Cupertino, Calif. – March 3, 2009 – The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) today announced the formation of an Advisory Board to help guide the organization and ensure transparency and fairness are maintained. AMTSO is an international collaboration of anti-malware industry experts dedicated to helping improve the objectivity, quality and relevance of anti-malware technology testing. Members of the Advisory Board include:

• Jose M. Fernandez – Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal
• Thorsten Holz – University of Mannheim
• Ivan Krstic – Former Chief Security Architect, One Laptop Per Child
• Neil Rubenking – PCMag Digital Network
• Hugh Thompson – PeopleSecurity
• Maxim Weinstein –, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University

The Advisory Board is comprised of experts both directly and indirectly involved in the anti-malware industry. Fernandez teaches classes on malware-related topics, for example, and Rubenking reviews anti-malware products. Rubenking agreed to join the Advisory Board to help AMTSO achieve collaboration among industry experts and ensure quality testing. “I rely on the big independent antivirus labs to statically test each security product’s ability to recognize many thousands of viruses. However, I find that a full understanding of a product’s protective capabilities requires real-world testing on systems actively infested by a wide variety of malware. For some years I’ve been working on my own standards for reliable and repeatable real-world testing. I’m very pleased to find a group of industry experts devoted to the same task.”

Earlier last month, the Advisory Board met with AMTSO members in Cupertino, California. This meeting saw AMTSO continuing to gain momentum, developing the approaches exemplified in the adoption of its first official testing standards and best practices guidelines late last year, which represented a significant step for the security industry as a whole. “As demonstrated by the collaboration and work seen thus far, AMTSO has the potential to help the entire industry – from vendors and reviewers to consumers – by providing a common reference for high quality standards of testing and allowing technologists to focus on threats rather than reviews,” said Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at Symantec Corp., which hosted the AMTSO meeting in Cupertino.

At the meeting in Cupertino, AMTSO members furthered the development of educational materials and guidelines on topics including: how to obtain and validate malware samples, the benefits of on-demand versus whole product testing, and how to test “in the cloud” technologies. In addition, members worked on developing an industry-specific glossary. It is anticipated that these working documents will be posted on the publicly accessible pages of AMTSO’s website at for public review and comment prior to the next AMTSO meeting, May 6 and 7 in Budapest, Hungary.

About the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO)

AMTSO, which was formed early last year, is an international collaboration of vendors of security software, software testers and media representatives. Its formation has been driven by concern about the increasing mismatch between what anti-malware technologies do to protect users and the ways in which product tests measure this protection. AMTSO is dedicated to helping improve the objectivity, quality and relevance of anti-malware technology testing. AMTSO membership is open to industry-wide academics, reviewers, testers and vendors.

Additional information regarding the organization, including charter documents, membership and educational materials are available on the AMTSO website at