If a simulator did create a file with everything possibly needed in place, it would have to create the virus exactly.
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It would no longer be a simulator and the virus would be real, not simulated. Therefore a virus cannot be reliably simulated. So simulated viruses cannot reliably take the place of real viruses. Think about it. Thus, using simulated viruses in a product review inverts the test results. It grossly misrepresents the truth of the matter because:. Competent, credible antivirus product reviewers today recognize the need to reflect the real world in their testing.
To do so, they focus detection testing on the real-world threat, using real viruses. They focus on viruses reported by the WildList Organization International. True, some may also include other viruses in testing, but they still use real viruses, not simulated ones. Furthermore, the methodology does not state exactly what viruses were simulated. Did the simulated viruses represent viruses that would be an actual threat to the reader? Yet their credibility has suffered, not just because they used simulated viruses, but also because the reviewer refers to "test viruses" throughout most of the article.
As seen in the quotations above, the review continually refers to the "viruses" that were used, whereas the methodology states that CNET Labs used "a program that simulates viruses. What will they assume? But beyond that, what happens when the review actually tells them that the testing represents real-world performance, will they believe it? It failed to sniff out half of our test viruses -- the worst score of any virus hunter we examined.
How exactly does the CNET reviewer define real-world performance? The review says they used "nine real-world viruses on each app, from KakWorm to this year's latest global threat, the I Love You virus. Were simulated versions of "real world" viruses used? What were the other seven "real-world" viruses? This uncertainty leads u? Exactly what "viruses" made eSafe "stink" so much?
Were they actually viruses, or were they simulated?
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Suppose the "viruses" that eSafe missed were all simulated, and therefore not real viruses. Further, if all the other products mistakenly reported simulated viruses as being real viruses, they would be wrong, wouldn't they? Where does this lead us? This shows why testing with simulated viruses is, at best, misleading. In light of the above facts, one thing should be quite obvious. Testing antivirus products with simulated viruses is a gross misrepresentation of reality. So, in doing such testing, and thereby publishing a misleading review, CNET has violated the trust of their readers.
If on the one hand, the reviewers mistakenly assumed that testing with simulated viruses was OK, then they are evidently not very well informed.
In that case, are they actually qualified to do valid testing of antivirus products? If, on the other hand, they were informed and did know what they were doing, then misrepresenting simulated viruses as "viruses" throughout the review was a deception and products were knowingly misrepresented. It is quite doubtful that the reviewer had malicious intent.
Having said that, it must also be pointed out that there is another major failing in this review. Most antivirus companies are under some form of self-imposed restrictions that prevent them from knowingly creating new viruses or virus variants. Indeed, the consensus throughout the antivirus development and testing community is that creating a new virus or variant for product testing would be very bad — and totally unnecessary.
To do so would undoubtedly raise questions about their ethics. Whether or not CNET knew this fact is unknown, but they did in fact create two new virus variants for their testing.
Please note this fact as described in the "How We Tested" section. We scanned for the I Love You virus in three different ways. In the first test, we left the code as is. In the second test, we changed every reference to love in the code. In the third test, we changed the size of the file by inserting a comment that did not affect the code.
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Changing an existing virus results in a new virus. If a testing body does this, they brand themselves with, as it were, a scarlet "V" as has CNET at this point. They mark themselves as a virus creating organization in the eyes of antivirus experts worldwide. More importantly, producing new virus variants creates an incredibly complex quandary. It places the tester in a very difficult position, which can quickly escalate the problem. When a tester claims that a product should not be purchased because it misses viruses, that tester takes on the burden of proof.
Their claim can be challenged. Antivirus companies have every right to demand proof that the testing was fair. Retrieved April 3, Archived from the original on August 18, Macsweeper - Symantec". Uninstall malware". Safe Bro. June 13, Archived from the original on April 2, Retrieved 21 April Categories : Rogue software Scareware Social engineering computer security Antivirus software.
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