Catch rates bounce back in latest spam filter test

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 18, 2015

Products defy prediction of tougher circumstances.

When spam levels were recently reported to have dropped below 50% for the first time in 12 years, I wrote that it was 'not necessarily good news for spam filters': as spam filtering is almost entirely reactive, spam campaigns of smaller size are more likely to stay under the radar, which could have a detrimental effect on filters' performance.

However, the latest set of VBSpam results suggest that, for now, there is little to worry about. After a sharp decline in spam catch rates in May, products' catch rates bounced back to an impressive average of 99.87% on this occasion.

But just as we warned against reading too much into this decline back in May, we continue to note that spam filter performance should be considered in a longer term view — which is why we run our VBSpam tests every second month. For now, however, it was nice to see products performing so well.

With false positive rates remaining relatively low, all but one of the 15 participating full solutions achieved a VBSpam award, and five of them — OnlyMyEmail, ESET, FortiMail, Bitdefender and GFI — earned a VBSpam+ award for blocking more than 99.5% of spam, while blocking no legitimate emails and very few newsletters.

The VBSpam summary report can be downloaded here in HTML-format or here as a PDF.

Are you providing an email security solution whose performance you'd like to be measured by Virus Bulletin? Email VB Editor Martijn Grooten at martijn.grooten@virusbtn.com or check out the details of our consulting services.

Posted on 18 August 2015 by Martijn Grooten

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: From Hacking Team to hacked team to…?

Today we publish the VB2018 paper and video by ESET researcher Filip Kafka, who looked at the new malware by Hacking Team, after the company had recovered from the 2015 breach.

The spam that is hardest to block is often the most damaging

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Worryingly, it is often the emails with a malicious attachment or a phishing link that are most likely to be missed.

Throwback Thursday: We're all doomed

Mydoom turns 15 this month, and is still being seen in email attachments. This Throwback Thursday we look back to March 2004, when Gabor Szappanos tracked the rise of W32/Mydoom.

VB2019 call for papers - now open!

Have you analysed a new online threat? Do you know a new way to defend against such threats? Are you tasked with securing systems and fending off attacks? The call for papers for VB2019 is now open and we want to hear from you!

VB2018 paper: Unpacking the packed unpacker: reversing an Android anti-analysis library

Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Google researcher Maddie Stone in which she looks at one of the most interesting anti-analysis native libraries in the Android ecosystem. We also release the recording of Maddie's presentation.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.