Is Your AntiVirus Getting a Bad RAP?
One antivirus program shattered two records in the latest VB100 antivirus protection test. Read on to learn which program dominated a field of 35 competitors to earn the “best overall protection” honors and the highest test score ever recorded in the “proactive detection” category...
VB100 and the RAP Test
The VB100 is a torture test for antivirus programs conducted by The Virus Bulletin publishing and security testing house. Developers voluntarily submit their antivirus software to be run through a rigorous suite of effectiveness and performance tests. (Seldom are there actually 100 candidates, but VB35 just doesn’t have the same cachet as VB100.)
In the VB100 Reactive and Proactive (RAP) test parlance, "reactive testing" indicates how well a security tool scored at detecting known threats, or viruses currently known to exist. The "proactive testing" portion indicates the tool's ability to detect previously unknown and zero-day threats. Proactive detection is more difficult, of course, because it requires more than just checking the signature of a new file against a database of known malware samples. The behavior of the program must be taken into account.
PC Matic Home Security by PC Pitstop turned some heads by scoring a 95.8% overall in the VB100 RAP test, and a highest-ever score of 92.0% in the PROactive portion. The next highest score on the reactive test was 87.8%, and average score was 78.9%.
To see how your anti-virus program scored on the RAP tests, see the VB100 Results Table. Scroll down past the first seven tables, and you'll reach the "Reactive and Proactive (RAP) Tests" table. The last three columns in that table display the Reactive, Proactive, and Weighted Average (RAP) numbers. To achieve VB100 certification, a product must detect 100% of malware samples listed by the WildList Organization, and not generate any false positives in the process.
Computer Security at What Price?
PC Matic is not just anti-malware. It’s actually a PC maintenance toolkit, akin to Advanced System Care. In addition to zapping malware, it defragments drives; updates drivers; cleans and defrags the registry; fixes operating system vulnerabilities; optimizes Internet speed; and tweaks one’s system in a host of other ways. (Rumors that it will butter your toast and shampoo your dog appear to be unfounded.)
Although PC Matic scored “best overall protection” honors in the Reactive And Proactive (RAP) malware detection portions of the VB100 test, that achievement came at a cost that some users may be unwilling to pay.
PC Matic, unlike any anti-malware program I have ever seen, uses a combined blacklist and “whitelisting” approach to keep computers malware-free. Programs on the blacklist are blocked and quarantined. Only programs that are on the white (good) list are allowed to run. For over three years, PC Matic and its users have been adding software to the white list maintained on PC Pitstop’s servers.
So most of the commonly used, good software should be “pre-approved” for you. However, the VB100 test found that PC Matic generated nearly a thousand false positives (FPs) out of about a million files thrown at it. Executable files from trusted vendors such as HP, Lexmark, Microsoft, Oracle, and others were wrongly flagged as malware and prevented from running. Only two other products had false positives, and those were Baidu (1 FP) and Msecure (2 FPs).
But that’s not a problem for home users, says the CEO of PC Pitstop, because most of the false positives occurred on enterprise (business) software that home users don’t have on their systems. False positives may be a bigger problem for people who use “enterprise” software on their home or mobile computers.
Despite its outstanding scores on the RAP portion of the test, PC Matic failed to win VB100 certification this time. That’s because of the false positives and failure to detect a few malware programs on the WildList. But CEO Rob Cheng anticipates that PC Matic will resolve those problems and score even better on the next VB100 test to be conducted in September.
How did your computer security software do in the VB100 RAP tests? Have you tried PC Matic? Any problems with false positives? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 5 Aug 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Is Your AntiVirus Getting a Bad RAP? (Posted: 5 Aug 2014)
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