Big brands slip up in antivirus tests

Kingsoft AntiVirus named worst performer

Many big-brand security products fail to spot commonly-circulating malware, testing outfit has Virus Bulletin found in its latest tests.

A total of 17 out of 32 of antivirus products failed the company's stringent VB100 test, which expects software to detect 100 percent of the commonly-circulating 'WildList' thrown at it without signalling any false positives.

Programs failing included those from Sophos, Kaspersky, Fortinet, Trend Micro, CA Home, and PC Tools, though within this group detection failures varied widely. CA's Home program scored a disturbingly high 40 misses, while the others scored from 8 misses down to only one miss for Kaspersky. PC Tools' Spyware Doctor detected the WildList suite but failed because it falsely identified two files as malware.

The worst performer on test was the relative unknown, Kingsoft AntiVirus, which missed large numbers of malware types, including 120 examples from the WildList, and over 80 percent of the worms and bots it was tested against.

"It was a shock and a concern to see such a poor performance from so many products in this latest round of testing," said John Hawes of Virus Bulletin.

"It is particularly disappointing to see so many major products missing significant real-world threats. In these days of hourly updates computer users really ought to be able to rely on their chosen security vendors for full protection against known threats."

The tests were run on Windows 2000 using a variety of worms, viruses, bots, and polymorphic malware though the company said it rated the issues as being independent of platform. A program failing to spot a particular piece of malware on one platform would be unlikely to spot it running on another, such as XP, because the detection system would be the same.

"Once the products are up and running, the detection engines should in much operate the same way on all systems - we use the default settings applied by the products," said another company source.

"The main problem here was with some particularly tricky polymorphic viruses listed as 'In the Wild' by the WildList organization, with many products detecting some but not all files infected by the malware. There were also several clean files wrongly labelled as malware. Both these problems will have been repeated on XP, Vista, and probably other platforms too."

Not everyone agrees that the WildList, used by the VB100 tests, is a representative sample of real-world malware. The list excludes certain types of malware such as Trojans, backdoor rootkits. Moves are afoot to come up with a consistent set of tests for such malware based on behavioral characteristics rather than specific signatures.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?