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McAfee, Inc., Symantec Corp., Trend Micro Incorporated, ICSA Labs, and Thompson Cyber Security Labs Unite to Establish Industry Standard for Spyware Samples and Testing Methodology

  • 31 January, 2006 16:03

<p>Endeavor will improve anti-spyware products and help consumers better evaluate spyware mitigation technologies</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia – 31 January 2006 – McAfee, Inc., Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC), Trend Micro Incorporated (TSE: 4704, NASDAQ: TMIC), ICSA Labs and Thompson Cyber Security Labs today announced an agreement to create identification and testing methodologies for spyware mitigation technologies. As a result of this collaboration, enterprise and consumer customers will be able to make better informed anti-spyware purchasing decisions, with product tests based on standardized third-party evaluation criteria and with common standard samples used in detection and testing environments.</p>
<p>Spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies are some of the fastest growing risks to consumers and organizations, increasing at an estimated rate of 50 to 100 percent year over year, according to some security experts. Given the need to address this growing threat through spyware mitigation technologies, this collaboration will eliminate confusion and empower customers to purchase solutions that meet their individual needs.</p>
<p>When publishing results and product recommendations, few product testers currently document their test samples or methodology, and many use very small sample sets in their testing environments. As a result, there is no distinguishable benchmark for comparison of anti-spyware product vendors, leaving customers unclear as to the most effective products and solutions for their environments.</p>
<p>“There is an enormous amount of confusion in the marketplace about the origins of spyware and the effectiveness of the tools designed to fight it,” said Larry Bridwell of ICSA Labs, an independent division of Cybertrust. “This agreement is an important first step in maturing the industry to the point where it can effectively combat the proliferation of spyware on behalf of customers, providing a safer and more efficient online environment for everyone.”</p>
<p>By employing standard metrics for third-party evaluation, and a common sample standard, those previously difficult-to-measure characteristics can be made consistent across the industry, enabling customers to make transparent solution comparisons.</p>
<p>Future initiatives of this group of spyware experts will leverage the participating members’ experience in antivirus research cooperation for threat naming conventions, intelligence-sharing best practices, and emergency information distribution guidelines. The group will use the definitions created by the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) and work closely with the ASC in its effort to develop guidelines for research tools. Many members of the group are active leaders in the ASC.</p>
<p>The group’s anti-spyware testing methodology and best practices can be viewed at:</p>
<p>McAfee, Inc.</p>
<p>"McAfee is pleased to be part of an effort that will benefit customers and make serious in-roads into the fight against spyware. Having seen over a decade of cooperation in the anti-virus industry, we know that our products are better for it, our customers are better protected for it, and that our industry is better for it – there are now even more anti-virus vendors now than when we started.”</p>
<p>--Joe Telafici, Director of Operations, McAfee AVERT® Labs</p>
<p>Symantec Corp.</p>
<p>”The successful industry practices previously established for sharing virus information demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperation among Internet security experts,” said Vincent Weafer, senior director of development, Symantec Security Response. “By standardizing methods for sharing spyware samples and testing antispyware solutions, customers win.”</p>
<p>Thompson Cyber Security Labs</p>
<p>“It’s a great idea, and absolutely needed. Without some testing standards, marketers can make whatever claims they like, and can find a tester to help them prove it. As the situation currently is, the public is the big loser. This will set the stage for determining which products really do work, and which ones don’t. It eventually will make all products stronger, and the world safer.” – Roger Thompson</p>
<p>Trend Micro Incorporated</p>
<p>“Spyware is a very different breed to the virus but, through many years of experience fighting the virus threat we have learned significant lessons, many of which can be put into play fighting the escalating spyware threat,” said Joe Hartmann, director, security intelligence research group, Trend Micro. “The spyware threat is growing, as are the number of victims. Working together with other security leaders to extend research, to quicken response times and to further protection, is our professional responsibility to the global community as well as social responsibility to our customer-base.”</p>
<p>For media enquiries please contact:
Antoinette Trovato
Public Relations Manager - Pacific
Tel: +61 2 8879 1173 or +61 408 495 337
<p>Fiona Martin
Max Australia
Tel: +61 2 9954 3492

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