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back to article AV-Test boss dismisses Microsoft criticism of malware test results

A war of words has broken out over security testing, with Microsoft and the AV-Test Institute going head-to-head over Redmond's failure to qualify for the last round of certification from the German testers. On Tuesday, AV-Test announced its December round of security software evaluations, and both Microsoft's Security …

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FAIL

See icon - two months running now, actually. Can MS achieve 3 in a row? Tune in next month and find out!

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Meh

Bluster

Bluster bluster bluster

Signed Microsoft.

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Anonymous Coward

I logged in...

....just to upvote you, good sir.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm pretty sure Microsoft's offering will at least keep the OS up and running, unlike some other anti-virus vendors who's software tends to quarantine many vital exe files due to false positives.

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Only if you consider "up and running" uninfected by various malware. Stay away, stay far away from MSE. Avast and other free alternatives are a much better choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Ms Fail?

I can live with the 0 day issue and would rather stab myself in the eye than use the resource hog Norton. Kaspersky good but I like free better!!

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Re: Ms Fail?

But Norton is malware or atleast it used to be, i know that i seemed to be the largest single cause of bsod

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Re: Ms Fail?

If you were responsible for 10 computers at a business, or if getting your PhD degree depended on your computer could you still live with zero day hazards?

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Re: Ms Fail?

"But Norton is malware or atleast it used to be, ..."

Yes, Norton has improved. I guess the computer makers that pre-install it realized that the bugs Norton used to cause cost way more money and cost too many customers than the money they got for pre-installing it were worth. So Norton improved a fair bit.

But I prefer Kaspersky. Look for sales, the #1 or #2 AV (depending on month and platform) at $20 for 3 machines if you spend 15 minutes looking around web stores.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ms Fail?

You need to check for latest updates to your prejudice definitions. Norton has improved considerably over the past couple of years; it is now considered one of the most light-footed of all IS suits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ms Fail?

@WatAWorld: Yes, I could. Most zero days aren't actively exploited and certainly on Vista/7/8 and probably XP as well basic sensible behavior on the Internet will prevent you being compromised. I have never been infected by a zero day, I only know a couple of people who have and they tend to be the sort of people who will download commercial software "for free", which I think is "asking for it."

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Re: Ms Fail?

"If you were responsible for 10 computers at a business, or if getting your PhD degree depended on your computer could you still live with zero day hazards?"

Ideally no, however if the alternative is a massively increased probability of those 10 computers/PhD degree being out of action due to a false positive then I'm likely to take my chances with the zero day hazard to be honest,

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Re: Yes, Norton has improved.

No it hasn't. When it started it was the best out there. But then, that was back when people had to do real computing: from the command line. Nothing's ever been the same since those damn Windows took over.

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Re: Ms Fail?

It is true that i have not used norton for many years due to all the stability issues that it came with, but then at the same time i also found norton ghost absolutely wondeful to use

It just gets to the point where a product burns all the good will your willing to give the company.

It doesnt matter how good they maybe now, the damage to their rep for me and many others has already been done and there are many av products out there which havent had the same issue

The moral of the story is if you release shoddy product after shoddy product, no matter how good the next one is people will always remember the bad ones and avoid it like the plague

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Headmaster

It's like in the final chapter of "The shockwave rider"

AN ALARMING ITEM TO FIND ON YOUR PREFERRED SOFTWARE PROVIDER'S QUALITY ASSESSMENT:

"94 percent of the malware samples not detected during the test didn't impact our customers"

This means:

1) Hide how many malware samples were deteced, how many were not.

2) Of the ones not detected (alarming), a full 6% impacted the customers (very alarming). What did the rest do? Probably just hoovered the disk and pumped it to russian servers will not delivering pornpopup(tm) to "the customers" who were just presenting an Excel(tm) sheet to unsuspecting underage pupils.

Good job.

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the 6% of malware samples affecting MS customers but not detected by MS is acceptable???

"94 percent of the malware samples not detected during the test didn't impact our customers."

