Only about 40% of anti-virus software can detect the malware being distributed by botnets, says a security researcher.
In a blog, FireEye chief scientist Stuart Staniford says the poor protection is a reason why botnets are so successful in spreading their malware.
Botnet controllers quickly change the binaries of their malware, and the anti-virus software cannot keep up with the new variants of malware that are being regularly unleashed across the internet, says Staniford.
Staniford tested a sample of about 220 malware binaries taken from FireEye security appliances located in customer premises, and tested them against the independent VirusTotal test website.
This website runs around 40 anti-virus programs for comparison purposes. His test showed that the majority of programs could not detect the malware uploaded.