Microsoft’s free antivirus program has done poorly on the first antivirus test in 2011. Partially. In protection against zero day malware attacks, it scored 50%, down 27% from February. It still has a 100% in detection of widespread malware.
So where did the wheels come off the train? Security Essentials struggled with zero-day threats, malicious software which has yet to be analyzed and rolled into an antivirus program’s definition files. The average across all 22 entrants was an 84% detection rate, but MSE only detected half of the samples thrown at it. Even more worrying is that MSE only managed to block 45% of malware during or after execution. AV-Test’s Andreas Marx said that MSE’s lack of effective Web and email scanners were major negatives, and expects that the program’s poor results in the lab are translating into equally poor results in the real world, too.