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AMTSO

I Have a Little (Wild)List*

* http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/webopera/mk105a.html Kevin Townsend posted a blog in response to a piece by Mike Rothman at Securosis. Mike’s piece on “The Death of Product Reviews” makes some pretty good points about security product reviews in general. Kevin’s piece is more specific to anti-malware. He too makes some useful discussion points about the value or otherwise

Cascading False Positives

 Security researchers work together and share information in many ways and in many contexts that aren't constrained by company boundaries, but it's unusual for security researchers working for different vendors to join forces in a company blog. However, John Leyden of The Register contacted us both when he was writing an article on the controversy following

Kaspersky, Virus Total, and Unacceptable Shortcuts

Larry Seltzer posted an interesting item yesterday.  The article on "SW Tests Show Problems With AV Detections " is  based on an "Analyst's Diary" entry called "On the way to better testing." Kaspersky did something rather interesting, though a little suspect. They created 20 perfectly innocent executable files, then created fake detections for ten of them.

Generalist Anti-Malware Product Testing

We have just come across a Buyer’s Guide published in the March 2010 issue of PC Pro Magazine, authored by Darien Graham-Smith, PC Pro’s Technical Editor. The author aims to give advice on which anti-malware product is the best for consumer users, and we  acknowledge that the article includes some good thoughts and advice, but

AMTSOlute Elsewhere

We're now getting into preparations for the next meeting of AMTSO (Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization), on 25th-26th February in Santa Clara. In the meantime, I wrote an article for Virus Bulletin called "AMTSOlutely Fabulous" about "the story so far". It's just appeared in the January edition of the magazine. Of course, it's only available to subscribers

Top Ten Trite Security Predictions

1. Every security blogger in the world will mark the transition from 2009 to 2010 with at least one top ten something-or-other article. Except me, of course.  2. There will be headlines about the death of anti-virus, and a famous security guru will state that anti-malware only catches malware that's already been identified and analysed, that

A Thought or Two about Testing

The Hype-free blog at http://hype-free.blogspot.com/2009/12/congratulation-to-av-comparatives.html yesterday mentioned the latest AV-Comparatives round of test reports, including: The whole product dynamic test at http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/dynamic-tests The December 2009 performance test at http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/performance-tests The summary reports at http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/main-tests/summary-reports I have a pretty jaundiced view of testing organizations in general: after all, I see some pretty awful tests proclaimed by the

The Curious Art of Anti-Malware Testing

I recently made a presentation to  the Special Interest Group in Software Testing of the BCS Chartered Institute for IT (formerly better known as the British Computer Society). The PDF version of the slide deck is now up at: http://www.eset.com/download/whitepapers/Curious_Act_Of_Anti_Malware_Testing.pdf The presentation outlines some of the problems with anti-malware testing and summarizes the mission and principles of

So What Is AMTSO Compliance?

The AMTSO (Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization) meeting in Prague, which took place at the beginning of this week, proved to be rather more exciting than you might expect from a group with the word "Standards" in its name. One of the issues that caused particularly lively debate centred around the question of what constitutes AMTSO

AVIEN and Testing

Some readers will be aware of my long-standing connection with the Anti-Virus Information Exchange Network (AVIEN) at http://www.avien.net (I hold the title of Chief Operations Officer there). AVIEN has now instigated a member’s blog at http://www.avien.net/blog, and I’ve put up a couple of blogs today on testing to help kick it off (Andrew Lee, my former

Making Malware

McAfee Avert Labs has been advertising a "Malware Experience" session for the "Focus 09" security conference, which offers attendees the chance to "to work with a Trojan horse, commandeer a botnet, install a rootkit and experience first hand how easy it is to modify websites to serve up malware." Actually, this text has been modified: it

AMTSO Anticipations

One of the more interesting things to happen to me in the past few months – well, that I’m going to talk about in public – is that I was elected to the Board of Directors of AMTSO (The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization). Interesting and scary: the first couple of months have seen me at

Fake Antimalware – Old Dogs, New Tricks

(1) Websense, our neighbour in San Diego, has reported a fake anti-malware scam centred on Labor Day social engineering. The scam uses malicious SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, sometimes referred to as index hijacking or SEO poisoning, to misdirect potential victims. When the victim uses Google to search for Labor Day sales (apparently these are very

AMTSO – the Next Generation

I’ve just returned from Canterbury in the UK. One of the reasons I was there was to present a paper on malware naming at CFET 2009 (3rd International Conference on Cybercrime Forensics Education & Training). It was an excellent conference, and I’ll have more to say about that later (and the paper will be available shortly

Fly By Wireless

No, nothing to do with drive-by downloads… Our colleagues in Europe came up with a nice idea: an article on the dangers of web surfing on free wi-fi and some tips on staying safe. (A topic dear to the hearts of all of us who find ourselves out and about with our laptops from time

Patchwork

I’ve been up to my ears in travelling and AMTSO and had limited connectivity over the last week, but even I noticed that a lot of patching issues have risen to the surface in the past few days. In case some of this has passed you by, here are a few of the more prominent

Public Health and the BCS

SC Magazine included an interesting item today on security and confidentiality in the UK’s National Health Service. Anders Pettersson has suggested that the NHS is too busy to be harrassed over data protection/data leakage issues, and that the security industry should "come together to educate NHS Trusts and other organizations on simple measures to protect

CARO and AMTSO

In previous blogs, I mentioned that some of the presentations from the CARO workshop a couple of weeks ago were likely to be made available publicly. Unfortunately for non-attendees, most of the presentations are only available to people who were there: however, some can be downloaded by the public from here. In case I didn’t

Comparative Testing and Swimming the Channel

Greetings, friends, fans and foes. I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been travelling, with intermittent connectivity: first the Infosecurity expo in London, then the CARO and AMTSO workshops in Budapest, then the EICAR conference in Berlin. This week I’ve been at the Channel Expo in Birmingham (the one in the UK, that is)

I Like EICAR

Yes, I’ve used that pun before, but I can’t resist using it again now that I’m back from the EICAR conference. I actually got back a couple of days ago, but I was sidetracked by some urgent administrivia and dental treatment. I’m having bacon and eggs for breakfast, my first pet’s name was Stuart Little

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16 Feb 2010
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