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ESET's Advanced Heuristics Technology Validated by Independent Test

Created: 2006-09-12 00:00:00

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AV-Comparatives Report Reveals ESET's Combination of Strong Proactive Heuristics and Daily Signature Updates Most Effective in Combating Malware

SAN DIEGO – September 7, 2006 – ESET, the leader in proactive threat protection, today announced further validation of its ThreatSense® advanced heuristics technology based on the results of a recent test conducted by AV-Comparatives. The results reveal that more frequent antivirus signature updates do not necessarily provide greater protection against malware and cannot replace the job that heuristics does for proactive detection. The AV-Comparatives test compared antivirus release rates and update size through a comparison of four leading antivirus solutions and clearly shows that strong proactive heuristic protection coupled with at least daily signature updates – a hallmark of ESET NOD32 Antivirus software – offers the most comprehensive protection to safeguard users from emerging and existing forms of malware.

This finding is not surprising as zero-day threats are beyond the scope of signatures for comprehensive end-user protection. AV-Comparatives estimates that since 2002 the numbers of new virus records has doubled every year as vendors try to keep pace with the escalating variety of malware. Relying on signatures alone will not solve the malware problem. No matter how fast updates are released they can never entirely close the gap and keep pace with evolving threats, which leaves a critical window of vulnerability.

"ESET NOD32 is the leader in Advanced+ awards, having received top honors in each of the last five tests. This represents the most proactive malware detection capabilities of all the products tested over the last 12 months,」 said Andreas Clementi, project manager at AV-Comparatives who conducted the test. 「Retrospective testing is crucial because it indicates a product's ability to stop zero-day attacks without having to wait hours for signatures."

「The AV-Comparatives report underscores the value of advanced heuristics, which is the cornerstone of ESET』s ESET NOD32 software,」 said Andrew Lee, chief research officer at ESET. 「According to the test results, Kaspersky releases nine times as many updates as ESET, yet detects one third of the malware that ESET does proactively. Conversely, ESET releases two to three times as many updates as Symantec and McAfee and also has two to three times greater proactive protection.」

The AV-Comparatives report, which was publicly released in August 2006, evaluated the release rates and update sizes of signature databases among four leading antivirus vendors that have consistently received ADVANCED+ certification from
AV-Comparatives: ESET, Kaspersky, McAfee and Symantec. The report was non-commissioned and none of the participating vendors were aware that a study was being conducted during June and July 2006.

The AV-Comparatives report also addresses the relationship between frequency of signature updates and quality control. Companies that release updates hourly generally have the highest false positive rate due to very limited time available for working the bugs out of the updates. The challenge for antivirus vendors is to strike the right balance between offering proactive heuristic protection and ongoing signature updates.


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