New anti-virus tool suits those bugged by updates

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 September, 1998, 12:00am

Is there any anti-virus software that does not need to be updated constantly and still does a good job protecting a computer system? Despite my best efforts, I can never remember to update my anti-virus software, and when I do get round to it, it takes too long anyway.

SIMON POON Hunghom If a company named Tegam International lives up to its word, rivals such as Norton and McAfee had better watch out.

While the latter two require users to update virus signature files constantly, Tegam claims its anti-virus program In-Defense does not need updating because of a new way it goes about looking for and eradicating viruses.

In-Defense, which works on Windows NT and 98 and also under DOS, takes a snapshot of your computer when it is virus-free and afterwards keeps checking for behaviour that indicates viral activity.

Each directory on the PC's hard disk is snapped, and a record is kept of the disk's boot system files, master boot record, CMOS memory and PC memory.

In-Defense then launches a memory-resident module that checks PC operations for any strange goings-on. It also creates a system rescue method that can be stored on a floppy or a network to bring the system backup in case of a crash, be it caused virally or otherwise.

With nearly 30,000 viruses occupying a list that is growing every day, an In-Defense-type solution makes a lot of sense. The product - available on the Web from - is a little expensive at US$89, but considering you have to pay for many updates to anti-virus programs, it is worth it.

So far, reports of independent testing of In-Defense are sketchy, but the program is being well received. It ought to be worth checking.