Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

3/12/2008
09:20 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

AV Still Weak on Rootkit Detection, Fixing Infections

New AV-Test.org results reveal some nagging problems with antivirus products

Independent antivirus testing organization AV-Test.org has released new test results on the latest versions of 30 antivirus products, and the report cards weren't all good.

None of the AV products scored straight As, and a few failed in some categories, such as remediation from malware infections and AV's old nemesis, rootkit detection.

New malware just keeps on coming, according to the report. In January and February alone, AV-Test.org discovered a whopping 1.1 million samples of unique malware spreading around the Net. The organization found nearly 5.5 million total during all of last year, up from 972,000 in 2006. (See Bake-off: Many AV Products Can't Detect Rootkits.)

“We thought it would be a good idea to start a new test of anti-malware software in order to see how well the tools are currently performing, given the masses of malware ‘in the wild,’” says Andreas Marx, CEO and managing director for the Germany-based AV-Test.org. AV-Test.org only tested the newest versions (as of March 1) of the English-language versions of the products, he says.

Researcher Alex Eckelberry, who is president and CEO of Sunbelt Software, took the results a step further by assigning them equivalent letter grades.

AV-Test tested the products on their on-demand detection of malware; on-demand detection of adware and spyware; false positives per 100,000 files; performance (scanning speed); proactive detection of new and unknown malware; response time to new widespread malware; and detection of active, running rootkits; and remediation.

Each product had its ups and downs in various categories. While Microsoft’s Forefront aced the false positives test and got a 98 percent score in remediation -- for instance, it received the equivalent of an “F” for its response time to new widespread malware outbreaks, taking more than eight hours to do so.

"There is this problem with remediation. I think that was borne out in the test results, which showed the lowest scores all around in remediation -- basically, a C -- score if you average it out," Eckelberry says. "So if the user caught something, how are they going to get rid of it? This often involved a process of trying multiple programs and remedies... I think this might be due in part to legacy antivirus engines dealing with highly complex threats."

Aside from the same troubles with rootkit detection, which scored an average C-, performance was a problem in the tests, he says. "An antivirus product is worse than useless if the user uninstalls it due to frustration with high resource usage, slow boot times, endless pop-ups -- and worse, an inability to deal effectively with certain types of malware," he says.

Overall, Sophos scored well (all As and Bs) in the AV-Test.org tests, as did Symantec’s Norton Antivirus (five As, two Bs, and a C in response time to new malware, with a 4- to 6-hour window). McAfee got all As and Bs, except for two Cs -- in performance, and in response time to new malware (4-6 hours).

CA’s eTrust VET earned the dubious distinction of scoring the lowest of all of the products in detecting adware and spyware, with only a 56.5 percent success rate, while K7 Computing wasn’t far behind, with a 59.5 percent rate of detection. K7 fared better in malware detection, with a score of 65.5 percent, and CA’s eTrust VET was more successful, with a 72.1 percent score.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Sophos plc
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)
  • McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    US Turning Up the Heat on North Korea's Cyber Threat Operations
    Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  9/16/2019
    MITRE Releases 2019 List of Top 25 Software Weaknesses
    Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/17/2019
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
    Latest Comment: "He's too shy to invite me out face to face!"
    Current Issue
    7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
    This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
    Flash Poll
    The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
    The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
    Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2018-17789
    PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
    Prospecta Master Data Online (MDO) allows CSRF.
    CVE-2019-11280
    PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
    Pivotal Apps Manager, included in Pivotal Application Service versions 2.3.x prior to 2.3.18, 2.4.x prior to 2.4.14, 2.5.x prior to 2.5.10, and 2.6.x prior to 2.6.5, contains an invitations microservice which allows users to invite others to their organizations. A remote authenticated user can gain ...
    CVE-2019-11326
    PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
    An issue was discovered on Topcon Positioning Net-G5 GNSS Receiver devices with firmware 5.2.2. The web interface of the product is protected by a login. A guest is allowed to login. Once logged in as a guest, an attacker can browse a URL to read the password of the administrative user. The same pro...
    CVE-2019-11327
    PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
    An issue was discovered on Topcon Positioning Net-G5 GNSS Receiver devices with firmware 5.2.2. The web interface of the product has a local file inclusion vulnerability. An attacker with administrative privileges can craft a special URL to read arbitrary files from the device's files system.
    CVE-2019-14814
    PUBLISHED: 2019-09-20
    There is heap-based buffer overflow in Linux kernel, all versions up to, excluding 5.3, in the marvell wifi chip driver in Linux kernel, that allows local users to cause a denial of service(system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code.