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View Full Version : Anti-Virus for IM applications (not a question)



agent
14-03-2003, 07:40 PM
BitDefender (http://www.bitdefender.com) makes freeware anti-virus programs for MSN Messenger, ICQ, NetMeeting, Yahoo! Messenger, and mIRC. Also, MS-DOS, Linux, Palm OS and Windows CE.

Click here (http://www.bitdefender.com/html/freeware_products.php) to go straight to their freeware products page. Only gribe I have is that the updates seem to be rather large. Never been able to test it, but I'm sure it's good. And it's better than nothing, as anti-virus programs don't actually monitor what's coming through the programs.

If you don't want to enter your email address to download it, well, http://www.bitdefender.com/download/bd_msn.exe is the direct link to the MSN version, http://www.bitdefender.com/download/bd_icq.exe to the ICQ version, and you can pretty much guess the filenames for the other versions (dunno if http://www.bitdefender.com/download/bd_yahoo.exe would work, but that seems to be the names they work on).

cyberchuck
14-03-2003, 08:54 PM
What other anti-virus programs are you referring to when you say 'anti-virus programs don't actually monitor what's coming through the programs' as I have Norton Antivirus installed on one of my machines and that's set to innoculate every file. It's done a damn fine job of picking up any virus that comes through MSN (not that I've tried or anything ;\) but with Innoculation, as it scans every file it leaves me reasonably safe...
Also.. We all know that we should be regularly updating our Antivirus software and constantly scanning our computers for new virus'.

agent
15-03-2003, 09:05 AM
> It's done a damn fine job of picking up any virus that comes through
> MSN (not that I've tried or anything ) but with Innoculation, as it scans
> every file it leaves me reasonably safe...

That's not good enough though. With innoculation, or whatever any programs call it (could be a setting called "monitor all new files"), that only picks up the virus once it is created on your hard drive. BitWare picks it up before that. "Before" is the keyword here, not "after".

> We all know that we should be regularly updating our Antivirus
> software and constantly scanning our computers for new virus'.

What the hell? What was that all about? My only mention about updates was that the amount of files it downloaded was large, unlike in Norton or McAfee. Didn't help that it appeared to be downloading plugins as well, which you have no apparent control over.

cyberchuck
15-03-2003, 09:34 AM
>> It's done a damn fine job of picking up any virus that comes through
>> MSN (not that I've tried or anything ) but with Innoculation, as it
>> scans every file it leaves me reasonably safe...

> That's not good enough though. With innoculation, or whatever any
> programs call it (could be a setting called "monitor all new files"), that
> only picks up the virus once it is created on your hard drive. BitWare
> picks it up before that. "Before" is the keyword here, not "after".

You still have to receive the file in the first place before it can be scanned. Therefore it doesn't matter if the file is created on the harddrive or just held in memory, it's still on your computer. And just because it's on your computer doesn't mean it's a threat - if you received it via outlook which has it's auto-preview pane then that could be risky as the virus has a chance to run - therefore innoculation would work.
However I have not known a file I have received via MSN to "automatically" open itself. Also, just because a virus is on your hard-drive doesn't mean it's done it's work. You could download the Melissa virus for all I care and provided you don't open it you'll be reasonably safe - it's when you open the file that it get's problematic.
Also, most people would be aware enough not to open a downloaded file without virus scanning first - MSN Messenger even advises scanning the file.


>> We all know that we should be regularly updating our Antivirus
>> software and constantly scanning our computers for new virus'.
> What the hell? What was that all about? My only mention about
> updates was that the amount of files it downloaded was large, unlike
> in Norton or McAfee. Didn't help that it appeared to be downloading
> plugins as well, which you have no apparent control over.

Provided people have a decent virus scanner and the latest updates and a scanning their computer on a regular basis then they should be fine - Innoculation does a pretty good job by itself. Even if a virus is detected for some reason, there is still a major chance that the files infected can be repaired.

Also, don't forget that too many virus scanners can play havoc with eachother, which is why it is reccomended you only use one



CyberChuck

agent
15-03-2003, 04:12 PM
Hahah! Thar I go, breaking all your "rules". Considering my anti-virus programs date range from Norton Anti-Virus 2000 to McAfee VirusScan 6.0... not exactly the latest, and not even installed on some computers. It's safe to say that not many people scan files received via IM applications. It's safe to say that if you accept a file, you have a certain level of trust with the person sending the file.

In any case, yes, it is safer to scan received files, but use your common sense. If you don't know who's sending the file, or don't trust them, either ask what it is; accept it and scan it for viruses; or don't accept it. And take a look at the filenames. Not many people I know would accept a file called "hello.exe", let alone "run_me_now.exe" or "smile.exe". I hardly ever use the file sharing features of IM applications, but the last time I did, I received a few JPEGs from a friend, and he said they were Garfield comics... and they were.