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Trend Micro thinks your PC is too secure (UPDATED)

by Brandon on March 23rd, 2008

Update 2: Trend Micro has sent a new response to the guy with the original problem, viewable here.  It seems that you can uninstall the build discussed below and install a new Vista-friendly one at this link.

Update: Apparently I misunderstood the timing of this e-mail, and it is actually from last year.  I’ve updated the post a bit to make that clearer and to be a little less harsh, since I don’t know that they’re still sending mails like this.  But the user is still having the same problem, and their web site still suggests the same solution, so it’s likely they are.  If you’ve received one like it, please let me know!

A Neowin forum member brought up what they believed was a conflict between UAC and Trend Micro Internet Security 2007.  After some discussion about it, they received this e-mail from Trend Micro’s support team:

Dear Lexonex,
Hello there! A pleasant day to you! My name is John from Consumer Escalation Team and I will be assisting you on this issue. To keep our records up-to-date, it is very important to RESPOND to this e-mail.

I have carefully read your email and have understood your concern.
Regarding Turning-off User Account Cotrol of WIndows Vista. This feature of Windows Vista is the same as the Suspicious Software Alarm System of Trend Micro Internet Security 2007. Turning-it off really does not harm your computer since you have this kind of feature working in your Trend Micro program. It even allows you not to have that annoying pop-up each time you install or open other programs.

Right-now we don’t have any information yet if there will be a patch for that problem since it’s really about WIndows Vista’s permissions on the programs running in your computer. It’s like Trend Micro not being allowed by Windows Vista to work normally. And for the feature to run, it’s either we turn-off User Account Control or set some exceptions for other programs in User Account Control which right-now; WIndows’ Vista does not give an option.

If ever a patch should be created for this problem, it should be a patch from Microsoft so they can allow valid programs to run normally when User Account Control is on.

But we are not closing our options and are still testing if there is a way that the whole Trend Micro program as a whole can be permitted by WIndows Vista to run normally.
I hope I have answered your inquiries clearly.
I will patiently wait for your reply.
Please let me know if I can close this case already.
VERY IMPORTANT: In order for me to have a history of our correspondence, please do not delete the subject and the contents of this email.
Hope this proves useful and have a nice day
Best Regards,
Consumer Support Team
TrendLabs HQ, Trend Micro Incorporated

Apr 12 2007, 04:12 AM

Did he really just say that?!?  Let’s count the problems with this message:

  1. Turning off UAC has a substantial impact on your PC security.
  2. Trend Micro’s “Suspicious Software Alarm” is nothing like UAC.  It doesn’t even have the same goal!  That feature, as its name implies, is about preventing malware from getting on your machine.  UAC has nothing to do with malware.
  3. It’s impossible for a third-party application or service to do what UAC does.
  4. He blames their crappy software design on Vista!  If their developers think this way, you should run as fast you possibly can away from Trend Micro.
  5. Every other virus scanner developer has gotten along just fine with UAC.  You know, because they actually know how to write software. 
  6. “Either we turn off UAC or set some exception” – you don’t set any exceptions!!! You show an elevation dialog.  Or you run as a service like everybody else.  If your virus scanner is running in user mode, you’ve already failed.

Update: Now it’s been nearly a year since that e-mail was sent.  Have they fixed the problem?  It doesn’t look like it.  They still tell you the same thing on their knowledge base site!

My advice?  Get OneCare, AVG, eTrust, or another offering.  Just make sure it’s from someone who understands security and software development.

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3 Comments
  1. Phil Sweet permalink

    I wish you would have posted this a week ago. I just bought TrendMicro to run on Vista X64. It has done full scans and I have had no problems with it. UAC is enabled.

    It’s interesting that your “Ads by Google” are showing TrendMicro Security 2008.

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