Feeds

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

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.