Tag Archives: Virus Total

OPSWAT’s Metascan Online – A VirusTotal Alternative

imageI’m right and you’re wrong.

No, I’m right and you’re wrong!

You’re listening to a couple of sports fans arguing over who’s the best tennis player maybe? Could be – but, if you’re analyzing a downloaded file with more than one antimalware application (and you should), you could be witnessing a more serious difference of opinion.

You’ve primary anti-malware application is advising you that the application you just downloaded contains malware. But, since you’re an aware computer user, you’ve launched your secondary malware scanner and – surprise – there’s a difference of opinion – no malware.

So, you’re now dealing with the big question – are you dealing with a false positive thrown up by the primary malware scanner, or is it more likely that the secondary scanner is misbehaving?

You could just flip a coin, or go with your best guess – but, you didn’t become a super user by flipping coins, or guessing, when it comes to your system’s security. No, you’re better than that, so you upload the questionable file to VirusTotal, where it will be scanned for nasties by thirty five plus diverse online scanners.

image

VirusTotal result – a clean file. Elapsed time on this scan – under a minute.

image

As an alternative to VirusTotal, or in addition to (maybe not a bad idea), you can run the file through a new service now being offered by OPSWAT, the company behind the highly recommended AppRemover.

OPSWAT’s Metascan Online, is similar in many respects to VirusTotal – as the following screen shots indicate.

Browse your Hard Drive for the file to be uploaded (for this test I’ve selected a different executable – 15 MB as opposed to 3 MB).

image

image

Detailed results are shown in the  following screen capture. As you can see – the file has been processed through 19 AVs and has come up clean. Elapsed time on this scan – just over a minute.

image

This new service was launched just a few days ago, so you may experience a glitch or two. In testing, over several days (in both Windows and Ubuntu Linux), I must admit I bumped my head a time or two,  but after speaking with the company, the minor server issues I encountered were resolved quickly.

Responsiveness to customer issues is the hallmark of a client centered organization, and OPSWAT certainly meets that test.

Fast facts:

Use of multiple antivirus engines

Real-time automatic updates of virus signatures

Detailed results from each antivirus engine

Real time global statistics available

image

image

Keep in mind, an online scanning service is not a substitute for an appropriate local defense system, including a firewall (either software or hardware), and a sound and effective anti-malware application.

If you found this article useful, 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.

11 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Cloud Computing Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Malware Protection, Online Malware Scanners, OPSWAT, Recommended Web Sites, Windows Tips and Tools

Free SlimCleaner Final – Optimizer, Uninstaller, Shredder and Anti- Hijacker Built In

imageAs regular readers here know, I’m a BIG fan of community based applications – applications in which combined user experiences are used to drive the functionality of an application. What could be better, and more useful, than to use the experiences of the very people who use the product? If there’s a better way for companies to “listen” to the customer, I’ve yet to hear it.

Last year, I reviewed a series of impressive products (including SlimCleaner Beta) from SlimWare Utilities, a U.S.-based software company which states that its mission is to provide crowd-sourced applications that “will revolutionize the performance of personal computers.”

Having experienced the value of the company’s first three crowd-sourced applications, I’d have to agree – this developer is on the right track.

As of yesterday, SlimCleaner’s final release became available for download and, I think you’ll find this application worthy of your consideration as an addition to your system utility toolbox.

Click on any graphic to expand to original size.

For illustrative purposes, I’ve selected only the Windows clean function. But notice, the application offers additional cleaning capabilities – including Applications and Browsers.

image

The optimization function allows access to startup entries and most importantly, system services. Optimizing services can often improve system response time.

image

The built-in application uninstaller essential duplicates the “add/remove” applet in Windows. Still, having access to this function in an all-in-one application like SlimCleaner, is a helpful addition.

image

I’m partial to file shredders so I’m happy to see one included here. I’m impressed with the choice of selectable shred levels.

image

If system security is high on your list, then you’ll be pleased to see SlimCleaner added a “Hijack Log” function which includes the ability to query selectable entries through a cloud based AV (Virus Total).

image

I tested this feature and the results, returned in just a few seconds, indicated the selected startup entry was clean.

image

Application settings are uncomplicated, and very easy to understand. You’ll notice in the following screen capture that you will be given the opportunity to install the program to a USB key.

image

Freeware applications often fall short in providing comprehensive help. SlimCleaner’s help setup on the other hand, is quite extensive – as the following screen capture indicates.

image

Finally, the most common Windows tools are easily accessible through the applications GUI. Notice both a CPU and a RAM usage meter in the following graphic. Theses meters are viewable in all GUI Views.

image

Fast facts:

Optimizer – Disable non-essential background process and services to make your computer run faster. SlimCleaner uses up-to-date cloud data to customize settings for optimal performance.

Uninstaller – Unlike the Windows uninstaller, SlimCleaner’s uninstaller helps you make an informed decision. When it lists the programs on your computer, you instantly get ratings and user feedback, telling you what the web community thinks of each application – whether it’s good, optional, or just a waste of space.

