No matter what you’ve read or heard, there is no one solution that offers a 100% effectiveness rate for detecting viruses and malware. At the risk of sounding like the PC Guy on the recent Mac commercial, “trust me”. This is the primary reason that I recommend you occasionally have your system checked for infections by one, or more, free Online scanners.
If you’re worried about a specific file though, here’s an interesting twist on online scanners – you can have any specific computer file (files are restricted to a maximum of 10 megabytes), scanned for nasties by thirty five plus diverse online scanners, all in one go, through VirusTotal.
VirusTotal.com offers this amazing free virus and malware online scan service, to the Internet community, in the spirit of trying to keep us all safer on the increasingly more dangerous Internet.
The following graphics indicate just how efficient this free service is.
Received Files/Infected Files (Last 24 Hours) November 10, 2009:
This image shows the number of files that have been detected as infected (red) among the total number of files received within the last 24 hours (clean ones marked in blue).
Top 10 Infected Files (Last 24 Hours), November 10, 2009:
This image shows the list of the most-uploaded infected files received within the last 24 hours.
Free, independent service
Use of multiple antivirus engines
Real-time automatic updates of virus signatures
Detailed results from each antivirus engine
Real time global statistics
Keep in mind, this service is not a substitute for an appropriate local defense system, including a firewall (either software or hardware), and a sound and effective malware suite (including anti-virus and spyware).
It’s important to be aware that anti-malware programs, including online scanners that rely on a definition database to identify malware files, can often be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
So in addition to the “normal” system protection you have installed locally, I recommend that you consider downloading and installing ThreatFire 4.5, free from PC Tools. This type of anti-malware application works side by side with your existing anti-malware tools, using heuristics, or behavioral analysis, to identify newer threats. Current reports indicate this application has a 90% + success rate in stopping malware in it’s tracks.
Upload your suspicious file/s to: Virus Total
If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.