Malware still running rings around security tools, eThreatz testing finds

Security tools from eight different vendors are struggling to detect modern malware threats, according to eThreatz testing by Enex Testlab that has shown big-name security tools are failing to detect up to 65 per cent of malware presented to them.

Every month, Enex TestLab runs eight major malware-detection packages against a random sample of 33 different malware threats, then measures their rates of false negatives, false positives, and successful malware detection.

According to results of the December 2013 tests, Sophos was the least capable security vendor, detecting just 35 per cent of 33 different malware threats with which it was presented.

Trend Micro was the best, detecting 86 per cent of malware, while Microsoft (which detected just 47 per cent of malware) and McAfee (40 per cent) were less effective. Panda (80 per cent), eSet (77 per cent), Symantec (72 percent) and Kaspersky (64 per cent) rounded out the top five.

eThreatz rankings of the most popular security platforms have changed places quickly in recent months as different vendors responded to new malware threats at different speeds and in different ways.

In October, for example, eSet (99 percent), Kaspersky (96 per cent) and Symantec (84 per cent) were standouts while Microsoft's security tools spotted just 26 per cent of malicious code. In that month, Panda – the current number-two vendor – detected just 56 per cent of malware, making it the second-worst supplier in the previous testing.

Current testing champion Trend Micro was third-worst in October, detecting just 57 per cent of malware. Sophos found 63 per cent of malware in that month, while McAfee detected 63 per cent.

In August, by contrast, Panda was tied with Symantec as third most-effective security vendor, with each detecting 89 per cent of presented malware.

Sophos was in last place that month, with just 41 per cent, and Microsoft barely did better with 45 per cent while eSet (100 per cent) and Kaspersky (99 per cent) topped the charts.

The rapidly changing figures reflect the ever-changing nature of the malware threat, which has become even more intense in the leadup to the busy Christmas shopping season and its attendant surge in mobile shopping.

A range of online services, for example, have been resetting user accounts after 2 million login credentials – apparently stolen by a botnet from victims' computers – were found on a Dutch server. The 'Neverquest' Trojan is targeting online banking users, while a newly discovered worm targets Linux PCs and embedded devices based on the operating system.

Researchers have even created a malware proof-of-concept called 'badBIOS' that communicates using sound waves rather than a conventional network – suggesting that the pace of innovation in cyber-attacks shows no sign of slowing. Future eThreatz testing will see whether vendors can keep up – or, as the case may be based on the latest figures, catch up.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malware

More about Enex TestLabKasperskyLinuxMcAfee AustraliaMicrosoftPandaSophosSymantecTrend Micro Australia

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place