So the 6% of malware samples affecting MS customers but not detected by MS is acceptable??? That makes no sense.

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Re: the 6% of malware samples affecting MS customers but not detected by MS is acceptable???

"So the 6% of malware samples affecting MS customers but not detected by MS is acceptable??? That makes no sense."

It's not 6% of malware samples, it's 6% of the 22% of 'unknown' zero day samples. Most of which will never, ever be seen in the wild.

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Stop

Who's writing all this "minutes old" malware?

Could it be the AV companies themselves?

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Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

Whilst I accept that Windows is major recipient of the virus writers' efforts, I don't think it is true to say they are the sole recipients. Yes, malware and trojans do form the bulk of unwanted additives for other OSes but I am sure I have seen at least one virus report for the Apple world and that could be stretched to include mobiles as well since there is crossover now on OSes.

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Meh

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

"What people overlook is that it's 2013 - only Microsoft systems need virus protection. MS can't fix the issue without breaking apps, so it's constantly having to rely on anti-virus software."

You dont actually believe that do you?????

Are you that blinkered by MS/Hate that you think there are no other threats to other OSs'

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JC_

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

Are you [Eadon] that blinkered by MS/Hate that you think there are no other threats to other OSs'

Yes, yes he is.

PS - prepare for your token downvote from Eadon, it's a badge of honour :)

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FAIL

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

"conflating viruses with malware and trojans"

Erm, you didn't read the article, clearly - since it actually mentions malware "every 2 to 3 seconds we see new examlpes of malware".

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Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

I had a map, torch and a photo of your ass

I have the feeling that you may need them to help you find your own arse

Please go back to myspace

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Boffin

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

"Antivirus or anti-virus software is software used to prevent, detect and remove malware (of all descriptions)" - Wikipedia definition of antivirus software.

Therefore viruses, malware and trojans can all be grouped together in this instance.

With this in mind, consider this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/15/android_malware_botnet_china/

While some operating systems have been proved (primarily through volume of attacks) to be more susceptible to malware than others, ultimately it is popularity and therefore number of potential targets/victims that attract malware writers to an operating system - who would bother trying to target (say) Linux when there are far more Windows machines out there, operated by far less savvy people which will ultimately garner more exposure and profit.

Of course, the OS jihadists who treat these forums as their own version of Finsbury Park will probably label me as a shill for this argument.

That said, the "it doesn't affect our user so we do not need to worry" attitude ("In addition, 94 percent of the malware samples not detected during the test didn't impact our customers.") is reprehensible.

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Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

+1 for my edification.

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Windows

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

@Eadon: You really are a bit of a nob aren't you..

At first i thought you were just a bit misguided or ill informed. But a quick looks reveals that other irrefutable fact..

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Boffin

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

@Eadon: Until you let go of the ridiculously outdated opinion that "viruses" are any different form all other forms of malware/trojans, I'm afraid there is little point even attempting to refute your point. Most of the major so-called virus outbreaks on Windows in the last couple of decades are technically either trojans or straight up social engineering attacks than actual, self-replicating, "viral" code per se. The thing is, that doesn't matter, because all the different variants cause the same problem for end users, which is why the term "malware" was coined as a catch-all description in the first place since pedants like yourself seemed unable to accept "virus" despite the fact it was the common usage of the term for many years.

Malware affects all platforms and it's not something you can design out of a platform, unless you completely prevent the user from running arbitrary code. Google the "dancing bunnies" problem and you might learn something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

@Eadon - You're accusing someone of being immature when you're the #1 here for shill accusations at people who disagree with you?

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Re: I had a map, torch and a photo

You had a torch?

Silly boy, you should have lit it.

You have been eaten by a Grue.

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Stop

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

Yes, yes you did, in your opening statement about "conflating viruses with malware and trojans". You're trying to make a distinction that the professional AV industry doesn't make in what is becoming a tired exercise in belittling an OS that you've decided is "wrong" from your ivory tower.

