Can Security Software Block Down Exploit Attacks?
To get into the botnet business, you do not need to be an excellent programmer. All you need to do is buy any of the available exploit kits and you are perfectly set. You can even rent out an exploit kit or an entire botnet if you prefer. A typical exploit kit consists of a number of attacks which can allow you to gain control of your victim’s computer through security holes found in the operating system, in common applications or in the browser. If you fail to keep your software up to date, a security suite would be the only defense you would have. A test conducted by PC Security Labs showed that there are some products which are more effective than others are in doing this particular task.
The company included around 10 global and Chinese companies in their tests. While the mix change on a regular basis and the reports are not always available in English. This time, the test was commissioned by Malwarebytes who provided an English version.
Exploit specialists: Malwarebytes needs to participate in more tests and recently their products have ranked at the very bottom and at the top in tests released during the same week.
Test methodology: the research team placed their focus on vulnerabilities in a number of widely used applications as well as tools which included Flash, Java, Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Test systems running Windows XP SP3 was set up and known exploits were selected which could penetrate the security of any unprotected system. Because the test is specifically about the exploit attack and blocking, access to the malware detection would be shut down if it were present. A product would also earn full credit for protection if it prevented the execution of the payload completely or if it shut down the backdoor connection once the payload was executed.
Surprising results: two out of the 12 tested products achieved a success rate of 80% which was needed in order to pass the test. Norton Internet Security blocked 81.03% of the attacks which is not surprising as Norton does well always in such tasks. Malwarebytes however beat all the rest having a success rate of 93.10%. Kaspersky Internet Security which normally on routine earns high ratings in all tests conducted in independent labs was rates as insufficient having a success rate of 72.41%. Bitdefender Internet Security too earned only a 31.03% success rating which was much below the 60% required minimum and therefore it failed the test.
While these tests did not meet the requirement, it does not mean that you should throw them away and replace them. The test simply measures how well the products perform in defending against one particular type of hack attack. Top security suites offer a number of layers of protection however if you need to specifically protect yourself against exploits, you should consider these results when you want to make your selection. They would help you make a more qualified decision.