Shredder – Rest easy knowing that you have the ability to not only delete private data, but shred it. SlimCleaner lets you remove files using a process that makes it impossible for them to be recovered.

Hijack Log – Get a fully interactive list of all the software components running on your PC: Toolbars, Services, Startup Entries, Codecs, Drivers, ActiveX Objects and more. Take control of your computer’s functions by getting on-demand information about any given entry.

Windows Tools – One-Click access to all of Windows’ monitoring and diagnostics tools. Don’t hunt for the stats and information you need, get a head’s up display. From one panel you can access the Device Manager, Security Settings, Backup and Restore, System Information and more.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista and XP (32 bit and 64 bit).

Download at: Developer’s site – Slimcleaner.com

If you’re looking for a freeware application that not only gets in there and cleans out the deep dirt, but offers a range of additional functionality, then SlimCleaner should definitely make your short list.

If you found this article useful, 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.

27 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Integrated Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Two Free VirusTotal Apps Can Help You Catch Malware Preemptively

imageYou’ve run your primary anti-malware application, and up pops a notice advising you that you have an infection. But since you’re an aware computer user, you launch both your secondary malware scanners in sequence and – surprise! According to your secondary scanners you are not infected.

But, you’re aware that anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database to identify malware files, can often be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.

So, decision time. Do you then trust your primary anti-malware application and attempt removal, or instead, do you trust the results produced by your secondary scanners, and leave well enough alone?

In reality, you’re not limited to just these two choices. There is another option open to you.

If you’re worried about a specific file, here’s an interesting twist on free Online scanners – you can have any computer file (files are restricted to a maximum of 20 megabytes), scanned for nasties by thirty five plus diverse online scanners; all in one go, through VirusTotal.

To take advantage of this service, simply upload a file that you’re uncertain of to Virus Total, or as an alternative, submit your suspicious file to Virus Total by email. What could be simpler?

image

File submissions (Last 7 days)

This graph shows the number of files received at VirusTotal over the last 7 days. The image illustrates how many of these were new at VirusTotal, and the submissions which were detected by at least one antivirus. Click on any graphic to expand to original size.

image

Top 10 file submissions (Yesterday – December 29, 2010)

This table shows the most submitted files yesterday to VirusTotal, the last detection rate, and the number of times they were submitted is specified.

image

Quick facts:

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 anti-malware application.

Upload your suspicious file/s to: Virus Total

VTzilla:

 

VirusTotal recently released a Firefox only extension – VTzilla. VTzilla has been designed to scan URLs, links, and files (potential downloads) for malware, by employing the installed toolbar, or alternatively, the right click context menu.

Using the toolbar, I’ve plugged in my own site address as an example.

image

VirusTotal’s report indicates my site is a safe site, and does not contain malware.

image

Next, I visited Download.com and set up a download. Before saving the file however, using the right click context menu again, I had VirusTotal perform a scan.

image

The result indicates a clean site.

image

A couple of caveats:

Regular VirusTotal users are aware that file size is restricted to 20 MB or less, and this restriction unfortunately, is still in effect for this new service.

VTzilla is available only as a direct download from the developer’s site at the moment. It should be available from Firefox’s add-on repository, in due course.

Overall, I think this extension has some value. But, it is not a panacea. More and more, if a site is imbedded with malware, just visiting the site can trigger a driveby download. Porn surfers particularly, need to take note of this.

System requirements: Firefox 1.5 – 3+

Download at: the developer’s site.

If you found this article useful, 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.

7 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Safe Surfing, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

False Malware Positive? Or Not? How Do You Decide?

imageYou’ve run your primary anti-malware application, and up pops a notice advising you that you have an infection. But since you’re an aware computer user, you launch both your secondary malware scanners in sequence and – surprise! According to your secondary scanners you are not infected.

But, you’re aware that anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database to identify malware files, can often be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.

So, decision time. Do you then trust your primary anti-malware application and attempt removal, or instead, do you trust the results produced by your secondary scanners, and leave well enough alone?

In reality, you’re not really limited to just these two choices. There is another option open to you.

If you’re worried about a specific file, here’s an interesting twist on free 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.

To take advantage of this service, simply upload a file, that you’re uncertain of, to Virus Total, or as an alternative submit your suspicious file to Virus Total by email. What could be simpler?

image

The following graphics indicate just how efficient this free service is.

Received Files/Infected Files (Last 24 Hours) May 28, 2010:

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).

Received Files / Infected Files (Last 24 Hours)

Top 10 Infected Files (Last 24 Hours), May 28, 2010:

This image shows the list of the most-uploaded infected files received within the last 24 hours.

Top 10 of Infected Files

Quick facts:

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 anti-malware application.

Upload your suspicious file/s to: Virus Total

If you found this article useful, 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.

15 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Reports, Online Malware Scanners, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP