The murky world of virus detection took a sinister turn this week as one player accused another of having a ?cheat mode? in its toolkit to give favourable results.
McAfee, which styles itself as the world?s leading anti-virus software vendor, accused European heavyweight, Dr Solomon?s as having a cheat mode in its Anti-Virus Toolkit which gives ?inflated? results when tested by magazine labs or independent test authorities.
The evidence was forwarded by McAfee to the National Computer Security Association and VSUM, both of which verified the existance of such a mode, said McAfee.
Said Peter Watkins, vice president and general manager of McAfee?s security products division said the alleged cheat mode was ?deplorable?. ?The cheat mode can cause their software to identify new viruses in reviews that would not normally be detected in real-world end-user environments,? he continued.
McAfee claims Dr Solomon?s anti-virus software can detect when it being reviewed. Dr Solomon?s director of product marketing, Mike Hill said: ?Competent reviewers already know how to test anti-virus products, and don?t need McAfee?s help.?
Hill attributed Dr Solomon?s detection rate to the use of advanced heuristic analysis. This enables Dr Solomon?s scanners to examine files for virus-like actions and identify 80 per cent of unknown virsues without causing false alarm.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Dr Solomon?s said: ?If McAfee wants to compete in head-to-head reviews we suggest it increases its own virus detection rate.?
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