Testing your virus protection

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UA 029 - English - Testing your virus protections.pdf

It can be difficult to know if you virus protection is working. One possibility is to try infecting the computer with a virus, but if the antivirus does not working you will notice it but in the same time end with an infected computer.
A part of the virus protection works that it looks for sequences (lines with ones and zeros) of known virus in the computers information flow. If it found such sequence then the virus protection will act.

European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) has made a small sequence that is not a virus but most of the antivirus software identify as a virus. By using that line of text it is possible to test the virus protection without any risk to infect the computer.

Make the test by do the following steps:

  1. Create a text file on the computer (ending with .txt) by using Notepad or similar software that manages plain text files. It will not work with Word.

  2. Paste the string below into the file:

  3. Save the file on the computer were you want to test the virus protection:
    What happened next depends on the antivirus software and/or its settings. Due a plain text file can normally not infect computers has some antivirus software excluded those, if that the case nothing will happen in this stage.

    If the antivirus software checking text files it will alert and act. If you are using Bitdefender, that doing this, then the file will disappear from your disk and be put into quarantine any you will be notified.

    If you do not gen any alert it may be that your antivirus software do not check text files. Try to rename the file from .txt to .com (extension for programs). Then it should react and taking care of the file. If you are using AVG virus protection will it after a while move the file to its quarantine.

    If you still got no response it may be that your antivirus software only checks disk writes and do not identify the renaming as a write operation. Try to copy or move the file to other location on your hard drive.

If you have try all steps above and your antivirus software has still not act it may be because one of the two different reasons below:

1.Your virus protection is not working; then of cause is the best solution to reinstall it or change to some other antivirus software. We recommend Bitdefinder, and for older versions of Windows AVG Free Edition, for later versions of Windows it is possible to use the inbuilt Microsoft Windows Defender.

2. The other alterative is that your virus protection does not interpreters the test file as a virus. QBRITS recommend even here to change to another antivirus software, partly because it is difficult to exclude if it is a problem with the function and it is not working (1st) or if it just not detecting the test file. But even it is because of not detecting you could ask yourself the question; If its developers has not include a international recognized antivirus test, how is the quality of the rest of the code, and how reliable is it against real viruses. It is not certainly there is a problem with your antivirus program, but as always with security, it is better to be safe than sorry, and instead change1 to other virus protection software where this test works.


1/. You should never have two different antivirus software installed simultaneous on the same computer, when that can cause huge problems. Always uninstall the old antivirus software before installing the new, and do it in a safe environment (behind a correct configured firewall and in a net without other computers that may carry virus infections)