bit-tech.net

Microsoft defends Bing against AV-TEST claims

Microsoft defends Bing against AV-TEST claims

Microsoft has defended its search engine Bing, claiming a test that stated it allowed five times as many infected sites through to the user as rival Google was "wrong."

Microsoft and anti-virus testing organisation AV-TEST are once again at loggerheads, this time over claims that the Bing search engine is allowing five times as much malware through to clients as its rivals.

Microsoft most recently came to blows with independent testing organisation AV-TEST when its Security Essentials consumer and Forefront Endpoint Protection enterprise security applications were ranked lowest out of any available packages. It was a rating that gave Microsoft's Joe Blackbird cause to question the group's testing methodology while claiming that customer telemetry revealed far better results than uncovered by AV-TEST's empirical testing.

Now, the two are fighting once again - this time over claims that Microsoft's Bing search engine is failing to protect its users. In a recent review of search engine anti-malware filtering (PDF warning,) AV-TEST ranked Google as the most pro-active at filtering out harmful results followed by Microsoft's Bing - but what appeared to be a good result for the company was shattered by the disparity between the two: in testing, Bing allowed five times the volume of malware through than Google.

The testing saw AV-TEST review 10.9 million search results provided by each engine, with Bing returning 1,285 infected with active attack code compared to just 272 for Google. While both are vanishingly small percentages - Bing's result equates to just 0.012 per cent, while Google's was a tiny 0.0025 per cent - AV-TEST was clear: Google is doing significantly better at protecting its users than is Bing.

Microsoft hit back at AV-TEST's latest results in a blog post published on Friday. As before, the company is bringing the group's testing methodology into question. 'One thing is clear given the information we have: AV-TEST’s study doesn’t represent the true experience or risk to customers,' claims David Falstead, senior developer lead for the Bing search engine. 'In other words, the conclusions many have drawn from the study are wrong.'

Falstead's claims come from AV-TEST's use of the Bing API tom retrieve the search results, rather than using the Bing website directly like an average user. 'By using the API instead of the user interface, AV-TEST bypassed our warning system designed to keep customers from being harmed by malware.'

This time, AV-TEST concedes that the company may have a point. Speaking to ITworld, AV-TEST chief executive Andreas Marx admitted that the search results were downloaded directly after being retrieved through the Bing API, bypassing the warning. However, he claims that Microsoft's own admission that around six per cent of its users bypass the warning and visit potentially infected sites anyway means that 'a lot of people' could still fall victim to the issue.

Marx has said that his group will revise the report to take into account Microsoft's concerns, and may look at changing its methodology in the future to make the results more clear - a victory for the software giant, but one that may come too late to save Bing's reputation given the number of sites that ran the original results with anti-Bing headlines attached.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
B1GBUD 23rd April 2013, 13:11 Quote
Do people actually use Bing?
Griffter 23rd April 2013, 13:17 Quote
i've used that goth google site (http://www.gothengine.com/) more than the legitimate bing site.
Maki role 23rd April 2013, 13:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Do people actually use Bing?

I used it once to get to google.
Ripitup121 23rd April 2013, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Do people actually use Bing?

I used it once to get to google.

So true. i lolled :)
will_123 23rd April 2013, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Do people actually use Bing?

I used it once to get to google.

haha its probably ok. But I find myself just flying to Google without thinking! They have me brainwashed!
RichCreedy 23rd April 2013, 14:43 Quote
I use Bing, but when it doesn't find what I'm looking for I use Google
Snips 23rd April 2013, 15:31 Quote
I've never used Google and don't miss it
schmidtbag 23rd April 2013, 17:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
I used it once to get to google.

If you're kidding, then that's hilarious. If not, I hope you're not one of those people who searches something like "stumbleupon" in google when it would take less time and effort to just add the ".com" in the URL.


Anyways, Windows' default search engine is Bing, and if Bing really is the most insecure, I think it's pretty ironic how Windows is also the most insecure OS (in terms of infections, Windows is actually pretty good in terms of hacking).


While Bing may supposedly be the most insecure search engine, Internet Explorer seems to be more picky about what you download than other browsers. AFAIK, IE doesn't actually scan anything but it is a lot less trusting than other browsers. Maybe that's MS's way of making up for Bing's crappier security.
Maki role 23rd April 2013, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
If you're kidding, then that's hilarious. If not, I hope you're not one of those people who searches something like "stumbleupon" in google when it would take less time and effort to just add the ".com" in the URL.
.

Haha funnily enough I was being serious, but I'm also not one of "those" people. It was when I first booted up Windows 7 on my rig, had to use Internet Explorer...

Well needless to say being used to Chrome, Opera, Safari and Firefox, I looked upon IE with horror and... I panicked. I just clicked on the first open bar and quickly typed "google", it happened to be Bing. I then proceeded to download Chrome and closed IE, never again...
schmidtbag 23rd April 2013, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
Haha funnily enough I was being serious, but I'm also not one of "those" people. It was when I first booted up Windows 7 on my rig, had to use Internet Explorer...

Well needless to say being used to Chrome, Opera, Safari and Firefox, I looked upon IE with horror and... I panicked. I just clicked on the first open bar and quickly typed "google", it happened to be Bing. I then proceeded to download Chrome and closed IE, never again...

Perfectly understandable - I'm glad you're sane. Being a linux user, I don't have to deal with that problem. For the very little bit that I use Windows, I can deal with Bing once in a while.
B1GBUD 23rd April 2013, 18:05 Quote
If Google is too bright for you, try http://www.blackle.com/
Gareth Halfacree 23rd April 2013, 18:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
If Google is too bright for you, try http://www.blackle.com/
Fun fact about the "energy-saving" claims of that site: an LCD draws (ever-so-slightly) more power displaying a black image than a white image, assuming it doesn't have a dynamic contrast feature that drops the backlight level down. OLED displays, by contrast, are the opposite.

Okay, not so fun. A fact, nevertheless.
schmidtbag 23rd April 2013, 18:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Fun fact about the "energy-saving" claims of that site: an LCD draws (ever-so-slightly) more power displaying a black image than a white image, assuming it doesn't have a dynamic contrast feature that drops the backlight level down. OLED displays, by contrast, are the opposite.

Okay, not so fun. A fact, nevertheless.

I actually knew that, and I think its fun.
B1GBUD 23rd April 2013, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
If Google is too bright for you, try http://www.blackle.com/
Fun fact about the "energy-saving" claims of that site: an LCD draws (ever-so-slightly) more power displaying a black image than a white image, assuming it doesn't have a dynamic contrast feature that drops the backlight level down. OLED displays, by contrast, are the opposite.

Okay, not so fun. A fact, nevertheless.

I've never had so much fun reading facts such as that.... I consider myself truly informed!
Glix 24th April 2013, 00:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
If Google is too bright for you, try http://www.blackle.com/

Thanks for reminding me about the backlight bleeds my monitor has. :p
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums