Thursday, August 16, 2012

AV-Comparatives Anti-Phishing Test - July 2012

AV-Comparatives has published their AV-Comparatives Anti-Phishing Test, July 2012.  Products from eighteen vendors were included in the test.  All of them were paid products except for Avast who requested that their Avast Free Antivirus 7.0 product be used for the test.  Koule.  The top five products were from BitDefender, McAfee, and Kaspersky, BullGuard, and F-Secure.  These were the only vendors whose products scored over 90%. Phishing is a stinky business, but a profitable one for the bad guys.

Percentage of Blocked Web Sites by the Leading Vendors 

97.4% - BitDefender
97.0% - McAfee
94.8% - Kaspersky
92.2% - BullGuard
91.1% - F-Secure 

Overall, eleven vendors’   products received three stars.  For the vendors better known for their free products, Avast   and Avira   received two stars, and AVG Technologies,one star.  No vendor received this test’s cone of shame designation of “tested.”  The two lowest performing products were from eScan (57.7%) and ESET (58.0%).  574 phishing URL’s were part of the test.  A nice sized sample. 

According to SearchSecurity, phishing  phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking email in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.  Typically, the messages appear to come from well-known and trustworthy Web sites.  Web sites that are frequently spoofed by phishers include PayPal, eBay, MSN, Yahoo, and BestBuy.  

The users are typically directed to enter personal  details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.The FTC recommends that if you suspect you have been phished, forward the e-mail to or call the FTC help line, 1-877-FTC-HELP.

How Prevalent is Phishing

In their July report for the    first half of 2012, the RSA Anti-Fraud Command Center identified 195,487 unique phishing attacks – an increase of 19% over the second half of 2011.  The countries that had the largest volume of phishing attacks were the UK (42%), Canada (29%), and the United States (22%).  The US hosted the most phishing attacks, at 60%.  The Citadel Trojan was responsible for 20% of the Trojan attacks analyzed by RSA. 

For people who don’t think this is a business - the cost of a Citadel kit will run you $2,500 US.  However, you'll soon have to be vouched for by a current customer to purchase the kit.  RSA estimates that phishing attacks in the first half of 2012 could have potentially caused $687 million in total losses. 

Vendors in the test -  Avast, AVG Technologies, Avira, BitDefender, BullGuard, eScan, ESET, Fortinet, F-Secure,  G Data, GFI, Kaspersky, McAfee, PC Tools, Qihoo, Sophos, Trend Micro, and  Webroot.  Symantec wanted to choose which tests to participate in.  That wasn’t an option. For the time being, Symantec isn't  in any of AV-Comparative’s tests this year. PC Tools, their wholly owned subsidiary, is, however.

About AV-Comparatives
AV-Comparatives publishes a number of free great test reports over the year.  You can review results from their Real World Protection tests monthly. AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization.  They provide independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public. You can probably win bar bets over the results, since the most well known vendors are often not the ones with the best test performance.

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