An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week, AV-TEST evaluated 19 security suites and found that only three of them seemed to be well protected from savvy potential hackers. First, some context about the tests: The first test measured how well each program uses address space layout randomization (ASLR) and data execution prevention (DEP). Briefly, ASLR randomizes a computer’s memory allocation, making it harder for an attacker to target a particular process in a program; DEP is a Windows protocol that designates some memory as non-executable space (other operating systems do this under different names), making it harder (or impossible) for unauthorized programs to run in that space. The second test measured whether the AV programs digitally signed their software-update files. Signing is a way of determining a file’s origin and authenticity; unsigned files could be more easily substituted with malicious ones. The final test was the simplest, and determined whether an AV manufacturers delivered its software updates via the encrypted HTTPS web protocol. Lack of encryption makes it easy for an attacker to stage a man-in-the-middle attack by intercepting the data transmission, altering the data and then sending the data back on its way. Of the 19 programs tested, only three succeeded on all counts: Bitdefender Internet Security 2017, ESET Internet Security 10 and Kaspersky Internet Security 17.0. It’s difficult to rank the rest of the programs, as each one succeeded and failed to varying degrees.
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