AV-Test, an independent organization well known for testing PC security suites, put 17 popular Android anti-virus apps to the test. The results were disappointing, to say the least. A majority of apps failed to detect at least 65% of malware samples and six apps failed to detect a single sample.
Mobile operating systems are the undiscovered country of computer security. As hackers discover new ways to infect Android, security researchers are looking for ways to remove or block those infections. The results of the new study suggest that the hackers have the upper hand.
Brand names don’t guarantee excellent results, however. Apps from Norton, AVG and Bitdefender landed in the second tier. McAfee, Comodo and GData scored even worse, detecting less than 65% of the samples used in the study. Despite the poor showing, many of these apps are not free. McAfee, for example, is $29.99 a year after a 7-day trial.
We’ve reported on Android security apps previously, but this study is the largest and most informative yet. As you can see, the security app you choose does matter, at least when it comes to catching malware. Other common features, such as encryption or phone tracking, were not analyzed in this study. An earlier report by AV Comparatives can fill you in about those features.
If you’d like more information, read the full report at AV-Test.