ATG 42: Do You Need Antivirus Software for a Chromebook?

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I thought the one of the main marketing concepts for the Chromebook was that you didn’t even need to ask that question…

This question really bothers me. The asker states that they received Webroot when they purchased their Chromebook. Webroot themselves even say that they don’t run on Chromebook. Is a retailer adding AV as a value add not knowing that its not needed?

I’d swear I saw a vendor (I forget who) selling Chromebooks online, and a copy of an antivirus came with it. So, it is possible… (that the person asking did get that)

Nothing is secure it is just more or less hardened than something else and only resists until people spend time on breach. As/if the Chromebook market volume becomes big enough to make it a valuable target and lower hanging fruit like Windows are gone then watch the compromises roll in. Attacks continuously evolve. History is littered with the breached “secure” products/systems of yesterday. It does not matter what new buzzword security feature it has it can and will be bypassed. I think the key sentence is in your post:

And at the end of the day you still have the weakest link of every security system. The user.

A simple version/analogy of the issue is shown with padlocks that can not be picked because of new the new blah blah and are now secure etc. Then the makes a video of its compromise. Software/hardware is the same.

And then AV causes it’s own issues and vulnerabilities.

I see sales people over and over again trying to sell additional software/services that are not required and lying about it being necessary/compulsory for the system to work. I am often asked to escort people through tech purchases. On one occasion in PC World while a business associate was purchasing a laptop he was told that it would not work without buying Microsoft Office lol.Then they said they could do a good price on a the laptop model he was interested in that had been opened and returned. I asked what price they would sell it for and the sales assistant said £100 more than the new one? I was surprised by this answer and asked the reasoning. I was told that it had been opened and the software had been installed therefore saving time for my associate… :crazy_face:

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Yes, look up any Chromebook on and they all come with “Free security software A $29.99 value.” Clicking the link reveals that it’s from Webroot. Ironically, the first line of the description of Webroot (Powerful, lightweight protection for PC, Mac and Android devices…) says nothing about Chromebooks.

That is where I saw it - the Best Buy website.

Well, you could maybe install the android version. But it’s not gonna do anything for a Chromebook.

No, a Chromebook is not technically running on Android.

Chrome OS is a version of Linux.

As for Android on a Chromebook - It’s a full Android environment running in a container on Chrome OS. Chromebooks more or less run Chrome OS and Android simultaneously (minus Android’s system UI)


I know android is a flavor of Linux, so I KNEW what your reply would be. But, Android and Chrome OS are not the same. And, a Chromebook is not running on Android. That is my point…

I am just going to stop this discussion as I don’t like where it is going.

More data from MalwareBytes with an invested interest of course. I feel the article lacks meat but still has some good points.