Kaspersky and Cycling Have a Disagreement

If you upgrade your computer from Kaspersky 2010 to Kaspersky 2011, it will of course include new heuristic analysis of e-mail, communication and web browsing to prevent you accidentally suffering from potential new threats from the Internet. As you would expect from one of the best liked and fastest security packages, the development of this type of analysis is a continuous process.

Just to explain this sort of analysis further: it functions by comparing new possible security risks with a set of historic known patterns associated with known risks and then tries to calculate the likelihood that the new pattern is a threat. In many cases the analysis tries to simulate what will happen if the potential risk is exposed to your operating system and hardware.

On a webpage this means that the analysis scans the content and source code in order to compare it with its own existing internal information.

After installing the new Internet Security downloads however, you might notice something odd happening if you visit cycling websites; some of the pages may generate red warning signs from the Kaspersky heuristic analysis and block the pages from your browser.

If you look more closely, you’ll probably discover that the blocked pages all belong to different makes of bike which are causing the security alarms because of their names. You could get a drugs warning or a weapons alarm!

You can see why when you look at the names of some bikes: for instance, the Cannondale Scalpel and the Scott Addict. As well as this you may well get an alarm from bicycle wheels: eg. the Crank Opium.

This can seem quite amusing for a while, but it’s actually a bit of a nuisance as on some occasions just the mention of one of these bikes or components stops you seeing a webpage. Obviously it’s easy to go into the Security Suite and turn off heuristic analysis, but that may ultimately open you up to new and more sophisticated viruses, worms, Trojans etc which might have been detected by the software.

The only easy solution is to load the sites you want to visit as “allowed” sites within the security settings. That is not a great problem as long as you don’t visit that many cycling websites, or look frequently at sites that are selling bikes.

However, it would be nice to be able to adjust the analysis in some way; perhaps that is or will be possible soon. It does look as if the more targeted the web page to the term that might cause the alarm, the more likely the alarm is to appear; which is to be expected.

It will be very interesting to see if this article itself, when published, causes Kaspersky Internet Security to pop up an alarm. There are probably lots more instances where this is going to happen within cycling and probably within any sport or activity where manufacturers try to give their products aggressive or cool names for marketing purposes. Perhaps the most likely areas are those such as surfing and gaming.