After a very short period of time in public beta stage of development, Emsisoft Anti-Malware 7.0 has been launched today as a stable release.
The big news for this release is that Ikarus engine has been replaced in the suite with Bitdefender’s scanner. Besides increasing scan efficiency the developer also worked on cutting down on resource usage and delivering hourly signature updates for malware, phishing and privacy risk hosts.
Unlike other recently launched security suite, the interface has undergone minor modifications and looks pretty much as in the previous release. However, the modules docked to the left side are much more visible now.
The regular price for the suite is $40 / €40, the same as before, but in many countries it is available with a significant discount.
Installation is also pretty much the same and completes quickly. A wizard guides you through a brief set of configuration steps that let you join Anti-Malware Network (contains details about millions of programs
), update the definition database, perform an initial scan of the system (quick, smart, full or custom) as well as select the security layers you want enabled (file guard, behavior blocker or surf protection).
You can see the current state of each layer of protection under “Security Status” screen. Furthermore, the panel displays when the last scan occurred and the last update time.
Scan options remain unchanged, offering the possibility to quickly check specific areas as well as every nook and cranny of the system. This release, however, is the first one to allow control over how the system resources are used by the application.
As such, you can select which CPU cores to be used for scanning, the number of threads and priority. On the same note, enabling advanced caching permits continuous self-optimization of scans, since known safe files will no longer be analyzed if they do not change.
By default, Emsisoft Anti-Malware uses all system resources it has access to and on some workstations this may have a negative impact, since other tasks may be executed with difficulty. In our case, scanning with the default configuration left no room for other operations, as the average CPU level was close to 90%. But limiting the process to only one processor lowered to the average value around 45%.
The database we used for testing its detection and elimination abilities contains 99,298 malware samples. It is the same we used for on-demand scans with Panda Internet Security 2013
and Bitdefender Total Security 2013
After the scan completed the database was 80,417 items short. This would make for an 81% detection and elimination ratio, which is one of the best values we’ve recorded for this malware database.
Apart from clearly pointing the malicious files, Emsisoft Anti-Malware also provided an extensive list of 489 suspicious items, which could be sent to their laboratories for more detailed study. Also, thanks to the streamed in hourly updates, subsequent scanning of the database would continue to uncover threats.
Unlike in the previous version of the product
, the scan process simply recorded all the findings and did not bombard with alerts for each malware encounter. This makes for a much improved experience.
The behavior blocking mechanism managed is set to keep an eye out for specific malicious activity and most of the times it does a great job. But in some cases it may also flag legitimate programs that act in the open, upon user’s request.
Such is the case of screen grabbers or various scripts the user may have active. The good news is that you can create rules (permanent or not) for them so that they act unhindered.
The third layer of protection is designed to block suspicious websites. This includes phishing sites as well as addresses that host malicious items.
Emsisoft Anti-Malware showed that it can protect against phishing sites. As soon as a fraudulent site is detected, Anti-Malware prevents its loading and emits an alert. In some cases Chrome or Firefox were quicker to act, but Emsisoft’s product also accurately detected some of them, which otherwise would have evaded the browsers.
Out of the 29 phishing sites, the application stopped 21 of them from loading, alerting us of their fraud attempt. The rest of 8 addresses managed to slip by. So using it in combination with a web browser with good anti-phishing protection can keep you safe online.
Websites hosting malicious items were also stopped by Emsisoft Anti-Malware. It successfully reported all 20 addresses carrying malware we fed it and prevented them from loading.
Although the amount of alerts in this version was greatly reduced, you can configure the program to show even less by enabling intelligent alert reduction; but this comes with a downside, as it can also impact on detection quality.
The configuration panel for the application allows you to schedule scans and check for updates or define user access for modifying program settings. The Good
Malware detection rate is its strong point. System resources usage can be controlled by the user so other tasks can also run on the workstation during scanning. The Bad
Legitimate programs were still flagged as suspicious, but creating a rule that allows them to run all the time solves the problem. The Truth Emsisoft Anti-Malware
sticks to tradition as far as looks are concerned and it does not bring to the table a fancy suite of features. However, the price is very reasonable and the detection rate continues to be one of the best we’ve seen compared to other security bundles we have tested.