Good guys doing bad things

An organization called ConsumerReports published an article today that suggests it ‘created 5,500 new virus variants derived from six categories of known viruses, the kind you’d most likely encounter in real life.’

This is a really unwise thing to do. There are plenty of ‘real’ viruses, worms and Trojans around without well-meaning organizations generating more of them, for whatever reason.

The premise on which ConsumerReports seems to have based its actions on is this: “We hadn’t seen any independent evaluation of antivirus software that measured how well products battle both known and new viruses, so we set out to fill that gap.” In fact, AV-comparatives publishes tests evaluating products’ ability to find both known and unknown threats … and they do this without having to create new viruses. There are also a number of other independent organizations that test the detection capabilities of antivirus products, including AV-Test GmbH, Virus Bulletin, ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs.

And they all make their results public; something that ConsumerReports seems not to have done so far.

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