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How can you tell if a file is malware?

By GN48
Jan 18, 2010
  1. Hi everyone, just wandering if you could tell, without executing it if it's a exe file or using it if it's other type files, if a file you download from the internet is a virus/malware/spyware/backdoor/(the rest of the nasty things) that can harm your computer? Yes I know, scan it with your AV, but AVs can never ever be 100% that the file(s) it scan is not virus/malware/spyware/backdoor/(the rest of the nasty things). It can get up 75% close to all those.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    you understand perfectly -- you can tell by just looking and A/V based upon signatures is inaccurate and too late.

    There are some obvious names (eg: foo.txt.scr which is a screen saver and not a text file)
    and obvious locations to be aware of ( http://www.xxx.yyy.zzz/www.microsoft.com/update
    which is not MS but some other server at www.xxx.yyy.zzz ip address attempting to fool you).

    but in the final analysis, the best we have right now is A/V + resident scanners + link scanners.

    You can also try a simple google using only the FILENAME.EXT as you've found it and see if anyone has reported that file.

    You've tumbled into the differnce between Reactive vs Pro-Active protection.
    see http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic103937.html#13 and follow the links
     
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Most of what you've asked in the 20 plus threads you've started in the last 4 weeks can be found by doing a simple search on Google.

    Or in a reference book.
     
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Ah, but there's no fun unless you're tying up a forum with aimless prattle.

    @GN48
    Here's a radical idea.....Download from REPUTABLE SITES only, and if you receive an executable file unsolicited, DUMP IT.
     
  5. jonly2009

    jonly2009 TS Rookie

  6. GN48

    GN48 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 143

    That's exactly what AVG 9 Free has!

    Those Link Scanners sometimes can give false positives and also do the opposite.

    So I'm safe as I have them? I guess I'm like you jobeard, Pro-active! :)
     
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