I bought a Windows PC this weekend and picked up NOD32 Antivirus from ESET along with it. I don't really have a good reason why--I handle files carefully, but I'm afraid of infected web sites and felt I should install some antivirus software as due diligence. I was tired of how Symantec and McAfee muscled in and slowed down operations on other Windows systems I had used, so I wanted to check out NOD32's vaunted speed.
I didn't realize NOD32 would treat Ubuntu as the Enemy and cause VMware Player to core dump when trying to start it. (I fixed that by telling NOD32 not to scan boot sectors.) What really struck me before that was the elaborate security theater ESET puts you through to register for updates.
- First you have to log into an ESET web site and enter a long serial number.
- Then they make you fill out a form asking for various personal data of dubious importance, along with your email address and a password.
- Then they reject the password because it doesn't conform to some rules they didn't tell you about, and you have to fill the whole form out again because the Submit button is disabled.
- Then they display a user name and password consisting of garbage characters.
- Then you open the NOD32 program on your system and paste in the new user name and password to activate updates.
- Then, for no useful reason, they send your user name and password to you in a plaintext email.
Sure feels good to be in the hands of a company that cares about security...