Sophos is on the defensive after a report claimed that its anti-virus tools use flawed and ineffective techniques to protect against malware attacks.
Researcher Tavis Ormandy said in a paper and presentation titled 'Sophail' that Sophos Antivirus uses weak cryptographic techniques and poor malware signature detection, and is unable to prevent exploits on many systems.
Ultimately, Ormandy claimed that Sophos offers a "substandard product far exceeded by existing published solutions".
"The promise of anti-virus is that users will be less dependent on making good trust decisions," he said. "While certainly desirable, Sophos appears ill equipped to keep this promise with its current technology."
Sophos, meanwhile, issued a statement defending its Antivirus platform. Senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said in a blog post that the encryption tool mentioned in the report is being phased out and that, while it is working to address other vulnerabilities pointed out in the report, customers are not believed to be at risk.
"Having assessed the findings in Tavis's report, Sophos can assure customers that their protection is not compromised," Cluley wrote.
"We appreciate the help from Tavis Ormandy, and others like him in the research community, in working with us to make our products stronger and more secure."
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