Major internet security suites are vulnerable

A Danish security company claimed that internet security suites from the major vendors are too traditional' as they do not focus on exploits and vulnerabilities.

Secunia tested the detection rate of 12 different packages from vendors such as McAfee, AVG, F-Secure and Kaspersky for 300 different vulnerabilities, such as malicious files and web pages.

It said the results clearly showed that the major vendors did not focus on such vulnerabilities, leaving customers exposed to new malware attacks.

Secunia said it expected anti-virus' products to exhibit low performance in detecting the exploitation of vulnerabilities as anti-virus suggested a traditional and limited focus.

However, as high-profile products were often described as all-in-one' or fully protected against all internet threats', customers would perhaps expect more than the traditional signature-based detection.

The tests were carried out on Windows SP2, which missed certain patches and had a number of vulnerable programs. Some 126 of the 300 cases had affected popular products and had either been discovered as zero-day threats or existing public exploits.

Secunia said in the report: "One could argue that this isn't a problem, since no single product can offer 100 per cent protection.

"Yet many of these suites clearly indicate that they are comprehensive and offer protection against "all" internet threats, thus many users would rightfully expect these suites to protect them against all current threats."

Secunia said that users needed to patch as a necessity as it was the only efficient way to secure a system against attacks hidden in legitimate files and websites.

However, it criticised vendors for ignoring the problem in their suites: "We still consider it the responsibility of the security vendors to be able to identify threats exploiting vulnerabilities, since this is the only way the end user can learn about where, when and how they are attacked when surfing the internet."