Microsoft's Security Essentials Can't Even Protect Its Own Reputation

By Chris Mills on at

Uh-oh. Microsoft's Security Essentials, one of the better pieces of free anti-virus software lying around, has had its virus-protecting abilites put to the test, and is found sorely wanting. Forget being the 'best' piece of software on the market, Microsoft can't even get a 'pass' from the teacher.

The AV-Test institute, which tests anti-virus software for various things like, for example, the capability to deal with viruses, has given Microsoft a pretty harsh 'FAIL' on its latest piece of homework. Specifically, Microsoft's freeware baby failed to protect against 0-day malware attacks, scoring a lowly 71 per cent, versus the industry average of 92 per cent.

Like any mature student who's just failed an exam, Microsoft's done the sensible thing and gone crying to the press, complaining that a "rigorous review of the results" has shown that the security flaws would only impact "0.0033 per cent" of its users. It then went on to trash the AV-TEST institute, saying that it's "difficult for independent antimalware testing organisations to devise tests that are consistent with the real-world conditions". Sounds like a little bit of wounded pride to me. [Microsoft via The Verge]