Microsoft Security Essentials scores zero points for malware detection in antivirus test

German antivirus test organisation AV-Test.org has tested 28 antivirusscanners and Internet Security Suites for Windows 7. In the tests Microsoft Security Essentials was used as the reference scanner and the antivirus applications were tested for real world scenarios like protection, ease of use and performance.

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Each of the 28 applications could score 6 points for each category, meaning 18 points was the maximum score. To test how well the antivirus products protect against malware AV-Test tested for protection against zero-day malware attacks and detection of malware from the last four weeks.

Also performance of the software was tested, for example whether the computer slowed down during browsing, downloading and installing software and when copying data. In the last test the ease of use was tested including whether the software wrongly reported legitimate software as malware, the so called “false positives”.

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Many applications reported false positives in the tests that were conducted in November and December last year. In November the antivirus product caused 7 false positives on average. The high average is mainly caused by the high number of false positives reported by Tencent, which 134 times wrongly detected malware in legitimate software.

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Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab and Trend Micro scored each 17.5 points which makes them the winners of the test. Only Trend Micro was able to score 6 points on malware detection, which was only matched by Avira and F-Secure. ThreatTrack VIPRE, Microsoft Security Essentials and Tencent scored worst with respectively 9.5, 11 and 11.5 points. On malware detection Security Essentials even scored 0 points.

To be certified by AV-Test.org, the scanners need to score at least 10 points overall and at least 1 points per category. Since Security Essential was the reference application, only ThreatTrack failed to receive a certificate.

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