Menu
Windows Defender fails in new malware test

Windows Defender fails in new malware test

Windows Defender has been slated in a new test that found it could detect barely half of the malware thrown at it during the last year.

According to Australian testing company Enex Testlab, in full scanning mode the anti-malware scanner could only pick up 53.3 percent of an unspecified list of malware threats thrown at it during 2006, with the quick scan scoring a detection rate of under half. This contrasted with the superior scores achieved by a number of other anti-malware software, including a top score for PC Tools Spyware Doctor.

Critics will point out that the test was paid for by PC Tools itself, which offers an easy way for Microsoft to attack the results. The program has also spent 2006 in an unfinished state and was only released for XP in October of 2006, which one might think would make criticism of it misleading and unfair.

Equally, there is some evidence that the software might not be the best on the market. A test by another rival security company, Webroot, found Windows defender to be even less effective in spotting spyware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) when pitted against a sample list of 25 threats. It missed 84 percent of them.

"We wanted to prove through an independent and unbiased review -- where PC Tools did not choose or supply the sample-set, that Vista's anti-spyware protection is in fact inadequate, and could result in a false sense of security to consumers," said PC Tools CEO Simon Clausen.

Clausen also criticized the Webroot test, accusing it of being unhelpfully selective. "While we agree with the overriding conclusion that Vista security is lacking, this approach fundamentally contradicts the laws of statistical analysis, and clearly creates a bias result. By hand-picking the sample-set, it is easy to return results showing whatever you want. It would even be possible to show Vista had zero percent blocking ability," he said.

PC Tools achieved a full scan detection rate of 88.7 percent in the Enex Testlab tests, which some might point out is good but far from foolproof. Comparing oneself with the least developed product on the market looks a bit complacent in this light.

The origins of Windows Defender lie with a product the company acquired in 2004 when it bought anti-spyware company Giant Software in contentious circumstances. The product was known as Windows Anti-Spyware until the 2005 RSA conference after which it was reborn as Defender. The software is available for all versions of Windows, including Vista, and excluding Windows 2000.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Brand Post

What to expect from your IT Distributor

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around since before the dot com rollercoaster, choosing the right distribution partner can be a pivotal factor in your success. This definitive guide outlines the traits that every IT partner needs to look for in their IT Distributor.

Featured

Slideshows

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 500 technology leaders in Auckland on 21 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards
Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments