Security News

On this page you will find links to selected IT-security related news articles from various sources, including news from conferences and some test results. Posts in this category might be written by externals and students. If you find some interesting news, please let us know!

Proactive protection against the WannaCry ransomware (not the exploit)

Anti-virus test wannacry

The WannaCry ransomware has been a major news story over the last few days. It has infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide (mostly in Russia), including some well-known companies and institutions. All the programs in our public Main Test Series now detect the WannaCry malware samples by means of signatures, but we decided to find out which of these programs would have blocked the malware sample (not the exploit) proactively, i.e. before the the outbreak started and the malware samples became known.

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Introducing AV-Comparatives’ Malware Protection Test

protect system from malware

The Malware Protection Test is an enhancement of the File Detection Test which we performed in previous years. It assesses a security program’s ability to protect a system against infection by malicious files; what is unique about this test is that in addition to checking detection in scans, it additionally assesses each program’s last line of defence. Any samples that have not been detected e.g. on-access are executed on the test system, with Internet/cloud access available, to allow features such as behavioural protection to come into play.

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Sample quality for the Malware Protection Test


The test set for Malware Protection Test  consisted of about 38,000 samples. As we only use samples that have been analysed by our own in-house automated sandboxes, the quality of our sets is very high. Unlike some other testers, we only use malware in our tests, and do not include PUAs or other controversial software. What is malicious and what is “potentially unwanted” is sometimes debatable. We welcome feedback from vendors; however, the decision as to whether something can or cannot be classified as malware is ultimately up to us, even if our decisions may sometimes be regarded as imperfect.

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Safe Harbor agreement ruled invalid by top EU court

Safe Harbor agreement ruled invalid by top EU court

The European Union’s highest court has today ruled against the transatlantic Safe Harbor agreement which had allowed companies to transfer European citizens’ personal data to the US. The decision, made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), will affect thousands of companies which had been transfering a wide range of information under an agreement that allowed them to circumvent Europe’s much stricter privacy rules.

URL Competition @VB2015

For the second time, we ran an URL competition during the Virus Bulletin conference 2015. We plan to host a URL competition every year.

Conference delegates received a code to register for the competition.

26 Malware Hunters (from 14 different companies) joined the competition and submitted in total 238 URLs during the conference. Most of the submissions were 404, PUA, exploits that did not work on the target system or clean URLs/files. Continue reading…