back to article Third of XP security suites flunk tests

A third of 60 anti-malware products for Windows XP failed to make the grade in independent security tests. 20 out of 60 security products tested by independent security certification body Virus Bulletin flunked its rigourous VB100 certification, mainly because of false positive problems. False alarms in scanning benign files …


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  1. Lionel Baden

    What !!!

    "I'm sure any user who sees their system brought to a halt by their security software will vote with their feet and take their custom elsewhere."

    Like hell are they

    I mean seriously who the hell walks to a shop to buy antivirus products.

    Ill be voting with my Double click !!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I read the title and clicked thinking it was an article about a third release of that odius scareware XP Security/Antivirus.

  3. Inachu

    I am still waiting!

    I can't wait to see the time when Mcafee or Norton Antivirus buys the program combofix!

    Awsome program that defeats most infections.

  4. Brian

    Summary Results available free....

    Where? I registered and it won't show me anything without subscribing.

    1. Velv

      Err, on the page...

      ....where it says VB100 Results Summary

      But since you seem to be struggling, here is the link:

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    XP Systems with dubious security


    Are you seriously telling me that:

    a) Microsoft would leave gaping holes in security

    b) One fifth of Anti-virus companies would release products that let viruses and malware through

    c) One of the largest AV companies doesn't let their products be reviewed (presumably because it's so shoddy)

    d) The reviewers said "It was pretty shocking how many crashes, freezes, hangs and errors we encountered in this test,"

    (Have XP users ever considered leaving Windows behind? It doesn't cost a penny...)

  6. Doug Glass

    So? What's Your Point?

    Use one of the 2/3 that work well. Simple.

  7. giraffe

    Are We As Well Protected As We Should Be ?

    The reason for my title will become clearer in a minute as al provide people with regular security alerts on all my sites as part of help and guidance to people in need. The organisation l set-up over the past few years provides contracts of all types of products and services that have to be tried and tested, so we try and test themselves.

    As regards the VB site l had no problem in joining and thank you to " The Register " and their team, l only started receiving articles of them just over the past few months and they are really helpful, but we need to share this valuable information with other people, using our social network sites.

    Anyway l run XP and have done so for the past few years, l find it better than my partners Vista and will not change to windows 7 or 8 as l feel they are not as secure, anyway l protect myself with a full security package run everyday before l even start work and then also have 3 hourly sweeps plus an added malware & anti-malware package as well.

    As if we do not protect our selves then how can we give our clients, followers and people who need help and guidance the right advice.

    1. Boris Winkle
      Thumb Down


      I'm none the wiser.

    2. DryBones


      Let's see. Morning full system scan, - 1 hour. System scan 3x an hour, severely degraded performance. Sounds like a recipie for late starts and long coffee breaks to me. How about closing the vectors instead? NoScript, on-access scanning, turn off autorun, and a deep scan once a week? If worried about banking Trojans, a livecd works fine.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why dont they do it anyway?

    "Thus far this has failed to persuade Trend to returned to the fold"

    Seriously, review the product anyway. UK case law supports 3rd party review and comparison so just add it to the list of products being reviewed.

  9. DryBones

    Know what I'd like to see?

    Unclickable ads. Simple pictures, no click-links allowed. No more click to be pwned, if I am that intrigued I have a nice Google search field.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone track sudden changes in search rankings against advertisements? That'd be where activity would move g folks couldn't just click through.

  10. Dick Emery


    Does not work in Win7 64.

    1. Lionel Baden

      i know

      Its makes me cry too :(

  11. rastansaga

    Jonathan Ross to blame

    I still remember a DVD that came with the Sunday Times when XP came out. It had some video of Jonathan Ross 'bigging up' XP and saying something like "If this isn't the most secure operating system you'll ever use then I'll eat my..." can't remember for sure if the next word was 'hat', 'head, 'arse' or 'words' or indeed something else, but anyway - I'm still ****ing waiting for him to make good on his promise.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Symantec Sucks

    My on-line life took a massive improvement exactly when I removed all Symantec products from my various PCs. Seriously, at least 90% on my PC problems and annoyances disappeared with Norton Internet Security (sic) products removed.

    I just bought a new laptop. It came with a free trial of Norton something or other. I removed it before it even had a chance to annoy me. I use alternate products that are far less annoying.

    Seriously, many of there so-called products are pure negative value.

  13. Kanhef

    Failures summary

    Eight products (including Microsoft's) failed for a single miss or false positive. Six more had no more than seven mistakes. So three-quarters of the 'failures' were for minor errors that will probably be fixed in the next update. However, there is a hall of shame:

    Norman Security Suite - 110 misses

    eEye Digital Security Blink Professional - 123 misses

    Ikarus virus.utilities - 973 misses

    Emsisoft a-squared Anti-Malware - 974 misses

    Filseclab Twister Anti-TrojanVirus - 2595 misses

  14. ZenCoder

    expired trial subscriptoins.

    What I see a lot are people using whatever trial version of security software came with their PC until the subscriptions runs out then continuing to run their systems unprotected until it gets infected to the point where its unusable.

    That's why I steer most home users toward security programs that are free for home users.

    One of my favorites is the web of trust browser plug-in. It puts up a warning screen when you try to navigate to a site that has been reported as dangerous.

  15. Gareth.


    13 comments so far, and not one mention of Linux or OS X being more secure than Windows.

    What's happened to the Reg's faithful readership?

    1. DryBones


      First, some disclosure. I own an HP laptop, a self-assembled desktop, and semi-remotely manage another desktop and laptop, all running W7. One of them has a Mint Linux partition for dabbling in and making the desktop into a FAH beast. I own an iPhone, and would like to get a slate that comes with or I can put Android or Linux on because standard USB connections are good. Oh, and I'm across the pond.


      My first thought was snark: Respect for the dead?

      I'd like to think it's really an understanding that "security through obscurity" has already been panned enough around these parts.

      Those that just want to do work are going to stick with what they're used to using until it stops running. Then they're going to get it fixed or get a new one, and keep going. This is part of the reason Apple is gaining ground, people will pay to be able to be lazy ("it just works"). Anyone that doubts this should consider the cruise and tourism industry. The other being that they're actually employing some good designers, who have learned that you can make a computer case from more than just plastic with a metal bezel.

      Now taking bets on when the glass-coated wood inlays show up. I seem to recall an article here about a company selling glass spray that makes surfaces essentially dirt and bacteria proof. Should remove most wear issues, yes?

  16. Ammaross Danan


    Perhaps they are simply avoiding the inevitable sludge-fest of a Win-Mac-Lin bash?

    Anyway, I'm wondering WTF The Reg didn't just post the top 10 and the bottom 5 (for the rest of us to mock of course), but instead direct us to a registration-required website?

    The FAIL is for the lack of actual usable information in the report.

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