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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.

As you can see in the image above, most of the top apps are from well-known security vendors such as Avast! Avast! Introduces Free Mobile Security App For Android 2.1+ [News] Avast! Introduces Free Mobile Security App For Android 2.1+ [News] There are plenty of free mobile security apps available for Android. The market seems to be filled to the brim with them. Yet it’s hard to say if they’re trustworthy because often they’re developed by... Read More , Kaspersky and F-Secure. The popular Lookout Security app also landed among the top group.

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 Do You Need an Antivirus on an Android Phone? [Geeks Weigh In] Do You Need an Antivirus on an Android Phone? [Geeks Weigh In] Read More , 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 AV-Comparatives Reviews Android Security Apps, Finds Flaws [News] AV-Comparatives Reviews Android Security Apps, Finds Flaws [News] When it comes to information about computer security, few sources are as definitive as AV-Comparatives, an Austrian non-profit that focuses on researching anti-virus software. Recently, they released one of the first reports ever to focus... Read More can fill you in about those features.

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If you’d like more information, read the full report at AV-Test.

Source: CNET

  1. Bill
    July 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    This list is OUTDATED and WRONG. Please refer to the NEW and UPDATED list here - http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/security-software/295335-av-test-revises-android-antivirus-results

  2. Gabriel1313
    April 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Could you update your article. Your link shows a different table than that of the study, and your comments about McAffee (to name one app) no longer seem accurate.

  3. acr
    March 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

    The test results were recently updated because of some testing issues. There were some significant changes in the results.
    http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/security-software/295335-av-test-revises-android-antivirus-results

  4. dman977
    March 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Wow, what a suprise. (Not really)

  5. James
    March 13, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Good to know the AVG .I am using the COMODO Mobile Security .It is really good for my mobile.
    http://bit.ly/teIbBg

    • Anargh Valsalan
      April 21, 2012 at 7:28 am

      I thought it kinda slows down the phone.

  6. Cicas
    March 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    So the good news is that AVG and other reliable antivirus apps were included this time. The bad news is that they are not so "reliable" :-

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