Dan was installing the Free Version of SpendMap last week when his Panda Antivirus Software displayed a warning about one of our files.
With so many false-positives these days, we immediately uploaded the file to VirusTotal.com and, as we suspected, the other 59 out of 60 virus scanners reported that the file was clean.
False-positive virus warnings are becoming more and more common these days, as the security suites try to stay ahead of the bad guys by trying to “predict” the presence of malicious code. That is, many antivirus systems will report the presence of a virus (or rather, the POTENTIAL presence of a virus) because there is something in the file that resembles a virus, even though they didn’t actually find a known virus in the file.
It’s a great idea in concept but unfortunately the price you pay for this proactive protection is that they sometimes get things wrong.
That’s where VirusTotal.com comes in.
Owned by Google, VirusTotal lets you upload questionable files to their website and scans them with over 60 security suites in one shot and then shares the results so that everyone can improve their systems.
The idea here being that if only one or two out of the 60 scanners report a problem with a file, then it’s most likely a false-positive.
Of course, only you can decide if you want to proceed when your virus scanner puts up a red flag but with this sort of thing happening more and more often, we thought you’d like to know about this great tool.
One thing you may hear is “You should only proceed if the file came from a trusted source“. At least there we can give you a hard-and-fast answer; with over 50,000 downloads so far and a spotless 25-year track record of providing clean and reliable Purchase Order Software, it doesn’t get any more trustworthy than SpendMap.