Okay so I was setting up stuff on my new mac earlier, downloading flash and office. They both downloaded and installed smoothly, but after I noticed a weird new file in my 'downloads' folder:


I realize I'm on a mac, that that is an exe, and that it's an incomplete file, but I'm still wondering how it could've gotten there and what it is. It was 'last modified' a minute before the flash player installer, and they (the .exe.part and the flash player installer) are both 959,824 bytes. I tried googling but nothing came up. I went into the 'get info' tab of it to look at the download source but it just says "--".

So basically, what is this, can it harm me or other computers on my network, and is there anything else I should know?

Any and all help is appreciated.

  • 2
    did you happen to click the wrong link and then cancel the download?
    – tylerl
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 7:31
  • I tested the files and they both have the same md5 hash values. I'm guessing I"m safe, then?
    – user30906
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


From what I see Googling for 'zxiw' it is associated with websites that are infected with adverts for fake Louis Vuitton bags, Uggs, etcetera. So definitely phishy.

You will not be harmed by that file, because it was only partially downloaded. But if that website managed to deliver something else to you that was Mac-specific you could be in trouble.

Either something was downloaded to your machine through a flaw ('push') or you started the download ('pull). So the prime suspect is the 'Flash player installer' installed. I hope you have removed it already.

And that brings it back to a basic question: is my machine infected? There's no way to tell really. Look for suspicious behaviour and scan your machine with any tool you can use.


If you still have the file you can upload it to VirusTotal and scan it for viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware.

But I recommend scanning your computer in any case.

  • 1
    Although he neglected to mention it here, it seems that the OP has already tried uploading the file to online virus scanners and the results came back negative.
    – Adi
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 14:16

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