Here's a little hint for you - Windows gets used by the majority of people as their primary OS on their laptop/desktop because it does what they want with the software they want to use.

Nobody here will argue that there are instances where it isn't the best for a specific purpose and indeed some of the more enlightened would more than likely agree that for a large number of people Windows is overly burdensome for the tasks that it's getting used for (i'm looking at those who browse the web, do email and write the occasional letter), but that doesn't stop it being used because those same people know it and it would be a bigger pain to change.

All OSs currently available have good and bad points, if you cant see that then there is no hope.

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FAIL

Re: Elephant in the room - only Windows needs AV.

@Eadon - i've tried to be polite, i've even graciously given ground, but you are frankly just a one noise idiot and your continued rhetoric and apparent belief in yourself that you are always right is making reading comments at Vulture Central tedious.

Professional graphic artists and photographers use Windows, because the tools they need are primarily written for Windows - it's been a long time since the Mac was the primary platform for PhotoShop. Yes, there are other tools, but not the ones *people want to use*.

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FAIL

Piece of Crap

AVG - bloated, slows machine to a crawl, wants to install toolbars you don't need.

AVAST - increasingly bloated with annoying messages

Comodo Internet Security - was good, but wtf have they done to the latest 64 bit version?

All three protected me handsomely over the years and no malware ever made it past them.

But when I tried MSE, my PC was infected within a few weeks. MSE had great pleasure in telling me the PC was infected, but was incapable of removing the file. In the end I used Autoruns to prevent it running at start up and removed it manually.

Back to Comodo for now.

Microsoft doesn't have a clue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piece of Crap

When I moved over from AVG I found that MS found a couple of questionable pieces of software which weren't found by AVG. I would suggest that your assertion that they don't have a clue is a bit strong.

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Huh?

I have McAfee at work, and have used Norton at home. The former is a resource hog and I hate it. The latter is even more of a resource hog and naturally I hate it even more.

I'm prepared to accept a 0.003% risk, assuming I don't often click on dodgy links, if it means I'm able to actually use my machine as I want without the AV getting in the way. That is why I love MSE so much.

So screw the AV test. I don't trust it.

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Anonymous Coward

Trend WFBS

Seems to be a reasonable programme for corporate use as covers AV, malware and website filtering (one route to block malware before it arrives) but it's central configuration is a pain - strictly computer based, can't set exceptions ffor web access on a per-user basis.

And the web filtering seems to be set up by US Neo-cons with little human interaction for fixing false positives. (had a problem with Marks and Spencer website, you could browse the site all you liked while in http:// but once you swapped to https:// for buying something it blocked on the grounds that the site included "intimate apparel"ie pants and braspointed this out to the robot in charge of reclassification but it didn't help) Blocks local restaurants too becuase they haveserve alcohol - madness!

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" 'Our review showed that 0.0033 percent of [...] customers were impacted by malware samples not detected during the test,' Blackbird said."

So if there were, say, a million customers MS is OK with 3,300 of them getting hit by malware?

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JC_
Headmaster

Bit of an overestimate: 33 per million, not 3,300 (unless you're French and were going to 3 decimal places :).

It's not so much that MS is "okay with [33] of them getting hit with malware"; they've chose to prioritise protection against malware that's out in the wild and actually has an impact, which seems more sensible to me than tightening up heuristics to the point of making a machine unusable and false-positives common.

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Stop

@Eadon

Please try and relax, you're beginning to sound like Aaron:-

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/10/whining_commentard/

Wonder if the poor fellow got the help he obviously needed?

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Facepalm

So this is why Avast sucks so much now!

Aha! A while ago the Avast developers added a really obnoxious heuristic that blocked any application which was obscure or new from running. This explains it - if you block 100% of new and obscure code, you're guaranteed to block nearly all exotic or zero-day malware. Of course, you also get a really obnoxious amount of false positives which will cause most users to just automatically allow everything or even turn off the feature altogether - so it's completely useless as an actual security feature - but AV-Test don't care about that.

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