Products from Sophos, Trend Micro and Kaspersky were among those that failed to protect fully against a collection of outdated viruses.
The December edition of the VB100 test subjected security software to 100 Windows 2000 viruses collected from labs and websites.
"It was a shock and a concern to see such a poor performance from so many products in this latest round of testing," said John Hawes, a technical consultant at Virus Bulletin.
"It is particularly disappointing to see so many major products missing significant real-world threats."
In order to pass the test, vendors needed to identify 100 malware samples as well as avoid reporting false positives on clean samples.
Kaspersky failed the test by missing one virus from the list, while Sophos missed eight. Trend Micro missed four virus samples, failing VB100 certification for the fourth time in five tests.
Trend Micro products had passed 13 consecutive VB100 tests. The company declined to comment on the results.
Other notable security products failing the VB100 test included PC Tools' Spyware Doctor, which recorded one false positive, and Norman Virus Control, which missed 14 samples and recorded six false positives.
Companies whose products passed the test included BitDefender, Symantec, McAfee, Sunbelt and Microsoft.
Security giants fail VB100 virus test
By Shaun Nichols on Dec 6, 2007 6:58AM