Trend Micro to boycott security tests

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The security vendor's chief technology officer said today the company will withdraw from the popular VB100 anti-malware tests, launching a tirade against the testers' methodology.

Trend's chief technology officer Raimund Genes issued the boycott today
and hit out at the test procedures, branding the VB100 "old fashioned"
and "totally irrelevant" and claiming the tests are "creating a problem
for the industry".

Speaking to SCMagazineUK, Genes claimed that other security companies
felt the same way about the tests, but were afraid to speak out because
of the credibility they gained from passing the tests.

Trend Micro joins Panda Security as one of only two vendors to shun the
tests. Symantec, Microsoft, McAfee and 34 other vendors are still
taking part.

"[The tests] are all old-fashioned, but because the [VB100] label is
so valuable, Virus Bulletin is creating a problem for the industry,"
said Genes. "I hope they are changing the testing method."

He criticised Virus Bulletin for not testing against the prolific Storm Worm, nor testing for effectiveness against rootkits.

He also slated the VB100 for not testing against "real-life threats"
and for carrying out its testing offline. Virus Bulletin tests against
the "Wild List" from, which is run by ICSA Labs and based on research from many distributed individuals.

Genes insisted that Trend would continue testing with rival labs and AV Comparatives.

SCMagazineUK asked Genes whether cynics would be right to assume that
its withdrawal from the VB100 was sour grapes for failing the test.

He said: "The cynics are slightly right. But everybody knows that the
VB100 is totally irrelevant. We have participated in the test for
years. Sometimes it has slaughtered us, but we continued with the

John Hawes, technical consultant for Virus Bulletin expressed surprise
at Genes' outburst. He said Trend Micro had not told Virus Bulletin
that it was withdrawing from the test: "They have not said anything
about this to us".

Hawes said that Trend Micro had entered just two out of the last five
tests -- and had failed them both. The vendor "had issues with
polymorphic viruses," he said.

He also defended Virus Bulletin's methodology. "We use the Wild List
from reporters all round the world. The test is that [vendors]
constantly cover everything on that list. It would be impossible to
test every virus because we don't have it. and AV comparatives have a different style of test. They cover everything out there. That is very useful and informative, but different in purpose," he said.

Hawes conceded that the Wild List is "a little behind the times," but said Virus Bulletin was looking at a way to add to it.

He continued: "The only problem is that some products update from the
internet. We operate in a sealed environment and don't allow that," he

"That's a slightly odd reason for not taking part. I don't see how they could have anything to be upset about."

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