Popular free antivirus apps for Android fail anti-malware tests

Summary:The latest comparative review of free antivirus applications for Android, courtesy of AV-Test.org, offers an interesting insight into just how effective or ineffective those applications really are.

Is free always better then paid, in respect to antivirus software, or does it basically offer a false feeling of security?

The latest comparative review of free antivirus applications for Android, courtesy of AV-Test.org, offers an interesting insight into just how effective or ineffective those applications really are.

The researchers tested the following free antivirus applications against 10 widely spread malicious apps.

  • Antivirus Free
  • BluePoint Antivirus Free
  • GuardX Antivirus
  • Kinetoo Malware Scan
  • LabMSF Antivirus beta
  • Privateer Lite
  • Zoner AntiVirus Free

and two commercial antivirus apps offered by F-Secure Mobile Security and Kaspersky Mobile Security.

The findings?

The scanned test set contained 83 Android installation packages (APK) and 89 Dalvik binaries (DEX). No files were older than 5 months. The best results claimed the products of Kaspersky and F-Secure, which detected at least 50% of all malware samples already in inactive state. The best free app was Zoner AntiVirus Free with 32% detected malicious apps. All other scanners detected at best 10% of the apps, some didn’t detect anything at all.

BluePoint AntiVirus Free, Kinetoo Malware Scan and Privateer Lite still warned against one malicious app. Antivirus Free by Creative Apps, GuardX Antivirus and LabMSF Antivirus beta failed completely.

Was the test a complete overview of the market for free Android-based antivirus applications? Not at least according to MSNBC since it failed to include the following applications in the test - AVG Antivirus Free, BitDefender Mobile Security, Lookout Mobile Security, and Norton Mobile Security.

What do you think? Does free antivirus software offer a false feeling of security?

Talkback.

Topics: Security

About

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, and cybercrime incident response. He's been an active security blogger since 2007, and maintains a popular security blog sharing real-time threats intelligence data with the rest of the community... Full Bio

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