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Microsoft Aces Antivirus Test

In past years, Microsoft has brought up the rear in many antivirus tests, sometimes earning a below-zero score. AAA certification from Dennis Labs suggests that Microsoft's antivirus is coming out of its slump.

Story by NEIL J. RUBENKING - 

For years, Microsoft's antivirus has been the sad sack in antivirus tests. Several labs have taken to calling Microsoft's performance a baseline. If you can't beat the baseline, you're doing something wrong. That trend seems to be changing, though. In the latest test results reported by AV-Test Institute, Microsoft earned a respectable 14 points (out of a possible 18). That's a lot better than its previous score of 9.5 points; 10 points is the minimum to pass this test.

480105 microsoft wayIt seems that Microsoft is on a roll. Dennis Technology Labs certifies antivirus products at a number of different levels: AAA, AA, A, B, and C. For the first time, Microsoft managed AAA certification.

Real-Life Malware

The researchers at Dennis Labs search for websites hosting drive-by downloads and other types of attacks. They capture the entire contents of each attack page and use a playback system to expose each antivirus to precisely the same attack. This kind of testing is quite labor-intensive. Dennis Labs typically evaluates nine or 10 products, where AV-Test and AV-Comparatives include over 20.

An antivirus product that detects the launch of malware and neutralizes the malicious process gets one point. If it also removes all executable traces of the malware, that's worth another point. For the best scenario, when the antivirus completely prevents execution of malware, three points are awarded.

Points go both ways, though. If the malware slips past the antivirus and runs rampant on the test system, that takes away five points. In past years, Microsoft frequently wound up with a below-zero total score.

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Quick Heal Technologies uncovers malware, releases report

A new type of malware discovered last month is an undetectable threat to email inboxes, and it’s able to work its way around a sandbox gateway appliance.

Quick Heal Technologies announced today its research labs found APT-QH-4AG15 last month, malware designed to infect highly-protected networks. quickheal

“Our global reach allows us to identify advanced persistent threats (APT) such as this one in all corners of the globe, with a goal of catching them just as they emerge and containing them before they spread,” said Sanjay Katkar, CTO, Quick Heal Technologies. “Our initial findings have taught us that even the most advanced sandbox-based appliance protection can be breached. As a result, enterprises need to consider and implement multiple layers of protection to safeguard their networks.”

Sandbox-based gateway appliances rose as an enterprise solution to reduce or mitigate the threat of spear phishing attacks, yet this breach may raise concerns about the reliability of sandbox gateway appliances, Katkar said.

Quick Heal released a report on the threat, available for download here.

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McAfee Labs Releases Q3 2013 Threat Report

mfe primary logo rgb.smallEarlier today, McAfee Labs released its Q3 2013 report, titled “McAfee Labs Threats Report: Third Quarter 2013.” The McAfee Labs team is made of 500 researchers in over 30 countries, who look through real-world examples to build each quarterly report.

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Play Fair Day 2013: Global Pirated Software Report Results

Microsoft LogoToday marks Microsoft’s Play Fair Day 2013, a part of the company’s “Play It Safe” campaign that is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of using counterfeit software. The company released a research study as part of this year’s event, which sheds light on the current amount of counterfeit software in the world.

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