Saturday, August 26, 2006

SunbeltBLOG: The Consumer Reports testing scandal: It's far, far worse than we initially thought.

I'd heard about Consumer Reports creating viruses to test anti-virus software, well apparently they didn't properly test anti-spyware software, either, I've posted the first part of the president of Sunbelt Software article about it, but the whole thing has to be read to be believed. This is the first black eye that Consumer Reports has ever gotten (that I know of, anyway....), even though I don't always agree with their tech advice.
Over the past two weeks, Consumer Reports has been slammed by the bulk of professional researchers in the security community for testing antivirus programs using 5,500 “fake” viruses.

Consumer Reports fans and a minority group in the security community, however, fought back —– after all, Consumer Reports is seen by many as a competent, independent testing lab and antivirus companies are generally seen as lazy, self-serving, money-hungry companies who have been soaking users for years with crappy products and high subscription fees, etc, etc. So even though Consumer Reports was lambasted by professional security researchers with no ties to antivirus companies, it was seen by some as whining by money-hungry antivirus companies.

Well, ok, on to Chapter 2, which is more damning than the AV test. Because I have something which is so incredible, it boggles the mind

In addition to antivirus programs, Consumer Reports tested antispyware applications. And they have now confirmed that they did not test against any spyware for their antispyware testing. (Feel free to read that sentence again.)

Instead, their entire test of antispyware applications was based on running applications against Spycar, a set of applications written by Intelguardians that mimic spyware behavior — directly against the explicit instructions of the Spycar developers.

The post link:SunbeltBLOG: The Consumer Reports testing scandal: It's far, far worse than we initially thought.

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