How often does Mcafee Internet Security update virus definitions? It checks about once every 4 hours, but definitions seem to be released no more than every 24 hours. How can Mcafee adequately protect against zero day malware with so few definition updates?
McAfee checks for updates after a system boot and every 4 hrs thereafter. Usually there are 1 update of the engine a day but when there is an outbreak this frequency can be increased. Also the engine has the ability to recognize virus like behaviour and thus detect unknown malware. .
I do see your point so have asked for an official comment.
Moved from Home and Office > Virus Scan > Discussions
As PK stated, the software constantly monitors your system ( On Access Scanner ) back and forth from the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence Base, and if it detects a file/program that is unknown/suspicious. It will be detected as a Generic name called Artemis!
McAfee Labs releases at least one DAT file every day of the year. The daily DAT files are generally available by 19:00 (UTC/GMT). However, if a new threat warrants this, daily DAT files may be released earlier. To know more about DAT files refer to: https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB55986
McAfee Labs typically release new Engines once a year. We supplement the need to release Engines more frequently by leveraging the DATs to perform new unpacking or deobfuscation routines. To know more about Engines refer to: https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB66741
McAfee product leverage Global Threat Intelligence to provide always-on, real-time protection to protect against new threats that are not yet part of a DAT signature. GTI File Reputation extends the protection capabilities of McAfee products by providing access to an online cloud database containing file classification details to determine if a file is malicious. Because the database of malicious file classifications is extensive and changes frequently, GTI File Reputation enabled products query the online GTI cloud servers about potentially suspicious files to achieve and maintain the highest protection levels. To know more about GTI, refer to: https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB53735
Thank you , everyone for your help. I now understand how Mcafee does its virus definition updates. You are absolutely correct in saying that Mcafee checks for updates about every 4 hours, give or take a half hour. I won't worry now.
You are quite Welcome Glad that the McAfee Labs Product Manager took the personal time to add to the discussion. And your concern is at ease...
All the very Best
McAfee Community Moderator