Anti theft - useless feature? Or not?

Discussion in 'ESET NOD32 Antivirus/Smart Security Beta' started by karlisi, May 24, 2012.

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  1. karlisi

    karlisi Registered Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    I believe the anti theft feature is completely useless. We had two laptops stolen last year and we have ESET BE with RA server. None of them appeared on ERAS. Only very stupid thieve will not fully reformat hard disk as first thing. And I am sure, there will be not NOD32 on the reinstalled system, so even database of stolen computers MAC addresses will not help. In fact, MAC address is changeable too.
    So, my opinions - this new feature is for marketing purposes only. Your thoughts?
  2. cupez80

    cupez80 Registered Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Surabaya Indonesia
    i agree with you. its useless. ESET should provide better protection from malware instead.
  3. encus

    encus Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    I agree. I think Eset should focus on something more important, like strengthen its firewall.
  4. Marcos

    Marcos Eset Staff Account

    Nov 22, 2002
    ESET is continually working in multiple areas on improving the product. The fact that new features are introduced does not mean that less resources are dedicated to malware detection or development of existing features, quite the contrary. If there's something particular that you're missing in ESET's products, feel free to report it.
    As for Anti-Theft, there have already been several cases when the police was able to track stolen laptops and return them to their owners.
  5. Erudit

    Erudit Registered Member

    May 28, 2012
    United Kingdom
    The only way this feature would work is if the thief wasn't aware of the anti theft module, similar to Prey Project, however eset have included its status in the program, also after a simple google about eset you can see that within 3 minutes of it being connected to the web it will phone home and disabled the user account and create another account ,however as all us IT Engineers will know we can recreate users in windows as and when we like; using a linux boot disk, we also know that if we want the data we can simply remove the hard disk and hook it up to a pc to remove files from the drive, the anti theft software in that scenario is rendered useless,also surely from running this beta program within a controlled environment we will be able to work out what URL or ip address it is connecting too and prevent the machine contacting home.This is all under the presumption that the thief would connect it to the internet straight away.

    Wouldn't it be wise to utilize some of the virus writers methods to implement an anti-theft system, eg; Rootkit written to the MBR for instance, and if a simple fix mbr was able to remove it, eset would reinstall it, there would be no way to disable it without uninstalling the eset smart security aswell as marking online to remove the mbr install within the 3 minutes, before it contacted home.

    As the years go on thieves are going to understand how anti-theft software works, to make the module work as everyone would want, complex methods will need to be thort of. Simply uninstalling the software to disable the laptop from being traced isn't good enough.

    But a pat on the back for eset , suppose you have to start from somewhere.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  6. Pablo87

    Pablo87 Registered Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    i think this feature is for desktop is useless but maybe for laptops not useless
    maybe that they can improve anti theft!
    for me personally anti theft is useless dont need it
    would love to see that eset improve the detection etc and firewall
  7. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    on my zx10-r
    for some people i can see it being good, those that are always on the go or traveling with their laptop. for most though i dont see it being popular, and for desktops its not worth it imo. the one area i would really like to see improved is in cleaning. i dont have issues with stuff getting through personally.
  8. Teraclips

    Teraclips Registered Member

    May 18, 2008
    for desktops yes, for laptops it seems useful besides is not true that your everyday thief is gonna be a tech savvy
  9. karlisi

    karlisi Registered Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Let me tell you typical story about your stolen laptop. Thief immediately sells your laptop for everyday dose or smth to some dealer. This dealer resells your laptop to well known and trusted man, technically clever, perhaps from small and cheap computer shop. Till this point your laptop never gets on Internet. Tech man reformats the disk, installs some OS, most likely pirated Windows, perhaps scratches off the serial number, and sells it himself or on behalf of some other trusted man. It's why police almost never finds stolen computers.

    Yes, I am very skeptic, but it is based on real life experience. Perhaps in western world thieves are dumber, and I believe ESET made really serious research before included this new feature in their product. I believe also, they are ready for some legal problems in some countries, i.e. some privacy concerns.
  10. wadeduck58

    wadeduck58 Registered Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Maine, USA
    Just sent this below letter to Eset Marketing....

    Does anyone else have the same concerns with ESS 6 Beta?
    ---(copy of letter below)---

    Hello Friends,

    I recently received an offer to "Try out the free Smart Security 6 beta with Anti-Theft"...

    I have to tell you that I have been a faithful customer for 7 years, and use your products exclusively on all four of our personal home computers, as well as recommend ESET to all my customers...

    My business is probably only responsible for bringing 15-30 new customers a year your way, but even though I am a small repair outfit, I thought that others would share my worries, and stop endorsing you as well...

    I have to be honest; your constant expansion to new areas to refresh your products could do more damage than help :-(

    I am very worried about your trend to incorporate "Anti-Theft" features onto your newest releases!

    In theory, additional features seem like new ways to reach more customer wants, but not if they conflict with your original products security!

    I hoped to shed some light, if it is not too late, for your newest released Smart Security 6, because originally after reading the additions this year, I was simply going to find another product to use personally and endorse with my customers...

    Being a retired microwave engineer/department manager, I know from experience that managers sometimes are the last to know of a problem, and/or critical customer feedbacks!

    (I just wanted to respectfully let you know why I am sadly leaving your product line, and want to humbly thank you for so many years of great protection!)

    Now the tough part:
    With all due respect Friends, have you considered how comments like these below, make your product look like a (hackable and overall) security risk now

    "Automatic monitoring of the device is activated allowing you to follow the device's position on the map;

    When the device comes online, you have access to all the gathered information;

    See who has your computer through the built-in camera, without them knowing;

    View screen shots of various screens on your computer that can tell you which programs are being used;

    Collects snapshots of the missing laptop’s screen"

    I seriously wonder why the best anti-virus product in the world would not think about how your customers would respond to "designed-in security compromises"

    I saw Norton, PC-Cillin, McAfee, and several others lose their appeal to hard core security customers, as they sadly followed the false marketing belief that "more is better"... and bloatware eventually crippled their products!

    Had you made your newest "Anti-Theft" features (security compromises) a separated "stand alone" option from your Security Products, I could still whole heartily endorse your newest release, but now I am worried your marketing department may have trumped your design department:-(

    Again Friends, I mean no ill will and I am truly the most sad to leave your product line; I just thought that one retired manager should help out his fellow managers whenever possible :)

    Thank You again for so many years of top notch products,

    and I am truly hopeful that I am wrong about your potential customer exodus,

    God Bless,


    PS: (Please Friends; If I am completely wrong about any of the above concerns, let me know as soon as possible, as I would truly wish to stay your customer:)
  11. agoretsky

    agoretsky Eset Staff Account

    Apr 4, 2006

    You do understand that the Anti-Theft feature, like other features added to the software (HIPS, Parental Control, Device Control and so forth) are optional and can be disabled if you do not wish to use them. Also, ESET continues to support versions 3, 4 and 5 of its sotware, so if there is something you're not particularly enthusiastic about that's unchangeable (like the UI) you can always go back to that older version.


    Aryeh Goretsky
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