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  1. #1
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    Help for picking your next anti-malware tool




    TOP STORY

    Help for picking your next anti-malware tool

    By Michael Lasky

    Picking the right anti-malware app can be onerous; there are dozens to choose from, and rapidly evolving exploits are constantly putting them to the test. Fortunately, a few independent organizations such as AV-Comparatives are also testing leading security packages and posting the results.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/top-story/help-for-picking-your-next-anti-malware-tool]/ (free content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Just looking for some clarification on 'Help for picking your next anti-malware tool'. The 'out of box protection' (OOBP) showed how many viruses the built-in Defender for Windows 8 and the optional Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 caught before the commercial product being tested (correct?). I would have liked to have seen the OOBPs compared as stand alone products as I've solely used Windows OOBP for over five years now and never been caught by a virus/malaware. I know it wasn't your test, it's just a shame Windows was ignored by AV-Comparatives.

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    Anti-malware is not enough. That is a reactive approach you need a proactive approach to be safe. Getting on the Internet with Windows is like wading into piranha infested waters bare foot. Advanced introspective network packet analysis and whitelisting of trusted executables as well as Firefox or Chrome browsers is required. Lots of network monitoring and tripwire systems to alert on penetration. Plenty of Intranet security and encryption too.

    Or you could just run an OS that is less vulnerable and save some time and money. The only time I run Windows is because I have to for work. The rare times it is necessary for home, it's either a minimal bootable read only thumb drive or an isolated virtual machine reloaded from a clean snapshot for every use.

    I am thankful to Microsoft for being the dominate OS and for being the absolute worst at security. I am also thankful for incompetent MCSE's. I make so much money cleaning up after hacked and infected computers servers and networks. I would be unemployed were it not for Microsofts shoddy engineering.

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    One caveat not mentioned - never mentioned - is that the A-V comparison tests don't include all anti-malware software, typically because the company hasn't or doesn't want to submit for comparative testing. There are good reasons for that, as suggested by the limitations of testing discussed in the article. The popular and free Comodo Internet Security package is probably tops among those that don't submt.

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    Wondering why the sites do not mention Norton Internet Security or Norton Anti Virus (Or Symantec). These products are major players in the anti malware product world and their absence unfortunately diminishes the utility of the comparatives, which look excellent by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loutog View Post
    Wondering why the sites do not mention Norton Internet Security or Norton Anti Virus (Or Symantec). These products are major players in the anti malware product world and their absence unfortunately diminishes the utility of the comparatives, which look excellent by the way.
    The second site he mentions (AV Comparitives - http://www.av-test.org/en/ ) does include Norton which shows good detection rates and performance.

    Jerry

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    First this is a great issue. People get a false sense of security with "their" AV app. How do you know it is doing its job? Well here is a good start at evaluating to make sure you aren't relying on a Thanksgiving turkey to protect your surfing. For those not paying for a subscription, man you are missing a good part 2!

    If you go to the comparative site you can download and read the report. It is very informative. And it will answer questions as to Win Defender & MSE as well as other AV apps that may or may not have been tested.

    For completeness here is a list of such agencies. One might be surprised at how many malware is missed or false positive are reported for their package. If you review a history of reports you will see some a perennially missing malware or reporting false positives while other just had a bad evaluation period and clean up their act fast.

    http://www.oyyas.com/types-of-computer-viruses.php

    Test your AV app and PC on how well it protects here:
    http://www.amtso.org/

    Antivirus app testing labs:
    https://www.icsalabs.com/
    http://www.virusbtn.com/index
    http://www.westcoastlabs.com/checkma...techGroupID=27
    http://www.av-test.org/
    http://www.av-comparatives.org/

    http://www.virustotal.com/ Virustotal is a service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines. Submit a file or URL.
    http://www.threatexpert.com/submit.aspx Submit a file and receive a report in email.

    ------------

    For the wifi router hijack a better solution is to turn off wifi access to the router menu (which ought to be the default anyway). Then router menu access is only available to someone connected inside your place directly through an Ethernet line. Otherwise, yes the router menu login ID and passwords are readily available online and if the default SSID is the make or model of the router well that makes it easy for the guy parked in the street. Most default passwords are "admin" anyway.

    https://community.newegg.com/eggxper...9/t/99093.aspx

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    Per the System Impact chart shown, the least impact is from ESET, rather than Avira and Bitdefender. I am on my 4th year using ESET, only complaint has been with the on-line license-renewal process.

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    the picture seems cut off

    strange that there is no mbam listed
    but it appears alphabetical and mcafee was listed last

    why no mbam data?

    is there a link to the complete diagram?
    i did not see it in the article


    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post



    TOP STORY

    Help for picking your next anti-malware tool

    By Michael Lasky

    Picking the right anti-malware app can be onerous; there are dozens to choose from, and rapidly evolving exploits are constantly putting them to the test. Fortunately, a few independent organizations such as AV-Comparatives are also testing leading security packages and posting the results.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/top-story/help-for-picking-your-next-anti-malware-tool]/ (free content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Yes, the chart is cut off on the right:

    avc_factsheet2014_10.p.png

    It's in a PDF which can be opened/downloaded at http://www.av-comparatives.org/dynamic-tests/ (Real-World Protection Test October 2014 - English)

    P.S. Perhaps they too thought MBAM was a big PITA
    Last edited by BruceR; 2014-11-27 at 12:43.

