Posted by Virus Bulletin on Jun 18, 2013
30 mobile solutions tested for malware protection and speed hit.
Independent test organization AV-Test has released its latest report, covering the Andriod platform. This major test of mobile solutions included 30 contenders, with offerings of varying complexity. As well as rating malware detection, false alarms and performance, extra points were given for including additional security components.
Products were given a rating out of a possible six points for detecting a set of over 2,500 recent Android malware samples, and for 'usability', covering impact on system speed, battery drain, generating data traffic, and false positives on clean apps.
An additional point was available for including other protections - including remote lock, wipe and locate features, browsing and messaging filters and unwanted call blockers, parental controls, backup, encryption and much more besides.
The top performer, with an impeccable 13 out of 13, was Bitdefender's Mobile Security.
The bulk of the remaining products followed close behind, with AhnLab, Avast, Comodo, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Kingsoft, McAfee, Microworld, NQ Mobile, Qihoo and Symantec all scoring a very decent 12.5 points, Dr Web and Trend Micro doing very well with 12 points, and Antiy, Armor for Android, Lookout, Quick Heal and Sophos also doing pretty well on 11.5 points.
Tencent did reasonably well with 11 points, while G Data, Ikarus, Juniper, TrustGo and Webroot did OK with 10 points each. ThreatTrack Security managed nine points - just clearing the eight point cut-off point for certification, but identifying less than 90% of the malware set.
Lagging well behind were a few further products, all of which were denied certification. These included products from SPAMfighter - which wasn't too far off the mark with seven points, but which was given a score of zero for detection, having picked up only 76% of the samples. SUVSoft was given six points, with reasonable detection, but was hit by a large number of false alarms. Bringing up the rear was AegisLab, which fared poorly on all counts.
It may be worth noting that under AV-Test's official methodology (PDF here), it appears to (theoretically) be possible for a product to alert on all apps but still reach certification standard, as long as it doesn't slow the phone down too much and has at least a few extra features.
Android malware continues to proliferate, rapidly catching up with Windows malware in terms of sophistication, as researchers at Kaspersky Lab recently discovered. Dodgy apps are spreading through rogue app stores as well as sneaking onto legitimate stores, including spoofed versions of very popular Android games, so users of the platform are advised to ensure they run a quality security solution.
However, despite the growth in malware, the biggest risk most mobile users face is losing their device, as F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen recently pointed out. This makes the additional features, such as remote lock/wipe tools and phone locating systems, a vital part of the smartphone user's security armoury.