[ISN] Virus protection doubts

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Tue Sep 08 1998 - 22:52:24 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Simon Johnson <simon.johnsonat_private>
    Virus protection doubts
    By GARTH MONTGOMERY                   
    The Australian
    VIRUS protection software is not as good as vendors claim, an independent
    study has found. 
    Anti-virus companies responded to the Shake Communications study by saying
    their products never guarantee complete protection. 
    The study, titled Comparison of Virus Scanning Programs, took 20 leading
    virus programs through more than 16,000 known viruses, including
    executable files, Word macro viruses, Excel macro viruses, Microsoft
    Access viruses, Lotus 123 viruses and Trojans and bait files. 
    Shake found few anti-virus programs performed consistently across all
    None offered 100 per cent detection of, nor protection against, the
    Shake used viruses from the Wild List  a voluntary organisation used by
    most vendors  the Internet, virus writers, and other public and private
    Network Associates, maker of McAfee Virus Scan, demanded a retest with its
    latest code after being dissatisfied with the version Shake tested. 
    But Shake technical director Simon Johnson said there was very little
    improvement when the latest McAfee engine was retested against the same
    All packages scored reasonably well in detecting executable viruses. Virus
    Scan ranked seventh with 92 per cent success. 
    Virus Scan scored only 69 per cent against macro viruses for Word, Excel,
    Access and Lotus 123, with zero detection in the latter two programs. 
    Network Associates did not return phone calls from The Australian. 
    Symantec antivirus research centre regional director David Banes said
    Shake had done a good job. Norton Anti Virus scored third with 94 per cent
    detection of executable viruses, and fourth with 79 per cent detection of
    "This is a very thorough study but it only measures virus-scanning," he
    "Other issues such as multilingual ability, global support and updates are
    very important in the purchasing decisions of multinational companies that
    need serious back-up." 
    Mr Banes said Norton Anti Virus was backed-up by Symantec's ability to
    disassemble a virus sent in by a company, and build the new definition
    into the next product. 
    "We have weekly updates sent to our users and generally a one-hour
    turnaround on technical support," he said. 
    Cybec's Vet scored 14th with 72 per cent detection of executable viruses,
    and eighth with 74 per cent detection of macro viruses. 
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