Friday, December 18, 2009

DennisLabs Test results corroborated by & Av-Comparatives

If you follow reviews of Internet Security products, you have no doubt heard about the backlash following the recent Dennis Labs test. Dennis Labs, an up and coming testing housing in the UK did a real-world test of internet security products which Symantec sponsored and they found Norton Internet Security 2010 to detect 100% of all attacks they threw at it. Needless to say, the community was outraged, claiming that Symantec influenced the test by paying for it, and that Dennis Labs was not skilled enough to do such a test. This was despite the fact that Simon Edwards has long been recognized by industry insiders as an accomplished security expert. See his blog here I think its safe to say that the review was summarily dismissed by everyone that either competes with or has a bone to pick with Symantec.

However, as I expected, a few months later, we see an identical test result from two of the premier test houses in the world: and AV-Comparatives.

Norton won both those tests!!

That should serve as a good kick in the nads for all the Norton naysayers and especially is a slap in the face for Avast whose CEO posted this blog dismissing the Dennis Labs test on grounds of trivialities like poor website design! Hey Avast, when is your next milestone False Positive - 100 million FPs for 100 million customers.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

PrevX cries Wolf, aims its guns at Wolf and then shoots itself in the foot

PrevX recently released a press release blaming Microsoft for a black screen that its customers were seen after an update for Microsoft Windows. The original blog article is here.

PrevX here is a tip. Learn from Norton and the other big boys. You never throw shit up in the air without doing your homework. Because if you dont, it going to come right back down and hit you smack in the face. And most of all, you dont mess with a company like Microsoft that probably spends more on quality assurance on a single patch than PrevX spends in 2 years.

I wondered at the time as other did why PrevX customers were the only ones seeing this problem. Did anyone smell a rat. And then PrevX releases a patch that "fixes the problem", not "works around Microsoft's bug". By then, we should have realized that the cat was out of the bag. That PrevX had screwed something up.

And sure enough, a few days later, PrevX recanted and posted this on their blog.

PrevX, you may want to grow up so that some day you will at least 10% of great companies like Norton

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

100% detection for 100 million users

AVAST recently announced (ahem bragged) about how they were about to hit a major milestone - 100 million registered users. Personally I think that is bullcrap because even Norton doesn't claim that many users and they are the market leader by a wide margin. Anyway, I digress.

To commemorate this major milestone (ahem lie), they decide to give all their 100 million customers a little gift. The gift that every Antivirus customer dreams of..

No silly, we are not talking about a 25% discount. We are talking about something far more valuable, the holy grail of antivirus - 100% detection. Detection of all threats, no exceptions, nothing gets through.

The catch ?? just a little extra gift of appreciation - 100% False Positives.

Yes, my friends, AVAST released an update today that was generating false alerts on every executable on your hard-drive including Windows Signed executables. Here is a sample of the alert.

What a bunch of jokers. This false positive has completely trashed millions of computers and flooded security newsgroups with postings from frustrated users trying to fix the mess that Avast created. Ofcourse, none of them can go crying to Avast because they dont have a leg to stand on since they didn't pay for Avast, Avast being a free product. You can see a sampling of the outcry here

These Free AV outfits seems to have a history of large scale mayhem. Right after their acquisition of LinkScanner, AVG was caught artificially generating tons of internet visits to websites you haven't even visited. That was eventually fixed through a design change in LinkScanner. You can read all about that fiasco here

Just another reason for why you should stay away from Free AV products.