Kaspersky Lab’s mobile security solution for Android smartphones posted outstanding results in a recent malware detection test, earning a highly positive assessment from the AV-Comparatives independent test lab. In the comprehensive Mobile Security Review a total of 13 products for the Android platform were tested. Researchers paid particular attention to malware detection capabilities, anti-theft functionality and several other features, as well as the power consumption of the products. The results provided useful guidance for those wishing to properly protect their mobile data.
Testing was conducted in July and August 2012 on a Samsung Galaxy S Plus smartphone running Android 2.3. The first test compared the power consumption of the smartphone before and after the installation of each security suite. The verdict of this test is clear- none of the 13 solutions tested showed a significant impact on battery life, which is of course an important factor for smartphone users. The decrease of battery life was no greater than 3% for all mobile security products.
To test how effectively malware was detected, over 18 000 samples of popular malicious programmes for Android were used. The products had to detect each sample in real-life conditions – a new programme was first scanned and then an attempt to install malware was performed. Such methodology recreates a typical user scenario where malicious programmes are either blocked after scanning or when an attempt is made to install them.
The smartphone was able to connect to cloud-based security services, which meant Kaspersky Mobile Security could receive the latest information on new threats from Kaspersky Security Network. The results of this test were extremely positive for Kaspersky Lab’s product – it was placed in the top category of products that block 98-100% of malicious files.
A separate test that was conducted to detect adware (programmes with annoying ads, however no malicious payload) was somewhat controversial due to Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus engine only targeting genuinely malicious programmes. “It is a common practice for developers to include ads to make free programmes profitable,” explained Denis Maslennikov, Senior Malware Analyst, Kaspersky Lab. “However it is possible to distinguish between legitimate ad-supported products and annoying adware. That is why we at Kaspersky Lab target only those programmes which have a clear malicious intent, such as stealing personal data, sending texts without the user’s consent, allowing an attacker to fully control the device, as well as applications with clear advertising purposes.”
AV-Comparatives picked out several functions which were unique to Kaspersky Mobile Security or which performed better than the competition. In particular, the ability to hide incoming call histories, text messages and contacts was highlighted. Another core feature to gain favourable attention was Web Filtering, only recently introduced to Kaspersky Lab’s product, which automatically detects and blocks malicious websites during mobile web surfing.
The full Mobile Security Review text can be found at the AV-Comparatives website: http://av-comparatives.org/images/docs/avc_mob_201209_en.pdf