Thursday, June 24, 2010

Virus Bulletin's Latest Reactive and Proactive (RAP)Test Results

Virus Bulletin has published their latest Reactive and Proactive (RAP) test results.

The RAP test measures products' detection rates across four distinct sets of malware samples. The first three test sets comprise malware first seen in each of the three weeks prior to product submission. These measure how quickly product developers and labs react to new malware emerging every day across the world.

A fourth test set consists of malware samples first seen in the week after product submission. This test set gauges products' ability to detect new and unknown samples proactively, using heuristic and generic techniques.

The relative performance of vendors can best be viewed by looking at the RAP Averages Quadrant (December 2009 through June 2010) chart at

Products/Companies with Reactive detection greater than 90% going from lower to higher on the y axis - AVG Technologies, Avira Free, Avira Pro, Kaspersky, ESET, Check Point, Coranti, and GDATA. The third company of los free amigos, AVAST, just missed 90%, it appears.

Products/Companies scoring over > 70% on the proactive portion going from lower to higher on the x axis were -Kaspersky, Ikarus, ESET, GDATA, Trustport, Coranti, and Check Point.

A full description of the RAP testing methodology and explanation of how to interpret the results can be read at

Virus Bulletin is perhaps best known for their VB100 Awards - The basic requirements for this award are that a product detects, both on demand and on access, in its default settings, all malware known to be 'In the Wild' at the time of the review. The product should generate no false positives when scanning a set of clean files. A list of vendors passing/failing the test is available on the Virus Bulletin site Viewing some (not all) of Virus Bulletin’s materials requires a free registration (well worth it). Full details require a paid subscription to the magazine (well worth it).

From a marketing/PR perspective, some vendors take it as a point of pride the number of consecutive times they’ve received a VB100 award. From an evaluation perspective for customers, most recent successes (perhaps 2 or 3 years) in the tests is the most useful. To view any particular companys’ history with VB100 testing, go to

UK based Virus Bulletin started in 1989 They provide PC users with a regular source of intelligence about computer viruses, their prevention, detection and removal, and how to recover programs and data following an attack. VB’s website is at . The site is a great source of information on malware and spam. They are a member of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization,

1 comment:

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