Aims of the test and target audience The File Detection Test assesses the ability of antivirus programs to detect malicious files on a system. Whilst the test only assesses one antimalware feature of the programs, this feature is important for a security solution. This is because it can identify malware attacks from sources other than the Internet, and detect malicious files already present on the system.
We install each antivirus program on its own physical PC, and update the signatures. The malware sample files are then scanned using the program’s standard scanning procedure, and the number of detections is recorded. The PCs remain connected to the Internet during the test, meaning that the security programs can use any cloud features provided by their manufacturers.
Typically, more than 100,000 malware samples are used for the test. These are prevalent malicious files of all types that have been recently collected, i.e. within a period of a few weeks or months before the test is performed.
To ensure that the tested programs do not simply identify all unknown files as malware, a false-positive test is also conducted for every File Detection Test. Any programs with a high rate of false positives will have their award reduced by one level. For example, a program which has a detection rate high enough to earn an Advanced Award will be demoted to a Standard Award if it produces a high rate of false alarms.
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