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Microsoft disputes Security Essentials failing grade on AVTEST

first_imgMicrosoft Security Essentials couldn’t register a passing mark in the most recent round of AV-TEST Labs’ certification. The November-December 2012 period was the second in a row that MSE failed to put together enough points. Things didn’t go so well on the September-October test, either.While an AV-TEST certification isn’t necessarily all that important to antivirus vendors, a poor showing can still reflect badly on an app like Security Essentials. Microsoft decided to take a look at its telemetry data and see if its own analysis showed that MSE really was beginning to slack off when it came to protecting users. The short version: as far as Microsoft can tell, Security Essentials is still doing its job.Part of the problem has to do with how AV-TEST weights certain portions of its exam and the particular malware samples being used. It certainly doesn’t look great to see that MSE was only able to detect 78% of 0-day samples when the industry average was 92%, but according to Microsoft’s Joe Blackbird 94 of the 100 samples used by AV-TEST don’t appear to be present on computers protected by MSE. Of the missed samples that were found on customer systems, Blackbird said about .003% of users were affected. Blackbird said that Microsoft bases its efforts on “customer impact,” and that Security Essentials is still doing a fine job of protecting users from malware that they actually encounter.As for the weighting issue, that’s something which affects all vendors. Here’s how it works. AV-TEST sets a minimum score that must be achieved in order for an app to receive a score in a given area. MSE’s 78% on 0-day detection does not, then, earn it 78% of the 1.5 available points. Instead it gets a big, fat zero. The same is true for the 90% in recent detection. Those two dings are hard to recover from, and the 1.5/6 on protection was a big reason MSE failed.Does that mean you’re not safe if you’re using Security Essentials for malware protection? Not at all, according to what Microsoft has discovered after diligently digging through countless log files and telemetry reports.More at Microsoft Malware Protection Centerlast_img

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