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Some AV Tools Detect Less Than Half of Active Malware Attacks

In test, some popular antivirus packages miss almost two thirds of malware thrown at them

Most security experts know that antivirus tools can't stop every attack that comes through their network. But just how much of modern malware is caught by AV systems? Last month, security company Cyveillance conducted a study to find out.

In a report issued today, Cyveillance revealed the results of a study in which it fed "thousands" of current malware attacks through six popular antivirus packages to see whether they would be detected.

None of the AV offerings detected more than 55 percent of the malware, and only three -- F-Secure, Sophos, and Trend Micro -- detected more than half. Packages from Kaspersky and McAfee detected just over one third of the malware, Cyveillance said. A test of Symantec's AV tool was inconclusive and was not included in the test results.

The test proves that signature-based technologies such as AV are losing ground in the fight to protect data, Cyveillance said.

"Because anti-virus solutions primarily detect previously identified malware threats, perpetrators quickly replace recently discovered malware threats with modified versions and exploit this discovery lag-time to evade detection and infect unsuspecting machines," the report states.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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