Outraged of Slovakia

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 23, 2002

Is there really any need to include virus samples in product tests? CNET seems to think it's not worth the bother.

Recently VB received an email from an outraged user declaring that he had 'never read such nonsense' as that contained in a product review on the CNET website.

Intrigued, VB followed the link to a scathing review of ESET's NOD32. This was something of a surprise since, in VB's comparatives, NOD32 has a pretty solid history of 100% detection of viruses in the wild. On closer inspection all became clear: CNET's tests did not, in fact, include any virus samples. Instead, tester Ken Feinstein used virus simulation program Rosenthal Utilities.

This comes nearly two years after Joe Wells' open letter 'from the AV industry', which challenged CNET's credibility for the same reason: the use of simulated viruses in product tests (as well as the creation of new live variants).

A little more rooting around the site revealed some heavily undisguised bias: CNET's summary of every AV product listed (a total of ten, from eight different vendors) ends with a strong recommendation of Norton AntiVirus over the product in question. The more cynical among us might wonder exactly how much Symantec forked out for such staunch loyalty.

Clearly incensed, ESET has published on its own website a beautifully articulated tirade against the site and its testing procedures. ESET's response makes for entertaining reading if only for the abundance of exclamation marks, underlining and bold italic text, which could not fail to convey their strength of feeling. VB concludes that, 20 months on, CNET is still 'pondering' the issues raised in Joe Wells' letter (see VB, November 2000, p.3).

Posted on 23 May 2002 by Virus Bulletin

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