Don’t get me wrong – I like BitDefender – as you’ll see in an article I’ll post later today. BitDefender has been in the AV marketplace since 2001 and, according to company literature, now has a base of “400 million home and corporate users across the globe.”
In addition to its award winning line of both home and enterprise grade security applications, BitDefender is well known in the security community as a provider of a host of free applications designed to address both general, and specific, malware infections. Overall, it’s been my experience that these freebie offerings generally make the grade.
You can imagine my surprise then, when I recently took BitDefender’s freebie Security Scan – described by the company as “a free tool which provides information on the speed, stability and security issues which may affect a Windows machine” – only to have this application drop a load of nonsense on my head.
At first glance, BitDefender Security Scan looked promising – as you can see from the first two screen captures.
But, where the rubber meets the road – accuracy and reliability – it proved to be a dismal failure. Microsoft Security Essentials “not functioning?” PC Tools Firewall Plus “disabled?”
Once past the heart palpitation stage, it was on to the System Configuration utility so that I could double-check Startup config. As you can see in the following screen capture, both applications are scheduled to launch on boot.
Still, best to have a look at boot services – no problem there.
Nevertheless, neither of these checks are necessarily conclusive. So, lets take a look at what Windows Task Manager reports. You’ll notice, in the following graphic – processes for both applications are locked, loaded, and running.
Still not enough – so, it became necessary to run a scan with Microsoft Security Essentials, while at the same time cross referencing Windows Task Manager to ensure this application was eating up both CPU cycles, and system memory – as shown in the previous screen shot.
As expected, MSE reported a “clean machine.” Since Sunday (the day I tested this app), is the day I set aside to scrub and clean this test machine – using a variety of applications – including Linux driven boot AVs. Given that I had completed my normal Sunday sweep prior to the test, I had little doubt that this machine was malware free. A malware infection of course, being a primary cause of security application shutdown.
As I said earlier, BitDefender’s freebie offerings generally make the grade. This application however, is not one of them. Avoid this application.