We have two malware databases that we use within our product. The first is the comprehensive database, which has our most complete collection of malware signatures. This database also includes signatures for extremely rare malware – usually only found in testing labs, or malware that haven’t been detected in the wild for years. The second database that we provide is the compact database, which is a subset of the larger comprehensive database and relies more heavily on cloud-based detection and reputation analysis – instead of calling up the local database of virus signatures on every query.
The compact database is designed to protect you against real-world threats and the most common malware (i.e. files that you are likely to come across in everyday use), but also calls on our cloud-based detection systems to ensure we don’t let things slip through the net. Having two different databases offers various benefits to some users – the compact edition requires a smaller footprint, takes less time to download, and requires less memory and resources. There’s no intrinsic decrease in protection levels for consumers – but it allows customers with dial-up connections or lower-spec, older PCs to run PC Tools products in the simplest way possible.
Why did we score so differently to other security software brands? The difference in detection levels was largely because of the types of malware used in the testing labs. Labs such as AV-Comparatives use a mix of real-world samples and also much less common samples that come from a variety of sources. These samples are still actual malware, but they may have been virtually eradicated years and years ago, or they may be so rare that they’ve never made it beyond a lab PC – and so no customers are actually likely to encounter these in the real world. Think Smallpox and Bubonic plague. Sure, we still have vaccines against these diseases, but they’re so rare that none of us would ever actually be concerned about them.
To ensure we return to our previous high levels in these independent tests, we have put more focus on detections in those rare areas – and the improved detection rates will be seen in upcoming reports, so stay tuned for the next round of testing results!
Testing labs need to still test against these arcane samples, because this is one of the few ways to measure any noticeable difference between each of the most reputable AV developers. Even with this wide variety of different malware being tested, the difference between the top 10 products is often only a few percentage points.
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10-24-2011, 11:21 PM #10Thanks,
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