This is an interesting story with a few points of interest for
Linux and open source enthusiasts, including McAfee's apparent
abuse of software patents and the threat a patent-enforced monopoly
in software services could pose:
"Though it's probably wishful thinking to hope that
even a single one of us will escape virus infection at one point or
another, at least there's some comfort. Antivirus software is
available to help us clean up the mess, and these programs are
dutifully kept updated with fixes for all the latest bugs.
Suppose, however, that a single corporation were able to
monopolize the market for antivirus software.
Far from being merely a hypothetical scenario, this situation
may soon become reality, following the approval of US Patent
#6,266,774. This patent, awarded to antivirus-software vendor
McAfee.com, describes a "method and system for securing, managing
or optimizing a personal computer." The documented uses for this
technique include hardware and software diagnosis, treatment of
viruses, software updates over the Internet and other "maintenance
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