Microsoft’s Windows Defender was only able to block 47% of spyware threats in quick scan mode, in a recent test of spyware products by independent lab Enex TestLab on behalf of security and utility products vendor PC Tools. In full scan mode, Defender was only able to block 53% of threats.
“We have been watching with interest the development of Microsoft’s Vista security effort. We know that Microsoft is facing difficult challenges with the broadening scope of dangerous malware attacks while also trying to maintain backwards compatibility and usability. This independent research was designed to show how we compare in combating real-world threats over an extended period of time,” said Simon Clausen, CEO of PC Tools.
“We wanted to prove through an independent and unbiased review, where PC Tools did not choose or supply the sample-set, that Vista’s anti-spyware protection is in fact inadequate, and could result in a false sense of security to consumers.”
Enex Testlab compared identical threats against a number of leading anti-spyware products throughout 2006 —Spyware Doctor was the conclusive overall winner.
As you would expect, PC Tools’ own Spyware Doctor did very well in the test, blocking 83% of threats in quick scan mode, and 89% of threats in full scan mode. Spyware Doctor was ranked overall number one ranking for the complete year, against Defender, and other leading anti-spyware products.
That aside, Enex Testlads is widely recognised as an independent test lab, with more than 17 years experience in testing (I happen to have first hand experience of the company’s work through a previous job I had at a consumer protection organization). Enex Testlabs’ results can not be dismissed, and this is not the first time that Microsoft has performed poorly in security tests. Its Live OneCare anti-virus solution was recently slammed by Virus Bulletin.
According to Enex Testlabs, because Defender performed so poorly, Vista users still need to go to third-party security vendors for protection.“We have taken a look at several anti-spyware vendors over time to determine the current level of accuracy against spyware threats in 2006. These results show Vista requires more work to protect users. Third party security vendors—especially in the area of anti-spyware are still essential components in protecting users,” said Matt Tett, Senior Test Engineer for Enex TestLab.