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Most Android anti-viruses proved worthless, again

Only about few of the anti-viruses available in the market are capable of detecting a major number of malwares on an Android device, shows a test performed by AV-Test

According to a new report from independent testing organization, AV-Test, we need to choose anti-viruses for our Android phones wisely. Especially since there is a good chance that a trusted security application won’t protect you much. 

Andreas Marx, AV Test’s CEO, recently revealed in a study e-mail that desktop antivirus vendors that migrated to Android performed the best. Among the few are Avast, Lookout, Dr.Web, Zoner, F-Secure, Ikarus, and Kaspersky, which were capable of detecting 90 percent of the 612 types of malicious Android APK files that they were tested against. 

He also added that some of the security applications that tested between 65 to 90 percent, were very good and could easily improve their detection because several applications in this category missed a couple of malware families. These malware which accounted them low scores on the test may not even be threats in certain environments. 

The applications in the second group include AVG, Bitdefender, ESET, Norton (Symantec), Quick Heal, Trend Micro, Vipre (GFI) and Webroot and two mobile-only vendors, AegisLab and Super Security. There is another group of security which is considered to be the third group consisting of vendors which scored between 40 and 65 percent of detection. This group includes vendors as Bullguard, Comodo, G Data, McAfee, NetQin and Total Defense. 

Another group has also been made which consists of 12 security applications that detected more than zero percent but less than 40 percent. The report also says that these applications may be capable of detecting other threats which are not included in the 612 malware used in the test. 

However, out of 41 applications considered for testing, 17 have made the cut above 65 percent. The test was also conducted using a combination of both Android SDK and an actual Android device for those where the SDK wouldn’t work. The results were cross checked in the SDK, emulating API level 10 (Gingerbread 2.3) and on real devices as Samsung Galaxy Tab running on Froyo 2.2 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Ice Cream Sandwich. The applications under test were also updated to their latest versions before testing and were also connected to the cloud during testing. 

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Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2012-03- 8 (Update: 2012-05-26)