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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108
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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 ...
96
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
78
votes
2answers
16k views

I'm a White Hat and I develop my own viruses. Should I report it when almost all scanners say the executable is safe?

I develop my own viruses for 'scientific' purposes, namely to see if they pass the test of Virustotal.com. They all do, except for one or two scanners. Is this considered something you should report ...
67
votes
15answers
8k 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 ...
67
votes
6answers
38k 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 ...
50
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8answers
13k 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 ...
40
votes
8answers
21k 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
8k 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
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4answers
4k views

Avast AV could read Firefox saved passwords

My friend uses Firefox's built-in password manager feature to save passwords for sites. Later, after installing Avast Free Antivirus there was a feature called Passwords on the Avast UI. When accessed ...
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 ...
31
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6answers
7k 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 ...
31
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3answers
27k 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
32k 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 ...
27
votes
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
votes
4answers
17k 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
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 ...
26
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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 ...
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
5k 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
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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?
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
1k 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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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
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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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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 ...
16
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 ...
15
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4answers
11k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I block viruses from a USB stick by scanning it before opening its folder?

I inserted my USB stick into a friend's PC which was full of viruses, malwares and adwares. Therefore I suppose they attacked my USB device as well. Now I want to use my USB device on my PC without ...
12
votes
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
42k 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
314 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
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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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
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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.
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
votes
1answer
543 views

Are keyboard hooks inherently malicious?

My software is using low-level keyboard and mouse Win32 hooks for legitimate reasons (if it's any relevant, it's for determining a change in the caret position of the active code pane in the VBA IDE). ...
10
votes
0answers
77 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
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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
4answers
14k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
823 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
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
537 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, FakeAlert-SecurityTool.fx,...
9
votes
3answers
5k 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
214 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
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2answers
394 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
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2answers
2k 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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4answers
11k 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 ...