Matousec’s Challenge

February 25, 2014 | By Kevin Judge

Internet Security

We have been very proud of the performance of Comodo Internet Security in the Matousec.com “Proactive Internet Security Challenge 64” over the past year. It’s worth taking some time to explain why this matters.

A great resource for Internet security pros are Matousec and their website Matousec.com. They are an independent project run by security experts dedicated to improving end user security. They not only do testing and research, they have worked with vendors to introduced innovative Internet security solutions.

According to their web site “We want to participate in the global security research, provide independent software testing, support other companies and software vendors with similar orientation in their activities, and help with the development of their security products.”

The Matousec Challenge

One of the most interesting projects that Matousec engages in is called the Matousec Proactive  Internet Security Challenge.  It is an ongoing test of 38 internet security suites for Microsoft Windows computers.  Each of the 38 have been tested within the past 6 months.

What was so challenging about “The Challenge”?

They wouldn’t call it a “Challenge” unless it very was demanding.  The tests are organized into a series of increasingly difficult levels to pass.  The software must pass one level to proceed to the next.

The tests come from 6 categories of tests:

  • Leak-test: Tests that try to send data to the Internet server.
  • Spying test: These tests typically use Keylogger and packet sniffer software to attempt to spy on users’ input or data.
  • Autorun test: These tests determine if test software can download, install itself and survive the computer being rebooted.
  • Self-defense test: This refers to a group of tests that attempt to shut down or damage the security itself.
  • Other: Miscellaneous tests that do not fit into the other categories.

The tests are conducted on virtual Windows 7/Vista machines under Administrative rights with the User Account Control (UAC) turned off. Matousec’s research indicates that this is the most common real world configuration.

What’s the score?

You can view the current rankings an all of the details at Matousec.com, but the following is the top 5 as of this publication.

1)         Comodo Internet Security Premium 6.0.260739.2674

2)         Privatefirewall 7.0.28.1

3)         Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 13.0.1.4190

4)         Outpost Security Suite Pro 7.5.2.3939.602.1809

5)         SpyShelter Firewall 1.5

Comodo was the only suite to receive a rating of “Excellent” and only one of three products that Matousec rated as “Recommended”!

You might notice that there are some big names not in the top 5, such as Symantec’s Norton and McAfee. They were in the contest, but appear much further down in the rankings. Unlike a contest like the Super Bowl, this is not a one day event. Like the threat from hackers and cyber criminals, this is a contest that has no end in site. The top products will have to continue to improve to meet the challenge and retain their positions.

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