This independent test recreates the conditions faced by the average users – and their antivirus app – as they go online. Over a period of five months, researchers threw five separate batches of live malicious URLs at the 21 tested computers and recorded which AV automatically detected and stopped the malware and which AV required user assistance. In addition, they went surfing to a thousand sites and downloaded a selection of apps to see how often each AV would trigger an incorrect “false positive” alert.
The final scores balanced detection with false positives. Overall, during the 6 months test period, Avira blocked 1,764 real-world malware samples to achieve a completion rate of 99.7%, adding another coveted “Advanced +” seal to its award collection.
Modern malware is so social
“Malware is increasingly focusing on users, e.g. by deceiving them into visiting infected web pages, installing rogue/malicious software or opening emails with malicious attachments,” — AV-Comparatives in their test summary.
For the test, AV-Comparatives researchers went looking for malware via an automated web crawler and by manually looking for malicious URLs. Their primary targets were functioning drive-by exploits and URLs pointing to executables. In particular, they noticed URLs which – after tricking the end user via social engineering – caused malware files to be downloaded and executed. Each monthly test included around 350 live malware samples.
Don’t stop me now (with a false positive)
During the false alarm test, researchers were both browsing the web and then downloading/installing – two common user activities. This dual approach enabled them to test for wrongly blocked domains and for wrongly blocked files. In total, they visited around a thousand randomly selected domains and downloaded two thousand popular apps. Avira had only nine false positives in this test, exactly half of the average score across all tested AV. With a very low level of 9 false positives, Avira ended up in the category ‘few false positives’.
People just want hands-off security
Researchers took a user-centric approach by concentrating on actual detection and not distinguishing between individual AV features responsible for the detection, noting that additional features such as URL blockers (included in Avira Pro) can increase the overall protection.
“In this test, all protection features of the product can be used to prevent infection – not just signatures or heuristic file scanning,” stated the AV-Comparatives report. All tested computers and the AV products were fully updated with each computer able to access the internet for access to virus database updates and cloud-sourced features.
The end user just wants to know they are secure with the least possible amount of effort on their side – and this is what we try to provide through our Avira security products. They aren’t interested in which level we stopped the malware – whether it is at the browser URL filter or the Avira Cloud – they just want it stopped. Avira Antivirus Pro does just that and this is why we are proud of our new ‘Advanced+’ award from AV-Comparatives. — Alexander Vukcevic, Director Avira Virus Labs