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17 Oct Secunia tests Aleks

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Opinions|Secunia tests

Kaspersky Lab Expert
Posted October 17, 12:57  GMT
Tags: Secunia, Proof-of-Concept, Antivirus Testing

By now most people have seen the Secunia test results and all the ensuing discussions. Frankly, I was a bit surprised by the vehemently negative reaction from a number of AV vendors.

And it doesn't seem to be about the 20% difference between the 'winner' and the rest. Criticism has focused on the testing methodology, which many people thought was dubious. Some of the suggestions were useful - mostly those from Andreas Marx, the well-known AV solutions tester from Germany. The general tone, though, seems to be that many AV vendors thought their results would have been a lot better if the test methodology had been different. And maybe they're right.

But I think people are too focused on looking for mistakes in the tests and/or attempting to explain their poor PoC detection rates. Sure, criticizing Secunia's testing methods is justified, but only if we're discussing testing methodology, and nothing else.

As I see it, Secunia wasn't trying to highlight the weaknesses of AV solutions - I think they were trying to make a different point...

At Kaspersky, we've taken a decision not to detect PoC vulnerabilities - it's far more sensible to focus on protecting users from the real threats and exploits that are being used by malware authors in the real world. That's what our antivirus databases are for. The point isn't so much that detecting PoCs is a pretty difficult task (although the test results clearly show that even Microsoft and Symantec, with all of their resources, didn't fare all that well) but that detecting PoC s is a dead end, and doesn't address the fundamental problem.

So what is the problem?