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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10answers
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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 ...
63
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15answers
4k 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 ...
32
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8answers
6k 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 ...
32
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8answers
5k 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 ...
31
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2answers
3k 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 ...
30
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2answers
9k 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 ...
29
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6answers
3k 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 ...
26
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4answers
2k 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 ...
20
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2answers
741 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 ...
19
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6answers
16k 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 ...
19
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2answers
3k 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
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 ...
17
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7answers
752 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
1k 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
5answers
951 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 ...
13
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4answers
1k 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
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4answers
6k 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
votes
3answers
36k 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
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8answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
226 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
1k 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
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
696 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
2k 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
1answer
403 views

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

I am thinking about your browser setup, antivirus protection, vpn, browsing best-practices and so on.
7
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2answers
311 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 ...
7
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2answers
323 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, ...
7
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1answer
773 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
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5answers
5k 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?
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
599 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
490 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
2answers
879 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.
6
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3answers
650 views

Possible to detect packed executable?

A packer is a way of obfuscating an executable program, i.e., transforming so the result is still executable and has the same effect when run, but looks different (so it won't be detected by static ...
6
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3answers
350 views

Do any antivirus products use “canary files” to detect rootkits?

Recently, I've learned how some rootkits are able to hide certain files, services, etc. from programs in the kernel or user modes. This got me wondering: Are there any antivirus programs, or other ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
382 views

How antivirus companies create virus defnitions for new outbreaks

This question quite amazes me. I dont understand how antivirus companies get info about the latest viruses. have they installed some kind of filters to monitor the internet traffic ? Or they are ...
5
votes
2answers
417 views

Signature-based antiviruses

Do signature-based antiviruses search for the exact matches of the signatures they have in their database with those of viruses to analyse ? I ask this question because I wonder if it is the reason ...
5
votes
6answers
3k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
482 views

How do anti-virus & anti-malware programs protect themselves?

I would assume that A/V products would need to employ the same kinds of techniques used by the software they are trying to cleanse to ensure that they can continue to run in such hostile environments. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
316 views

AV boot disks and Truecrypt encrypted drives

I was wondering if there were any "how-to" guides on what is needed to modify AV boot disks, such as Sophos, kaspersky, AVG etc in order to load the decryption drivers/bootloader for Truecrypt before ...
4
votes
4answers
880 views

To what extent is FREE 3rd party antivirus software better than Windows 8 defender (if any)?

As someone who is not in a position to currently purchase an antivirus suite, I would like to know if having a free Avira or Avast or similar program is worth the overall system performance drop (I ...
4
votes
5answers
177 views

Should there be an anti-virus used on client provided files?

This is based on Stack Exchange podcast # 25. I really don't understand why there would need to be virus checking on uploaded files. It would generally be a bad idea to execute anything which was ...
4
votes
2answers
464 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
275 views

What is behaviourism and heuristic control in anti-virus software and how does it work?

In one local magazine I read interview with Adrian Porcescu, who is a technical consultant that works for Kaspersky Lab. Among other things, he says their anti-virus uses behaviourism and heuristic ...
4
votes
3answers
480 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
618 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

Remotely fingerprint AV software on LAN machines?

Does anyone know of a method to fingerprint machines in the LAN and find out what kind of AV software is installed?