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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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 ...
66
votes
15answers
5k 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 ...
42
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8answers
11k 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 ...
38
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4answers
22k 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 ...
36
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2answers
5k 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 ...
35
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8answers
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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 ...
35
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2answers
13k 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
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6answers
5k 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 ...
25
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9answers
5k 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 ...
23
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6answers
24k 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 ...
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 ...
20
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3answers
2k 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 ...
20
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2answers
4k 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?
20
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
19
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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 ...
19
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1answer
787 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
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3answers
15k 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 ...
17
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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?
17
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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 ...
17
votes
7answers
892 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
8k 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
5answers
276 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 ...
12
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3answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
3k 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 ...
11
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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 ...
10
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
8k 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?
9
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8answers
757 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
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1answer
437 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.
9
votes
1answer
121 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
964 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?)
8
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2answers
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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
3k 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
343 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
429 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
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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
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2answers
164 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
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2answers
1k views

Antivirus, antimalware and antispyware software. What is the difference?

What is the difference between antivirus, antimalware and antispyware software? If any clear distinction can be defined.
7
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1answer
904 views

Have any viruses leveraging the GPU been discovered in the wild? What is the mitigation?

This news article from 2010 discusses how a GPU can be used by a virus to avoid detection by common anti-malware/anti-virus software. The idea is to obfuscate the virus payload and leverage the GPU's ...
6
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
803 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
616 views

How bad is a source code leak for an antivirus?

I was reading that Symantec suffered a source code leak and I was wondering how bad this is for a anti-virus product. Do these products rely heavily upon "(in)Security Through Obscurity" or does it ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Detected virus in pdf - should I be worried (CVE-2014-8449)?

I downloaded a pdf earlier, and I was trying to send it to my friend, but gmail said that it detected a virus. So I ran it through virustotal.com and only 1 out of 56 scanners came up with a virus - ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
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1answer
1k views

How can one create one's own anti-virus scan server at home? [closed]

I suppose that every one used a service such as virustotal.com, anubis.iseclab.org, or any other service that could provide the same objective to scan same files. So my question is how can I make ...
6
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6answers
6k views

How can I tell whether this computer is part of a botnet?

One of the computers that I manage (in the family, not business) has a weird set of files in its boot: bash.exe, curl.exe, uname.exe, sed.exe, rm.exe, tail.exe, cut.exe, awk.exe, cat.exe, chmod.exe, ...
6
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3answers
873 views

Is there a hash algorithm that can identify similar files or strings?

Is there a hash algorithm that will help you identify similar files or strings? For example, the hash for ABC and XBC would be similar rather than radically different as is usually the case. I know of ...