Microsoft Security Essentials misses AV-Test Certified status

January 18, 2013 by Nancy Owano, report

(—Microsoft Security Essentials failed another certification test by independent testing lab, AV-Test Institute. The group publishes test results every two months. Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1 was among three failures, in the testing that was done for the months of November and December 2012. The testing looked at over two dozen consumer antivirus security programs. The other two that failed certification were PC Tools Internet Security 2012 and AhnLab Internet Security 8.0.

AV-Test is an independent testing lab based in Germany. As a service provider in IT security and research, they aim at detecting and analyzing , and informing customers of results. Their work is done at laboratories in Magdeburg and Leipzig.

's site presents Microsoft Security Essentials as "built for individuals and small businesses, but "based on the same technology that Microsoft uses to protect giant businesses."

Microsoft missed certification by one point on the current test. In the previous failure the company missed certification by half a point.

"During November and December 2012 we continuously evaluated 25 home user using their default settings," said the AV-Test account of its recent testing.

"We always used the most current publicly-available version of all products for the testing. They were allowed to update themselves at any time and query their in-the-cloud services. We focused on realistic test scenarios and challenged the products against real-world threats. Products had to demonstrate their capabilities using all components and protection layers."

Microsoft, meanwhile, issued a statement regarding the . "We continually evaluate and look at ways to improve our processes. We know from feedback from customers that industry testing is valuable, and their tests do help us improve," said Joe Blackbird, program manager, Microsoft Malware Protection Center, in a response. "We're committed to reducing our 0.0033 percent margin to zero."

On Microsoft's side, he said, "We conduct a rigorous review of the results whenever test results warrant it. We take the protection of our customers very seriously, and the investments we make to do these reviews is an example of that commitment."

At the same time, he said, it was difficult for independent anti-malware testing organizations to devise "tests that are consistent with the real-world conditions that customers live in." Blackbird reviewed a number of points, using figures to support his views. He offered "some key upfront data points to keep in mind." Among the points listed in his response:

"AV-Test's test results indicate that our products detected 72 percent of all '0-day malware' using a sample size of 100 pieces of malware. We know from telemetry from hundreds of millions of systems around the world that 99.997 percent of our customers hit with any 0-day did not encounter the malware samples tested in this test."

Explore further: Microsoft anti-virus program evicts Chrome browser

More information: … st-test-results.aspx

Related Stories

Microsoft to Offer Free Antivirus Protection

June 11, 2009

Microsoft is gearing up to offer Windows users a free real-time antivirus protection. Code name Morro, the antivirus product will be a hosted service. Morro works by routing all users Internet traffic to a Microsoft datacenter, ...

Grisoft Offers Free Rootkit Removal

April 11, 2007

Grisoft, makers of the popular AVG Antivirus, today released a free tool specifically aimed at eliminating malicious software that hides itself using rootkit techniques.

Microsoft attacks Google over security

April 11, 2011

Microsoft Corp. is lashing out at Google Inc., extending hostilities between two of the most prominent corporations in the technology industry.

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2013
Why does not MS with its vast cash mountain buy a decent AV company to replace its "Security Essentials"?
not rated yet Jan 18, 2013
Why does not MS with its vast resources construct a superior AV in the first place? Did MS test Security Essentials as often and as vigorously as www_av-test_org?
1 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2013
It's free.
not rated yet Jan 19, 2013
Perhaps they struggle with this because their latest OS is malware.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.