Posted by: David Harley | May 1, 2013

Free AV and the Art of Pseudotesting

Not quite a testing article, but not totally irrelevant either…

David Harley, “Anti-Virus: Last Rites, or Rites of Passage?“, February 2013. Copyright is held by Virus Bulletin Ltd., but is made available on this site for personal use free of charge by permission of Virus Bulletin.

Once again, we hear that anti-virus is dead, or at least not worth paying for. And A Certain Competitor (amusingly enough, their stand was right next to the ESET UK stand at InfoSec UK last week) used – oh dear… – pseudo-testing with VirusTotal to ‘prove’ the same point, back at the beginning of the year. Of course, Old Mac the well-known pseudonym and I have both vented some spleen on that issue on this very blog – for instance Journalism’s Dirty Little Secret - and elsewhere, but the article above was an attempt at a more balanced view of the issue, going as far as to consider what a world without paid AV researchers might actually look like.

“Would the same companies currently dissing AV while piggybacking its research be able to match the expertise of the people currently working in anti-malware labs?”

David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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