Antivirus or anti-virus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including but not limited to computer viruses, computer worm, trojan horses, spyware and adware.

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105
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8answers
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Are there technical differences which make Linux less vulnerable to virus than Windows?

What makes Linux so different than Windows in terms of anti-virus needs? My question is not if I should get an anti-virus for my Linux. I perfectly understand why an AV is important. I would like ...
84
votes
10answers
7k views

How do you explain the necessity of “nuke it from orbit” to management and users?

When a machine has been infected with malware, most of us here immediately identify the appropriate action as "nuke it from orbit" - i.e. wipe the system and start over. Unfortunately, this is often ...
67
votes
15answers
7k views

How to write an email regarding IT Security that will be read, and not ignored by the end user?

I've observed that several of our users are ignoring messages sent from IT Security managers, and also the system generated "You just sent a virus" notifications. The problem seems to be among people ...
62
votes
6answers
33k views

Should I get an antivirus for Ubuntu?

Considering the recent thread regarding anti-virus for the Mac I wonder how many of the arguments put forth are relevant today to Linux systems, specifically Ubuntu. There are no known Ubuntu ...
48
votes
8answers
12k views

Should I get an antivirus for my Mac?

There are some people saying that people should use an antivirus software on Mac. And there are thousands of people claiming that Macs don't get viruses (under this term I mean spyware / malware as ...
41
votes
5answers
11k views

Accidentally came across the source code for some malware, what to do?

I accidentally, the other day, went to a dodgy site, and today I discovered that in my cache there lay a text file. And after reading the contents of the file, I have deduced that it is the source ...
38
votes
8answers
19k views

Are two anti-virus better than one in protecting your computer?

A century old adage: The more the merrier. In general, does this adage hold true in regards to the number of anti-virus software you should have on your PC? Are there any limits before it actually ...
38
votes
2answers
7k views

How do antiviruses scan for thousands of malware signatures in a short time?

Most antiviruses have hundreds of thousands or even millions of malware signatures and yet they scan many files in a reasonable short time with high detection rates. Even real-time scanners doesn't ...
36
votes
2answers
14k views

How secure is the Windows 8 included Anti Virus known as Windows Defender?

How secure is the new Windows 8 anti virus known as Windows Defender? Does it have a protection against malware which uses UAC bypass/process injection/rootkits/process persistence/running the binary ...
30
votes
6answers
6k views

Can malware be dangerous even when quarantined?

I am reading a book on network security and when talking about user confusion it writes: "It is not uncommon for a user to be asked security questions such as Is it safe to quarantine this ...
28
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10answers
6k views

How to explain to a customer that spamfilters don't catch everything

I used to work in a small office which provided basic desktop support for users. One day I had to answer a call from a very angry customer and he asked for my boss. He wanted to know how could one ...
27
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4answers
8k views

Is HTML5 vibrate feature a security vulnerability?

While surfing a news website on my mobile, I receive a virus infection alert warning that triggers my phone to vibrate incessantly. The alert looks like the following: I didn't expect my phone to ...
27
votes
3answers
22k views

Why is 'avast! Web/Mail Shield Root' listed as CA for google.com?

I just noticed something weird in my browser: the certificate for www.google.com has been issued by avast! Web/Mail Shield Root. Should I be worried? I am using avast! Antivirus so it's probably a ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

What makes it difficult to have a hardware antivirus?

MS Windows is always vulnerable to virus and worms and having an antivirus is almost necessary. How is it possible that hardware antiviruses don't exist? The idea sounds pretty good, if the antivirus ...
26
votes
6answers
29k views

How to scan a PDF for malware?

Can anyone suggest an automated tool to scan a PDF file to determine whether it might contain malware or other "bad stuff"? Or, alternatively, assigns a risk level to the PDF? I would prefer a free ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Are anti-virus companies companies regularly committing software piracy?

As Mikko Hypponen highlighted in a recent tweet, anti-Virus companies collect and store both samples of malicious software and samples of legitimate software: This got me to thinking, what ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Could malware move during a scan to avoid detection?

I think every AV-Scanner is using some predictable recursive scan to search files for malware. Couldn't malware easily detect a scan and just move to an already checked location, determined by knowing ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Metasploit Meterpreter alternatives

These days I am testing various type of client hacking techniques, but in all scenarios I am using Meterpreter variations as payload. Now I can bypass Anti-Virus and Firewalls easily, but Symantec ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Why would a virus writer bother to check to see if a machine is infected before infecting it?

I was looking at the tripartite structure of a virus, and it seems to check to see if a computer is infected before infecting it with the virus. Would this be an attempt to use files that are already ...
21
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2answers
1k views

Cohen's problem

Fred Cohen determined theoritically that viral detetction is an undecidable problem. Can anyone provide an intuitive reasoning for that? Background Fred Cohen experimented with computer viruses ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Are older viruses removed from virus definition files?

Antivirus software receives constant updates in the form of virus definition files, containing the patterns used to identify viruses. It is a feature present on most (if not all) major AV for at least ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

How does a crypter for bypassing antivirus detection work?

I am talking about crypters used to encrypt files like viruses and keyloggers for the sole purpose of bypassing antivirus detection. How do they work?
19
votes
1answer
998 views

EICAR Virus Test maliciously used to delete logs?

Today at work I was asked to test our anti-virus software on our Linux servers. I attempted to create a text file containing the EICAR Virus Test signature. The file was deleted instantly, ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How to deal with a person who gets easily fooled by internet and mail scams?

alternative title: How to deal with a person who has gotten paranoid and doesn't want to go online anymore? A person, who has over the years been scammed many times, by bad spam/fraud emails, and ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Are signature based antivirus or antimalware effective?

