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Eighty percent of new malware defeats antivirus

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  • Eighty percent of new malware defeats antivirus

    source

    The most popular antivirus applications on the market are rendered useless by around 80 percent of new malware, according to AusCERT.

    At a security breakfast hosted by e-mail security firm Messagelabs in Sydney on Wednesday, the general manager of the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), Graham Ingram, told the audience that popular desktop antivirus applications "don't work".

    "At the point we see it as a CERT, which is very early on -- the most popular brands of antivirus on the market … have an 80 percent miss rate. That is not a detection rate that is a miss rate.

    "So if you are running these pieces of software, eight out of 10 pieces of malicious code are going to get in," said Ingram.

    Ingram, who refused to name any specific companies, was quick to point that this was due to cybercriminals designing their Trojans and viruses to bypass detection rather than a defective product.

    "I am not suggesting that there is a difference in the quality of the antivirus products themselves. What is happening is that the bad guys, the criminals, are testing their malicious code against the antivirus products to make sure they are undetectable. This is not a representation of the software," said Ingram.

    Although less popular antivirus applications are more likely to pick up new malware, Ingram said that the average level of new malware that is undetected is 60 percent, which is "worrying".

    "What do most people have as protection for their client machines? I would suggest it is antivirus. You are lucky if you have antispyware. So they are attacking a machine that is protected by a piece of software that is not working.

    "This is the dilemma that is building up here and the success rate is becoming quite worrying," added Ingram.
    I don't know if NOD32 or kaspersky is infected, but I think its lower than Norton and Mcafee.

    And yet, another reason to use a limited account in computers. I try to do that for my clients, but they just go back to the admin account (of course, its a renamed admin account).
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  • #2
    Re: Eighty percent of new malware defeats antivirus

    Adrian...the simple reason why malware is unaffected by antivirus software is because malware isn't considered a virus in the first place. That's why you need an anti-spyware software such as Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy that are free over the internet.

    Then there are renamed admin acounts and then there's the truly hidden Admin account (seen only when booted up in safe mode and is password protected during initial XP setup installation)
    Last edited by craigwatanabe; July 21, 2006, 09:57 AM.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    • #3
      Re: Eighty percent of new malware defeats antivirus

      Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy
      I've used both of these programs, and I must say, both are quite good.

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      • #4
        Re: Eighty percent of new malware defeats antivirus

        This might be a related story...

        Source

        Antivirus applications from Symantec, McAfee or Trend Micro -- the three leading AV vendors in 2005 -- are far less likely to detect new viruses and Trojans than the least popular brands.

        This has nothing to do with the quality of the software or how long it takes the respective firms to update their clients with signatures and other malware countermeasures.

        AV companies continue to refine their products and most will tell you they stopped relying on purely signature-based systems many years ago. These days they use all sorts of clever methods to try and detect suspicious behaviour but the problem is that malware authors are also very clever. Very, very clever.

        On Wednesday, the general manager of Australia's Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), Graham Ingram, described how the threat landscape has changed -- along with the skill of malware authors.

        "We are getting code of a quality that is probably worthy of software engineers. Not application developers but software engineers," said Ingram.

        However, the actual reason why the top selling antivirus applications don't work is because malware authors are specifically testing their Trojans and viruses to make sure they can bypass these applications before releasing them in the wild.

        "The most popular brands of antivirus on the market… have an 80 percent miss rate… So if you are running these pieces of software, eight out of 10 pieces of malicious code are going to get in," said Ingram.

        Although Ingram didn't mention any of the leading losers by name, Gartner's figures for 2005 show that Symantec is the clear leader with 53.6 percent of the market. McAfee and Trend own 18.8 percent and 13.8 percent of the market respectively.

        One vendor Ingram did mention was Russian outfit Kaspersky, which in the same tests managed to block around 90 percent of new malware.

        According to Gartner, Kaspersky's market share is a lowly 0.7 percent.

        Most large firms already use more than one antivirus application but I wonder how many use two of the Symantec, McAfee and Trend trio?

        If you do then I suggest investing in yet another -- but whatever you do, stay well away from the bestseller shelf.
        Some of us already know this.
        How'd I get so white and nerdy?

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