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We are trying to install the Anaconda Python build 3.6, but our virus scanner is detecting possible Trojans and other security alerts in the binary.

We find it hard to believe the build is problematic And I've seen false alerts reported elsewhere on the web for Python builds.

How can we get reassurance that what we have downloaded is safe to use?

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Only 3 of 62 antivirus products detect this binary as malicious. And the MD5 and SHA-256 of the binary match the officially published hashes. This suggests that these antivirus reports are false positives.

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As an addition to the other answer(s), the scanners only detect malicious software based on generics, this means this is no known malware, but the file is suspicious because of having special engines etc.,since malware can also use things used in such installers to modify your system. However, this doesn't have to be something negative, because you need to modify the system to install anaconda. Normally, files only detected by a handful of scanners and detected only with generics should be safe.

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    The file is suspicious and should be suspicious. You're installing a new programming language with a heck of a lot of tools capable of editing the system quite thoroughly. A programming language is basically a virus development toolkit. The only reason it's not malware is because this behaviour is intentional. – Mast Jan 21 '18 at 19:50
  • @Mast You're right, but just to be clear: MegaMan did not say the contrary. "the file is suspicious because of having special engines etc." is basically the same you are saying, although less explicit. I just commented to be sure people don't get yours as an objection to MegaMan's answer. – Lorenzo Donati Jan 22 '18 at 9:10
  • @LorenzoDonati Oh, definitely, I agree with that part of the answer. I just think it could've been stated more explicit and with a bit more detail. It fitted better as a comment on this answer than as a new answer IMO. – Mast Jan 22 '18 at 10:50

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