Antivirus software produced by Qihoo 360 has been stripped of awards by three leading security testers after it was found to have cheated. AV?Comparatives, AV?TEST and Virus Bulletin discovered that Chinese company Qihoo 360 submitted one version of its software for testing, but then released a different one.
The publicly released version of the software had a key virus detection engine disabled, resulting in a lower level of protection for users. As a result of the findings, the security testing bodies are not only revoking any awards given to the software this year, but also calling for greater transparency so consumers know what they are getting.
Qihoo 360's software included virus detection of its own and from BitDefender, but only its own was enabled by default. Testers conceded that in-program settings made it possible to enable all available engines, but in real-world scenarios it found that the majority of users stuck with the default settings. Qihoo 360 responded to the allegation by counter-claiming that Baidu and Tencent engaged in similar practices.
In a statement AV?Comparatives said:
Qihoo 360 confirmed that a different version of its software was submitted for testing "including enabling detection of types of files such as keygens and cracked software, and directing cloud lookups to servers located closer to the test labs".
Maik Morgenstern, CEO of AV?TEST, said: