The AV-Test Institute, which is well known for its testing of antivirus real time performance, has just released the results of a series of tests specifically designed to determine how a selection of leading products handle malware removal, cleanup, and remediation.
The “endurance” tests, which were run over a period of 10 months, showed that many of the antivirus products tested are also quite effective in the area of cleanup and remediation. However, only one product attained a perfect score, and that was Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
The following products were included in the tests:
- 3 popular freeware solutions: Avast! Free Antivirus 9.0, AVG AntiVirus Free 2014, Avira Free Antivirus
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
- Microsoft Security Essentials, included in Windows
- Five additional well-known paid software solutions from Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky and Norton.
The Testing Procedure
In this endurance test, the software solutions were tested multiple times over a period of 10 months, from September 2013 to June 2014 in terms of their clean-up and repair performance. Throughout the entire period, various malware families were repeatedly tested, as they also undergo constant evolution.
The Final Results
It’s also interesting to note that, in the Institute’s testing of free recovery and repair tools, only Kaspersky Removal Tool attained a perfect score.
The recovery tools are generally only deployed after a malware infection has occurred. Which was exactly the scenario examined in the test. Each of the 7 tools had to remove 55 intrusions of malware samples and their damage.
Among the security suites, the solutions from Malwarebytes, Bitdefender and Kaspersky demonstrated the best performance among all the packages tested. All in all, however, the rest of the field still showed quite solid performance, even though a few active components were left behind.
Among the freeware clean-up tools, the Kaspersky Removal Tool is worth recommending. While the Norton tool, as well as Disinfect2013 from Heise, left behind quite a lot of data garbage, neither failed to detect a single active malware component.
I realize some do not put a lot of store in these types of test results, I am often skeptical myself. However, if there is one testing lab that does command respect, it is AV-Test. When all’s said and done, this particular series of test results pretty much confirms what many of us have suspected for some time.
- Read AV-Test’s full report, including more information regarding testing methodology and breakdown of results, here: 17 software packages in a repair performance test after malware attacks