, André Borie, tlng05 Jun 25 '17 at 22:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Hi @shantnu-chaubey, Welcome to Information Security. A bit of research before posting a question would be much appreciated :) – Ebenezar John Paul Jun 25 '17 at 7:48
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    I propose to close this question because it first starts with the wrong assumption that there is no open source AV and then in packs multiple questions into one where it is at least for me unclear what the second one even asks: "And what problems that will associate with open source". – Steffen Ullrich Jun 25 '17 at 9:20
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    May I suggest you to change the title of your question for something which isn't wrong? Otherwise the chance you get a valid answer are really thin. – dan Jun 25 '17 at 21:20
  • @danielazuelos Thx for your suggestion my real motive of asking this question is what problems are in open source anti-virus now I changed title – Kartik Jun 26 '17 at 18:28
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Your premise is wrong, there is: ClamAV.

Edit: Assuming that there are indeed surprisingly few open source antivirus tools, then this could be due to the fact that people who are competent enough to build them often don't believe in antivirus. This is just speculation on my part but the arguments against antivirus are solid and you can find many articles on it.

  • Don't you see it's last update was in 2016 – Kartik Jun 25 '17 at 7:27
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    That date refers to clamav AV scanner not the detection signatures db. If you go by the premise of release date. Norton antivirus shows up as being 3 years old. :) – Parth Maniar Jun 25 '17 at 7:43
  • @ShantnuChaubey is your question why there is no open source AV or why there is no new open source AV projects developed this year? – schroeder Jun 25 '17 at 20:56
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Why there is no open source anti-virus ?

There were a few open source anti virus programs back then. I believe all of them have gone extinct except ClamAV (very old though)

Make no mistake, there are still a lot of free anti virus programs out there. However, they aren't open source software.

Anti virus programs need to be constantly updated for virus definitions. Having an outdated anti virus software is as good as not having any. Creating and providing constant support to an updated open source software is a lot of work. There may be a lot of perspectives why many of them aren't around. May be they haven't found a sponsor or may be the people who sell paid ones don't want open sources to bite their tails(just saying..)

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    You know what's even worse than having an outdated antivirus database? Having a useless sudo thread running in background which has full file access and can be hijacked. – BlueWizard Jun 25 '17 at 21:41
  • Agreed @BlueWizard – Ebenezar John Paul Jun 26 '17 at 12:16
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ClamAV has already been mentioned. As to why there aren't more open source offerings:

It takes a lot of resources to collect samples, analyze them quickly, and push out updates. Beyond that, the algorithms and scanning methods in the code itself have to be continually updated as malware techniques evolve. Who's going to fund that and give it away?

There are a number of free offerings, but they tend to be ad supported, or try to upsell you to a paid product. The one exception is Windows Defender, which Microsoft seems to offer as a baseline protection to fend off the "Windows is insecure" reputation.

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