MSE Fail’s AV-Test Certification; Microsoft Challenges the Testing Methodology

Microsoft’s antivirus product, Microsoft Security Essentials has once again failed AV-Test’s criteria for Certification. MSE was able to garner a score of 10 out of a possible 18, while a score of at least 11 was needed to obtain the certification.

The area where MSE failed was on detecting zero day attacks. MSE detected only around 78% of the attacks, whereas the industry standard is 91%. The test included 24 other security solutions out of which two other products also failed to obtain the certification. While Bit Defender Internet Security, Kaspersky Internet Security and Norton Internet Security got the highest ratings, AhnLab and PC Tools Internet Security failed.

Obviously, Microsoft was not happy with the test results and challenged AV-Test’s results in a blog post,

Our review showed that 0.0033 percent of our Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection customers were impacted by malware samples not detected during the test. In addition, 94 percent of the malware samples not detected during the test didn’t impact our customers.

AV-Test reports on samples hit/missed by category. We report (and prioritize our work) based on customer impact.

AV-Test’s test results indicate that our products detected 72 percent of all “0-day malware” using a sample size of 100 pieces of malware. We know from telemetry from hundreds of millions of systems around the world that 99.997 percent of our customers hit with any 0-day did not encounter the malware samples tested in this test.

AV-Test’s test results indicate that our products missed 9 percent of “recent malware” using a sample size of 216,000 pieces of malware. We know from telemetry that 94 percent of these missed malware samples were never encountered by any of our customers.

You can read the full response here.

MSE Briefly Flags Google as Malware

Microsoft Security Essentials, the free anti-virus program from the Redmond Giant, flagged Google.com, the most popular search in the world, as malware for a short period of time, yesterday.

MSE started showing warning messages when users tried to access Google from IE after a definition update named 1.119.1972.0. Soon, support requests started pouring in on Microsoft Support Forum and were noticed by noted Security expert, Brian Krebs.

“I first learned of this bug from a reader, and promptly updated a Windows XP system I have that runs Microsoft Security Essentials. Upon reboot, Internet Explorer told me that my homepage — google.com — was serving up a ‘severe’ threat”, Brian wrote in a blog post.

google_malware

The false positive appeared to users who had installed AV programs based on Forefront Anti-malware engine such as MSE and Forefront Client Security. The software detected Google as malware – Blacole.BW, a virus rated as severe by Microsoft.

Microsoft has since released an update for MSE which resolves this issue. If you are still getting the warning while trying to access Google, open Microsoft Security Essentials or Forefront Client security (whichever one you have installed) and update the definitions to the latest, which is 1.119.2014.0 at the time of writing of this article.

Microsoft Safety Scanner Scans Your PC For Virus, Spyware and Malicious Software

Over the past couple of years or so, I have used Microsoft Security Essentials as my only virus and malware protection tool. The Free Antivirus tool from Microsoft is definitely worth installing on your PC.

Microsoft Safety Scanner

If you are someone who does not like to install Antivirus on your PC or just want to check whether your current Antivirus is really working well, a new tool from Microsoft will come in handy.

Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free security software from Microsoft which provides users with on-demand scanning while allowing users to remove viruses, spywares, Trojans and another malicious software from their PC. Safety Scanner works along with your current Antivirus software, so you don’t have to uninstall your current AV protection to use it.

One of the bad things about Microsoft Safety Scanner is that it expires every 10 days. Users will have to download a new version to scan your system every ten days which could be annoying considering that it is around 70MB in size. A simple definition update should be added so that users don’t have to download new versions every 10 days.

Users must also note that unlike traditional Antivirus systems the Safety Scanner does not provide continuous protection and should not be used as a replacement for traditional Antivirus software. Microsoft Security Scanner should only be used to additionally scan your PC. If you intend to replace your current Antivirus you might check out our Free Antivirus section to find a suitable alternative.

Additionally, you may also want to read the following articles related to :

Download Microsoft Safety Scanner

Fake Antivirus Tools from Microsoft – Don’t be fooled

No! Microsoft is not offering fake antivirus tools. However, a new warning from Microsoft’s Windows Security Blog tells the frightening story of a new threat that disguises itself as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). As many of you know, MSE is Microsoft’s free antivirus suite. I recommend it, and even Fred Langa recommends it.

