Symantec pledges support to VB100 tests

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The security vendor says it's "absolutely" committed to the VB100 anti-malware tests, following Trend Micro's announcement of a boycott earlier this month

Symantec has pledged its support to under-fire anti-malware tests, the VB100, in complete contrast to the accusations cast by its deadly rival Trend Micro.

Symantec told SC Magazine it is "absolutely" committed to the VB100, one of the leading tests for anti-malware vendors.

The VB100, run by Oxfordshire-based publication Virus Bulletin, aims to certify security products as being fit to use in a business environment, and it is recognised on a global scale.

"No test is perfect, but we think the VB100 is a good one," said Kevin Haley, director of product management for Symantec. Haley said that Symantec has taken part in 38 consecutive VB100 tests.

Haley's comments couldn't be more different from those of Trend Micro, which failed the last test.

Branding the VB100 as "old-fashioned" and "totally irrelevant", Trend Micro's chief technology officer Raimund Genes said his company would boycott the tests.

"It [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, speaking to SC Magazine earlier this month.

Haley said that Symantec would continue to test its products in the VB100, which is run every other month.

"We can run our own tests, but for customers, you need a third party test for validation," he said. "It's not the only way people should take decisions, but it's part of it".

Haley opposed Genes' argument that the VB100's means of selecting the viruses to test against - the WildList - did not reflect reality.

Haley said the Wild List is still valid, adding: "It's critical to have a large representative sample set. The perfect set doesn't exist. You have to choose some point [in time] to test at."

Haley said Symantec would continue to work with other test organisations, such as and AV comparatives, both of which Trend is switching its allegiance to.

Symantec is also backing AMTSO, the anti-malware testing standards organisation, which it helped to establish.

McAfee, another anti-malware vendor, refused to comment on the VB100 tests, in which it has regularly participated.

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