AV-Test.org: Free Antivirus Apps for Android Are ‘Near to Useless’

14 Nov 2011
Comparative Tests, Product news

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces that its Kaspersky Mobile Security product has been evaluated as highly efficient by AV-Test.org, the reputable independent testing institute. The October tests used Kaspersky’s protection as a reference point for a number of free security solutions available for smartphones – and the results show that users who are tempted to cut costs are also cutting corners with their information security.

Testing was conducted on a Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1010) tablet running Android 2.2.1. The testing process included scanning the external storage, which contained more than 170 samples of malicious programs. This “on-demand” test was supplemented with a further “on-access” evaluation, which assessed how well antivirus products blocked malicious apps launched by the user.

The dismal performance of the most popular free products led AV-Test.org’s experts to conclude that they actually put users in danger, by lulling them into a false sense of security. Kaspersky Mobile Security, one of two commercial solutions included for comparison, successfully detected all 10 malicious programs at the point of launch or installation. This is the most important indicator – malicious Android apps pose a real threat when a user tries to launch them, not when they are simply stored in the memory. By contrast, three out of seven free products could not detect a single malicious program, and the best result was a mere 80% success rate.

Victor Dronov, Senior Product Manager of Kaspersky Lab’s Mobile Product Department commented: “Android has recently become the primary target for cybercriminals, with a double-digit growth in the number of malicious programs. Therefore, protection against malware for your smartphone or tablet is essential, just as it is on your PC. We are delighted that independent testing has showed our ‘on-access’ facilities are 100% efficient. Kaspersky Lab’s product also provides diverse anti-theft functionality to keep your data secure under all circumstances.”

The full report on testing of free and commercial antivirus solutions for Android platforms can be found on AV-Test.org’s website: http://www.av-test.org/fileadmin/pdf/avtest_2011-11_free_android_virus_scanner_english.pdf

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