How Does it Work?

1. You unintentionally visit a website that places a drive-by download known as FakePAV, onto your computer.

2. Once it runs, you’ll get this bogus warning in your web browser. (images from WindowsTeamBlog)

fakepav1

3. Clicking on Clean computeror Apply actionswill initiate a fake attempt to clean your PC. It will report that it failed and then ask you to Scan Online.

fakepav2

4. After it performs a simulated scan, you’ll be offered this list of Antivirus and Antimalware tools.

fakepav3

5. Clicking on any of the Free Installbuttons starts another install for persistent and more intrusive fake antivirus software.

fakepav4

The final look of this fake antivirus software can take many forms, such as Red Cross Antivirus, Peak Protection 2010, AntiSpy Safeguard, Major Defense Kit or Pest Detector. These apps give you even more false warnings and try to scare you into buying more protection. Applications like these are also known as ScareWare.

red-cross-fake-av peak-protection-fake-av

antispy-fake-av major-defense-fake-av

pest-detector-fake-av

What should you do to protect yourself?

My recommendation is to use good, up-to-date antivirus software. Enable any anti-phishing options in your web browser. I also recommend the free URL filtering service offered by OpenDNS.

What should you do if you are already infected?

The first tool I use on infected computers is MalwareBytes. If that doesn’t do the trick, Keith Dsousa wrote about an application which will Remove Fake Antivirus from Your System. If all else fails and the PC is really trashed, I’ve got an article describing how to Run Antivirus on a PC That Will Not Boot.

If you need good free advice on what to do, there are several malware removal forums that will take you step by step through a recovery process. Bleeping Computer, Major Geeks and especially Temerc Countermeasures are three good ones.

Microsoft Security Essentials New Beta Download Now Available

Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the best free Antivirus and Anti malware solution available today. I have been personally using MSE for a while now and have found it to be the best security solution which is easy on system resources and does its job well.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Today, Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Security Essentials for beta testing. Some of the new features in Microsoft Security Essentials Beta include:

Windows Firewall integration During setup, Microsoft Security Essentials will now ask if you would like to turn the Windows Firewall on or off.

Enhanced protection for web-based threats Microsoft Security Essentials now integrates with Internet Explorer to provide protection against web-based threats.

New protection engine The updated anti-malware engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities with better performance.

Network inspection system Protection against network-based exploits is now built in to Microsoft Security Essentials.

You will need to sign in to Microsoft Connect in order to download the latest beta of Microsoft Security Essentials. To download MSE beta, head over to this link. MSE beta is available in both 32bit and 64bit editions and also supports . More info and details on MSE Beta can be found at the Windows Team Blog.

Fix 0x80070643 Error For Microsoft Security Essentials Install or Update

Microsoft Security Essentials is no doubt one of the best Free Antivirus and Anti-Malware solution available today, and just like Microsoft has done a pretty good job with it.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Quite recently I saw a notification to update to the latest version of Microsoft Security Essentials, however, the update kept failing because of a "0x80070643" Error. This issue kept happening multiple times and I did find a solution for it. So how do you fix the 0x80070643 Error that occurs while installing or updating Microsoft Security Essentials? Read ahead.

There are various reasons why this error may occur, it could vary based on whether you are installing or updating MSE, I will categorize the problems and their solutions.

Microsoft Security Essentials 0x80070643 Install/Upgrade Errors

Cause 1: You might have another Antivirus programs installed while you are installing MSE.

Solution 1:  Uninstall all the other Antivirus programs before installing MSE and try again, this should resolve the 0x80070643 error.

Cause 2: You might be not be using an older version of Windows Installer

Solution 2: Upgrade windows or download the latest version of Windows Installer. MSE requires at-least version 3.1 of Windows Installer or higher.

Cause 3: Windows Installer service is turned off.

Solution 3: Go to Start -> Run and type in "services.msc", scroll down till you find the Windows Installer service and start it. You might want to change the startup type to automatic. If you aren’t sure how to deal with services, you might want to read up a similar post on starting a Windows service and turning it on automatically.

There may be several other causes why this happens. I will try and update this post once I get to more scenarios and add solutions to it.