Feeds

Today's antivirus apps ARE 'worse at slaying hidden threats'

But they're not as rubbish as those other researchers said

Security for virtualized datacentres

The effectiveness of antivirus products has declined, according to tests by German testing outfit AV-Test.org.

AV-Test put 25 antivirus products for home users and eight corporate endpoint protection software applications through their paces in November and December 2012.

Only an average of 92 per cent of the zero-day attacks were blocked during the tests, it said, a result that suggests that one out of 10 malware attacks succeeded. The products were able to clean 91 per cent of the infected systems, however, only 60 per cent could be put back in a condition similar to the pre-infection state, the firm said.

The tests were carried out on Windows 7 (SP1, 64-bit) machines. The firm said that three of the 25 consumer antivirus products failed to make the grade, including Microsoft Security Essentials and products from PC Tools and AhnLabs.

The eight corporate products came out better, but even so Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection flunked the exam after scoring protection against zero-day malware of just 78 per cent in the December tests (although this was an improvement on its score of 67 per cent in November).

Andreas Marx, chief exec of AV-Test, said: "More products than usual had difficulties [meeting] our high standards and therefore failed to receive the AV-Test certification."

The overall results of the test are far better than those obtained from a controversial set of tests run by Imperva in November, which concluded that most antivirus software detects less than 5 per cent of new malware.

Imperva's antivirus test used VirusTotal, but detractors argue that the online service is not designed to determine whether an antivirus product actually blocks a threat since it only looks at whether a signature is on file, not at other lines of defence. VirusTotal itself describes this practice as a "bad idea". The use of VT as a testing tool and other criticisms of Imperva's study are summarised at some length by David Hartley of Eset, an antivirus supplier, here.

Rob Rachwald of Imperva defended its methodology in a combative blog post last week. The details about the methodology can be found here, and the main 'Test Report' website for home users here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.