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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
AV-Test Report Evaluates Virus Scanners for Android Devices

The AV-TEST Institute, an independent anti-virus research provider, tested the different virus scanners for Android and evaluated their detection performance.

The popularity of the Android system has led to a huge increase in the distribution of Android malware. This malware is mainly distributed in markets operated by third parties, but even the Google Android Market cannot guarantee that all of its listed applications do not contain any threats. Users should no longer blindly trust all apps. A large range of protection programmes that can help to identify dangerous apps and remove them from a user's device are now available.

AV-TEST has inspected 41 different virus scanners for Android with regard to their detection performance. According to the report, about half of these scanners are not yet suitable for use as reliable products and identify less than 65% of the 618 types of malware tested. The mobile versions of well-known desktop products were mostly evaluated as good or very good.

The best products in AV-Test's report (with detection rates of 90% and higher) come from the following top 10 companies, in alphabetic order: Avast, Dr. Web, F-Secure, Ikarus, Kaspersky, Lookout, McAfee, MYAndroid Protection/MYMobile Security, NQ Mobile/NetQin as well as Zoner. "When using these products you don't have to worry about your malware protection," AV-Test said.

Products with a detection rate between 90% and 65% are still very good and could move to the top range depending on changes to the tested malware set. Some of these products just miss one or two malware families, which might be not prevalent in certain environments. The following 13 products, in alphabetic order, fall in this category: AegisLab, AVG Mobilation, Bitdefender, BullGuard, Comodo, ESET, Norton/Symantec, QuickHeal, Super Security, Total Defense, Trend Micro, Vipre/GFI as well as Webroot.

BluePoint, G Data and Kinetoo are in the third range (40 - 65%). "These vendors may still not have a sufficient infrastructure to collect a broad range of malware or they focus on a local market. They provide reliable malware protection against a few families, but have trouble with some others. It can be expected that these products will improve once they broaden their sample acquiring," the research found.

The fourth group (< 40%) doesn't contain any traditional anti-virus vendor and include the products which also performed below average in the last test. AV-Test reviewed two more products which are listed in the last category. "We could not clearly determine whether they scanned the malware set correctly or not or whether they are able to detect anything at all. This means that we haven't seen any detection, neither on our widely known samples nor on the EICAR test file," AV-Test added.

You can find the detailed test report here.

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