Are signature based antivirus or antimalware solutions effective? Has the battle been lost against the ever increasing amount of malware, particularly rootkits, that are in the wild?
16
votes
2answers
4k views

How do anti-virus apps for Android work?

There seems to be a lot of anti-virus apps for Android. On a desktop or server an anti-virus must run with super-user privileges, however I am pretty sure these mobile anti-viruses are running as an ...
15
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4answers
2k views

How is a worm different from a virus?

In spite of various online articles, I'm a bit unclear on the distinction between a "worm" and a "virus". Two related questions-- Is there a useful and clear distinction here or no? If so, what is ...
14
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4answers
10k views

Does a webserver need an antivirus software installed?

In what cases does a webserver need an antivirus software installed? When it is not required? If it is required sometimes, what should be considered when choosing the right one to install? (In my ...
12
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8answers
2k views

Are antiviruses still useful? [duplicate]

Are anti-viruses useful nowadays ? Given the number of viruses that are developed and spread monthly, and given the fact anti-viruses are based on virus signatures, I wonder how much it is useful and ...
12
votes
3answers
41k views

How serious is InstallIQ?

Background: Recently I've seen hits for InstallIQ a "potentially unwanted application" from ESET. From what I can find it seems like this is an installer wrapper that asks people to install other ...
11
votes
5answers
308 views

What are the areas to focus on to protect users and devices?

What are the areas or technologies to focus on to protect users and devices? Are patching, antivirus and firewalls still the main areas? How do you defend against attacks against vulnerabilities ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How effective are anti-virus products against real-world threats?

In a recent interview† with Dave Kennedy, he in passing pegged the average effectiveness of anti-virus products as detecting approximately 3% to 5% of current active threats. While AV comparisons ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Custom Metasploit payload with UAC bypass

The machine I am attacking has anti-virus installed. I have managed to use Veil Framework in order to create an initial reverse shell payload that is undetected by the AV. However, UAC is enabled on ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Why Adobe is recommending McAfee security scan during flash player installation?

Why is Adobe recommending a McAfee security scan during the installation of flash player?
10
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0answers
72 views

Should the risk of antivirus products be reconsidered in light of the TrendMicro critical bug report [closed]

Tavis Ormandy of Google has recently discovered a critical TrendMicro design flaw identified in this bug report - TrendMicro node.js HTTP server listening on localhost can execute commands. The bug ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there / have there ever been viruses that completely evade virus scanners for very long?

Are there, or have there ever been viruses that completely evade all virus scanners for a long time (e.g. longer than a year?)
9
votes
8answers
804 views

Battling Malware without spending money

Our environment consists of about 80 users running Windows 7. Previous to me showing up as a full time IT employee, the company had contracted an outsource IT solution. As part of their set up, they ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How to pass PCI DSS 2.0 anti-virus requirement (5.1) on Linux?

PCI DSS 2.0 Requirement 5.1 states: 5.1 Deploy anti-virus software on all systems commonly affected by malicious software (particularly personal computers and servers). This requirement ...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Security measures and anti-virus on server to mitigate acting as a propagation vector

We have a web application for which I've been asked to add the ability to let users upload documents that will then be visible and downloadable by other users. Those documents will typically be images ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Antivirus for scanning anonymous file uploads

Since I have no experience with AV solutions on Unix-like environments, I would need help with suggestions on something that can be suitable for scanning files that are uploaded by anonymous users ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Whats the probability of a personal computer being hacked?

For a normal computer user following these practices: Have an up to date anti-virus with a firewall installed (Norton). Do not install cracked software. Do not open suspicious links or download ...
8
votes
2answers
385 views

Are there any independent organizations doing (publicly available) IT security research?

When looking up security risks on the net I find that all research being cited (if any is cited) always seems to come from the Anti-Malware companies. (just e.g., this article cites F-secure, AVG and ...
8
votes
2answers
487 views

How do AV vendors choose malware names?

If you take a look at McAfee's recent malware page, you'll see that the names in the "Malware name" column aren't very human-readable: Downloader.a!cnz, W32/Autorun.worm.bgh, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a firewall tamper with email attachments?

I am using Thunderbird as an email client for managing my different email accounts. Yesterday my friend sent me an email with a PDF attachment. Today when I tried to open the attachment I get the ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Are there faux/fake malicious websites to test web reputation services similar to EICAR?

Antivirus writers have agreed for their software to recognize a standard "fake" virus file - the EICAR file, to let users check, that the software is up and running. Are there any equivalent test ...
8
votes
1answer
447 views

What steps do you take to keep both your computer and internet browsing secure? [closed]

I am thinking about your browser setup, antivirus protection, vpn, browsing best-practices and so on.
8
votes
4answers
197 views

Does it matter which platform a file is scanned on for malware?

Different operating systems use different file types and file systems. Does it make a difference to a virus scan which system it is being run on and what type of malware it's looking for? I ask ...
8
votes
2answers
273 views

AV detection of signed malware

With the massive Sony leaks (including their private keys/certificate), i was wondering: How do major AVs deal with signed binaries? ie: Does it influence their detecting ability of the signed ...
7
votes
4answers
11k views

Is it worth it to get paid anti-virus software?

With the rise in cybercrime, I am slightly worried about my computer security. I have been using open sourced anti-virus AVG for years and it has been doing well. Are anti-virus software like Norton ...
7
votes
4answers
912 views

How can Antivirus differentiate between a Trojan and a normal remote desktop application software?

RAT (Remote Access Tool, e.g. Sub7) are considered malicious by Antivirus software. How can it distinguish between such patches and a client application for commercial software like NetSupport ...