The latest VB100 malware test from Virus Bulletin has proved good news for security vendors, all but two of which passed the latest edition of the noted antivirus test.
The December test focused on products for the 64-bit edition of Windows Vista, and vendors were pitted against 100 malware samples collected from the wild.
In order to pass, the security companies are expected accurately to identify all 100 malware samples without returning any false positives.
Among those that passed the most recent test were market leaders Symantec and McAfee, along with CA, F-Secure, AVG and Sophos. Microsoft's Forefront and OneCare also passed.
The only two suites to fail were Alwil Avast and Norman Virus Control, each of which recorded one false positive. None of the 22 products sampled in the test missed any of the malicious samples.
The high success rates come at a time when the VB100 test is under scrutiny from many in the security world. Several vendors have pulled out of the test in recent years claiming that it favours signature-based security detection over behaviour-based methods.
Last month, a collection of vendors pledged to develop a new testing system which they claim will more accurately assess the effectiveness of behaviour-based testing.
Some, however, are not so quick to dismiss the VB100 system. Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, whose company passed the latest test, defended the methods.
"Tests against malware from the 'in-the-wild' list are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to determining which is the best security product, but it definitely provides a useful standard that vendors need to be able to keep on top of," Cluley wrote in a blog posting.
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