Anti-virus Firms to Sharpen Test Procedures

February 4, 2008

A collection of anti-virus companies and software testers have created a new body with the intention of providing dependable information about the effectiveness of anti-virus products.

The circulation of malware, including viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, and websites exploiting flaws in Internet browsers, is now being pressed by organised crime for financial gain, and poses an ever more severe threat.

Anti-malware software developers have developed techniques to obstruct these threats, but traditional anti-virus tests are becoming immaterial since they don’t take such techniques into account, according to Stuart Taylor of anti-malware software vendor Sophos.

Last year, developers of anti-virus software requested to interrogate a group of anti-virus tests conducted by autonomous organisations when demonstrating their products failing to identify many security threats. Representatives of F-Secure, Panda Software and Symantec decided to design a new testing plan at a meeting in Reykjavik last May.

The formation of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) is one of the results of that work. It amalgamates around 40 developers and testers of anti-malware tools, with the plan of hosting discussions about testing, publicising testing standards, and providing tools and resources for such testing.

Organisations in attendance at the opening meeting incorporated anti-virus software testers such as AV-Comparatives and, and anti-virus software developers including BitDefender, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, Trend Micro and Panda Software, which hosted the meeting. IBM and Microsoft also attended.


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