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    I've been using Kaspersky Pure 3.0 and am happy to see that they rank well on this survey. But I also use MalWare Bytes in addition to Kaspersky, for the simple reason that they focus on malware attacks specifically. I've been very happy with their program and, in fact, it's saved my wife's PC from a drive-by attack. I think between the two apps we're pretty well covered. Thanks for a good article, though. Just another reason to keep subscribing. You folks provide a great service.

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    Thank you very much. I followed a couple of the links but must have missed that one. We've been using The Norton Internet security products on a number of family systems for years and frankly have not been hit by malware. I was wondering if this is just plain luck, or the product. Now I can see that the product is doing a measured good job (though I hardly doubt that a measure of luck is still a factor).

    We used Comodo on a couple of machines many years ago, and were not happy. We also used MacAfee as it came with free updates for 15 months on a couple of new Dell Laptops but found that it blocked too many things inappropriately (such as an HP all in one printer on our own Network, and sporadically, access to our own NAS. When the trouble of clearing its misbehavior became too great, we de-installed it (and had to use their removal tool to get all of it out) and put Norton Internet Security in its place with never a problem after that.

    False positives and the trouble they bring are definitely a criterion I would always want to know about.

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    I wondered too how any such list could not include Malware Bytes. I have been using them along with Comodo for years and have never had an issue with either. I see Norton rated highly but I gave up them after Peter Norton sold his name, the list of issues with that "suite" seems endless.

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    This is a nice article, but it's too simplistic, especially for the kinds of intermediate / advanced readers who subscribe to WS

    Here are some observations and suggestions, not in any particular order, just how they came to my mind:

    - There are several proficient test sites, however, they use their own methodologies and samples and can come up with completely different results and rankings compared to other sites. Just one example, Microsoft SE, is the benchmark with AV-Comparatives, above, at around 85% +/- yet these tests are apparently not done via the IE browser with Smartcreen switched on - IF they were, then according to MS then only a very small fraction of 1% of malware would get through, as confirmed by their telemetry on Windows systems! This paints a completely different picture of results and is EXTREMELY dependent upon browsers, settings, types of sites visited, etc!

    - as the article points out there are wide variations in performance and system impact. I have tested most AV software over the past few years and I would agree that the Top 2 above of Bitdefender and Avira are low in resources / impact, generally. However, BD browser add-ons significantly SLOW things down to such an extent that they need to be switched off eventually, in my experience. Given that most threats come from the browsing vector this is a dangerous thing to do, so BD ends up being uninstalled and we move on to the next AV / anti-malware! As for Avira, great at traditional AV detection, but too many false-positives in my experience and inadequate behaviour monitoring for new malware.

    - as already mentioned by others, these tests do not include many other security softwares, and for several valid reasons. Some of them, such as Webroot / Prevx, work in a very different way to traditional software and will not immediately alert the user if no immediate harm is being done / about to be done, it will be just monitored as a potential threat - if it does not match the database signature in the cloud and / or does not execute harmful actions. The AV testing companies cannnot cope with such a different approach and hence Webroot is rarely included in these tests, unfortunately. Similarly Comodo, they have a multi-layered approach as well as a default-deny option which most testing methodologies cannot show correctly and hence show Comodo in a bad light, which is very mis-representative of the real world results with users. These are just two examples.

    - some reviewers claim that software is having a resource impact simply by the the reading of RAM usage in the Task Manager, however, this can be frequently mis-leading in my experience. Many softwares will use more RAM, if it's freely available, to REDUCE the impact of scans, monitoring, accessing the disk, etc, and the result is a very low user impact!!! Many reviewers in Youtube and commenting on Gizmo and elsewhere simply don't know what they are talking about, sadly.

    - I highly recommend a multi-layered approach to security with two or three products, each performing different or complementary roles. These "testing houses" cannot cope with this. There are a few IT experts on Youtube who test various combinations and whose results are extremely revealing and worthwhile to watch. That said, some of them don't have a real clue as to what they are doing and give inappropriate advice. Many WS users are sufficiently competent to perform their own multi-layered tests in virtual test environments and can come up with their own conclusions, as I have done.

    So you might ask, what do I use?

    For most users and devices I use Webroot Secure Anywhere, which on a PC is lightning-fast. However, on some mobile devices it is a complete dog and I replace it with Bitdefender.

    On my own main laptop I removed WR despite it being low in resources because there were issues with the browser add-ons and major conflictss with their password manager which is based on LastPass, which I have already installed. On that laptop I have "evolved" to using simply Microsoft SE plus Malwarebytes Professional / Premium in real time, the combination of which gives fantastic protection AND is superbly low on resource impact.....regardless of what it may show as RAM usage in Task Manager!

    I also use Bitdefender Safepay for internet banking which scans the laptop for malware upon each use of Safepay, so essentially I have 3 layers of protection.
    Last edited by cavehomme; 2014-11-27 at 15:22.

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    Confusing messages

    I read the article, looked up the reviews - decided that my existing AVG was not the best choice for next year as Kaspersky & Bitdefender had obviously done so much better in the tests. Fine - then I looked at the comments at the bottom of the reviews and found, amid the shouting back & forth, that K. tried to lock you into buying for 3 years & B.'s Help was hopeless, among other problems in both. How is one to decide?

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