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Security vendors must eradicate 'false positives'

Syamntec saysit has between 10 and 40 per month

Symantec believes security firms should be concentrating on eradicating 'false positives' or files that are incorrectly identified as malware.

The security vendor revealed it has between 10 and 40 false positives a month. However, most of these do not affect a wide number of PC users.

World of Warcraft users were affected by one recent false positive. According to Kevin Haley, product manager or Norton, human error resulted in the file being analysed in isolation.

According to Haley, 71 percent of false positives are created by mis-anaylsis.

He said Symantec is monitoring social networks such as Facebook and forums in a bid to identify false positives and get them rectified as quickly as possible.

"Everyone's focus is on testing but other areas such as 'pre-detection' and 'pre-analysis' play an important part in reducing false positives," Haley said

Haley also said that while the cloud means security vendors can dispense signatures quicker it doesn't stop false positives.

"AV vendors should concentrate on reducing false positives," said Haley.

False positives have been a subject of concern when it comes to security software after a McAfee antivirus signature update wrongly identified a critical Windows system file as a low-threat virus, last month, crippling Windows XP machines.

See also: Symantec discovers 44 million stolen gaming credentials


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