I know that NTFS has features called ADS which may be used to hide malware. So does antivirus/security software, such as Norton 360, protect against this type of attack?

  • FYI: NTFS isn't the only file system that will do this. See Wikipedia for more info.
    – Iszi
    Jul 6, 2012 at 12:41
  • NTFS Alternate Data Streams is not always used for malicious purposes. This type of evasion is old and probably all AV inspect the NTFS ADS. You need to ask how good your AV is, because even it detects NTFS ADS, would it detect if it is malicious or not? May 20, 2021 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Symantec says yes for at least two version of their Entreprise products:


Can the Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) product scan and detect virus or other malware stored within NTFS Alternate Data Streams?


Yes, Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and 12.1 is able to scan and detect threats within NTFS Alternate Data Streams (ADS).
Realtime Protection or File System Auto-Protect can scan within Alternate Data Streams associated with both files and folders.

Source: http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH173434

  • I would hope this feature is in every version of their security system.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 6, 2012 at 14:50
  • I would hope MS (and Apple) embrace the unix way "Everything is a file", we would gain in compatibility.
    – Shadok
    Jul 10, 2012 at 14:22

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