October 26, 2015

at home i don’t need anti-virus software as i run Linux (and lately OS X). oh, you say, these systems are vulnerable to viruses. well that’s true to a certain extent but i’m careful what i run and the vast majority of viruses are windows-centric.
at work it’s a different story though. my work machine is windows 7 64 bit enterprise. from my 4 main email addresses i get maybe 4 spam messages a week that have a virus attached (mainly as someone had their account compromised and their address book stolen…still not sure who but it’s not pleasant getting spam messages from your dead mother). i obviously don’t open these attachments but i do download and scan them. said windows 7 box has various security products installed. sophos endpoint security and control, malwarebytes anti-malware and #cough# microsoft forefront endpoint protection. it’s surprising how many of these viruses are missed by all three. when this happens there’s only one place to go. VirusTotal. this is a service that lets you upload a suspect file and it’ll run it through 56 (that’s the count at the moment) anti-virus products from all the main players. you can see if that particular file has been scanned before and if it has what the results were. you can also perform another analysis. what’s the point in this? well AV vendors also use VirusTotal to update their virus definitions so you’re helping out the industry in general. so if you flag the file as malicious then they should pick up on it and use this, and other users’, reports on it. you can also leave comments and behaviour characteristics.
so if you run windows, android, OS X, iOS, Linux or anything else that might be damaged by a malicious file please take the time to report the file and back that report up with your findings or concerns.

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posted in tech by col

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