Feeds

Microsoft Security Essentials loses AV-TEST certification

German lab downgrades Redmond after zero-day detection rates slide

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft Security Essentials, Redmond’s free antivirus tool for home users and business with up to ten PCs, can detect just 64 per cent of zero-day threats when running under Windows 7.

That low detection rate has cost it the AV-TEST Institute’s seal of approval, a certification it hands out to products that meet 11 of 18 criteria it assess. Those criteria consider how effective software is at detecting and blocking threats, repair of infected systems and overall usability including “average slowing down of the computer when the software is used on a daily basis, false positives during a system scan and the display of false warnings or the blocking of certain actions during the installation and during the use of known good software.”

The Institute conducts tests bi-monthly and lists longitudinal data on software products’ performance.

During October the Institute rated Security Essentials 4.0 and 4.1 at just 1.5 out of 6 in terms of its ability to protect a PC, thanks largely to the 64 per cent zero-day detection rate being well below the industry average 89 per cent.

Security Essentials has lost AV-TEST’s seal before, with its September 2010 test failing to meet the lab’s criteria. It is the only one of 24 AV products for Windows 7 without the certification. Four products missed out for Windows Vista and two for Windows XP. Windows 8 AV tools are yet to go under the microscope and Microsoft is absent from AV-TEST's list of vendors thanks to the new OS' integrated protection software.

While tests like these have no official standing, a look at AV-TEST’s longitudinal analysis of Security Essentials show it has consistently struggled to perform well in its malware detection and blocking tests.

Another security software testing organisation, Virus Bulletin, says Security Essentials’ performance is sufficient to justify its VB100 rating, which can only be attained by software that “prove[s] it can detect 100% of malware samples listed as 'In the Wild' by the WildList Organization” without generating any false positives. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.