Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's Play a Fun Game Here ... A Scary Game

So, let's suppose somebody who is involved with incident response at a typical US public University has collected a few recent malware samples from the compromised machines and then submitted all the samples to VirusTotal for scanning with pretty much ALL current anti-virus and anti-virus-like products.

What do you think the average detection rate (i.e. a malware sample was identified as "something bad") was?

Any guesses? Here are a few numbers to help you choose:

  1. 100%
  2. 94%
  3. 90%
  4. 70%
  5. 50%
  6. 33%
  7. 22%
  8. 14%
  9. 2%
  10. Something else?

Let the games begin!

UPDATE: answer posted

UPDATE2: after much deliberation, I finally replaced anti-virus on my own systems with another technology. Read the details here.


Anton Chuvakin said...

Somebody said "14%" but I accidentally moderated it away so I am reposting.

kurt wismer said...

most if not all the products used by virustotal are of the known-malware scanner variety so i would expect any new malware to be detected by relatively few of them... anywhere below 50% sounds reasonable (anything above and the malware isn't really all that new)...

the exact percentage will depend on a lot of things but usually the age and the difference between 2% and 14% can be simply a matter of hours...

Anton Chuvakin said...

Another guess I got via email - 60%

BTW, I never said "new malware" - malware was collected days if not weeks before submission to VirusTotal.

Unknown said...

I would give 70% or less. I'm assuming that the malware was detected by at least one vendor on something more than "hrmm, kinda suspicious, I don't really get it, but the safe answer is to be skeptical..."

As far as each vendor, I'd dip down to 50% and less...

Anton Chuvakin said...

I would not disclose the answer yet - I want to keep the game running for a bit longer, but, LonerVamp, you are sorely, sadly wrong :-)

>I'm assuming that the malware was detected
>by at least one vendor on something

I too indulge in wishful thinking sometimes :-)

Paul said...

Less than 5% for sure.rxrimled

Dr Anton Chuvakin