Feeds

Security researchers plot revamped anti-virus tests

Behaviour-based testing

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Security researchers are close to formulating plans to overhaul anti-virus testing amid growing concerns that current tests can be misleading.

Anti-virus packages are traditionally tested for their effectiveness in detecting a sample of malware packages known to be in circulation. Products that fail to detect a sample get a lower rating. Such tests - which have remained almost unchanged for a decade - essentially test signature detection of malware samples. Products that fail to detect a sample fail to achieve coveted benchmarks, such as the VB 100 endorsement.

But the approach is a poor method for detecting the effectiveness of behavioral detection technology, an approach that is increasingly gaining traction in the marketplace as a means of providing detection for rapidly evolving threats. In the era of targeted Trojan attacks, some based on unpatched vulnerabilities, signature detection alone really fails to provide a complete defence, however highly a product is rated on those terms.

German testing organisation AV-Test.org is pooling suggestions for a revamp to current testing regimes, taking ideas from vendors such as Symantec, Trend Micro, Panda Software, Kaspersky Labs and others, IDG reports. The revamped tests are likely to involve presenting malware samples as an email attachment or as malicious code on web pages within a testing environment.

Security packages (either anti-virus or host-based intrusion prevention) put through their paces in the tests are likely to have been put on ice, without signature update, for a few weeks prior to the tests. The approach is designed to put the onus on detecting viral code on behavioural analysis features in security packages. The new tests be carried out alongside traditional tests, though that and the scoring systems for behaviour-based tests still remain open to debate.

Proposals for a new testing regime, which have the support of other influential testers such as Virus Bulletin, are due to presented next month at the Association of AntiVirus Asia Researchers 2007 conference in Seoul, South Korea. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.