I won’t even start on the rant that I don’t need a virus scanner because I have a Mac. They don’t require any virus scanning for Linux, and the vulnerabilities in OS X and Linux are roughly equivalent.
First of all, the method used by Campus Manager to detect your computer and allow it/quarantine it from the network requires that the OS X firewall be off. It took me over an hour of trying to make netreg happy before I realized that that was the problem. That’s just great! Let’s make the campus more secure by preventing people from taking their own security measures! Hopefully, this will be fixed at some point, but for now it sounds like I’ll just need to run without the firewall.
On top of that, when I installed Virex 7.5, it installed with read-only permissions and not belonging to me. So not cool, and in my opinion, a complete violation of my control over the data on my own computer. I have also been unable to prevent Virex from automatically starting all of its scan daemons at startup, although I can manually turn each of them off by using sudo and the /usr/local/vscanx/VShieldStatus utility. I’ll probably write a little script to run at login that will kill all of them as soon as Virex starts them.
I’m tempted to uninstall Virex just to see if I get quarantined; I don’t know of anyway that they can see (a) what processes I have running, or (b) what I do/do not have on my hard drive, unless one of the Virex daemon’s only job is to regularly tell Campus Manager that it is installed. If the latter is the case, that is yet another unacceptable reallocation of my system’s resources.
I fully realize that the security of the campus network requires extreme measures, especially given all of the problems last year. There’s a simple policy solution to both: don’t use Windows, and don’t use P2P software. I fully realize that the former is unfeasible, since the vast majority of students are getting cheap PCs and wouldn’t be comfortable (and, in fact, might be a greater security threat) running Linux on their personal machine. The latter, which is at least half the problem as a source of infected files, spyware, and heavy network traffic, would be easy to discourage or even prevent.
Here’s hoping that M. Dumic (no… that’s too obvious… let’s call him Mark D.) and his associates pull their collective head out of their collective ass. I know that there are a lot of smart people who work over at ITS, but it sure seems like they’re inexplicably producing some phenomenally stupid ideas.