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Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Well the answer has to be yes and no, but I would like to share this experience with my fellow Plusnetters.

Today I received an email that any computer literate person might mentally superimpose flashing red lights and ear-splitting claxon sounds on to.

I didn’t know the sender, but it was from a company I have communicated with, there was no message, but attached was a zip file containing an executable file. All the hall marks of a mail address mining virus distributing itself.

Normally I would just delete such an email, but now and then I feel I need to test my security, so I saved the zip file to a folder and then extracted the EXE to the same folder. making sure I didn’t launch the executable of course!

Next I updated my AVG virus definitions and scanned both the .exe and the .zip… BOTH CLEAN! Wow!

Fortunately I was not stupid enough to believe the anti virus program that PROTECTS my system. I immediately went to http://housecall.trendmicro.com for a second opinion. The files were immediately confirmed to contain W32.Beagle.CQ@mm / WORM_BAGLE.BX

I know an awful lot of people use AVG (yes it is the free version) but its pretty poor that it didn’t spot it either on the incoming email scan or on a direct request to scan the files.

Have any of you folks also found AVG to be unreliable? I must admit I have used both trend and mcafee in the past but when yearly updates went from £8 to £20 or £40 I looked elsewhere.

Anyway… bottom line is that if you are using AVG… you might want to visit housecall on a regular basis!
11 REPLIES
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Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

I like to think I'm pretty bulletproof when it comes to e-mail viruses.
All my mail is scanned at the server by clam-av and the ip address of the sender is checked against known spam/virus sending addresses at spamhaus.
Ever since I started running the mail-server (when I got my premier account) I've not had anything slip through the net.

Still, that doesn't stop me using symantec antivirus on my windows machine just in case Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

My mail allegedly goes through a filter before being forwarded from my domain to my Plusnet address, but I guess spamfilters dont help much against virused emails, they dont always originate from spammers, this one came to me because a company I had emailed became infected. I have of course emailed telling them they have an infection.
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Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Most of the 'viruses' I get these days are phishing e-mails, some of which admitedly do slip through the virus net, but get classified as spam by my spam filter and then Thunderbird (1.5) adds a nice little "Thunderbird thinks this is a scam" warning message to.

I'd be very suprised if barclays or lloyds-tsb needed to update my account details, since I don't have an account with either of them!

I used to try and keep myself under the spam/virus radar but its difficult when some mailing lists have multipul web archives available so my e-mail address ends up for all to see, but having a server that rejects messages before they are sent helps alot as it also gives the impression that an address is dead so it works its way off mailing lists.

What doesn't help is when they can just send the mail to last.mx.plus.net and then it gets picked up when i check autoturn .. but thats another matter which plusnet have been prodded about by many people on many occasions Smiley
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Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

If your Av didnt pick the zip file up in the email and then didnt pick it up when you opened the zip and let you write the exe and still didnt pick it up. Then its not worth having assuming you have it doing realtime monitoring.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Hey it didnt even pick it up when I stuck it under its nose and said "sniff this". The thing I find most worrying is that I know this is a very widely used piece of software, its appaling that it should fail so miserably.

As far as I can see I have no choice but to go for a paid expensive option such as trend/mcafee. Its a shame AVG has always been a respected application in the past. But now I just feel I would be foolish to trust it.
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Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

I have noticed the latest edition of AVG seems to be a bit flakey on real time monitoring of email, every now and again it can't quite decide if this feature is on or off.
I guess with AVG free edition we have to take the charitable view that we get what we pay for.
In this case nothing.
After all, it's only a freebie to tempt you into buying the paid for edition.
If it was super reliable, who would part with cash for the full program?
I do agree with you that the free edition has gained a reputation for being an excellent anti virus program, perhaps this is undeserved.
Maybe Grisoft are quilty of letting this perception go unchecked, they could make it clearer that only the paid for set up is to be relied on.
As you say, relying on it with no other means of protection is not enough.
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

But I've seen reports of every major antivirus missing something or other, that a different one has picked up And the ones like Norton and Mcafee seem to be updated less frequently than AVG.

So could it not just be that we are expecting too much for a single av program to pick up everything? Not putting forward a point of view really, just asking those of you who know more about these things.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Maybe I have been harsh on Grisoft.

Having re-emailed myself the virus this time AVG found and quarantined the virus, looking at their website they claim it as a new virus found on 16.12.2005.

I may just have been one of the lucky early recipients, although it has to be said the web scan I did that found it immediately found it under another variant name. I think I am going to test run Bitdefender as this has a good rep and is $30 rather than the $50-$60 of the other majors.

Paul, traditionally free versions of firewalls and antivirus software have always been made as spot on a possible albeit with not all the bells and whistles, the reason being that most aren’t trying to get you to buy for home. The intention was always to give the home user a great product, create brand loyalty and then watch armies of people demand the same product or upgraded version for the workplace. And it worked well for a number of years.

Mcafee actually used (and may still?) to include with all corporate licenses the free use of the product for a home machine.

Anyway I though I better set the record straight that AVG now seems to have the virus covered.
retep
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 14-04-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Agree AVG could have missed it, it does happen no Anti Virus works 100% of the time.

Equally though it could be a false claim by the other software.

I do use AVG and find it pretty useful, it is updated regularly, the problem I have sometimes with it is the busy download site.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Am I protected from a computer Virus?!

Brist, to be honest that isn’t very likely. An anti virus scanner will find an infected file every time if the signature is in its database. The chances of it missing it 3 times is non-existent unless the scanner is bugged. It looks like they just didn’t update their database as fast as their competitors on this occasion.

There is no chance of it being a false positive as I have said AVG is now reporting the file as infected.
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av

hi all! i use avg free on my pc and norton on my laptop i have noticed that avg updates more often than norton [their virus attack update clicks on every 4 - 5 days saying theirs a rapidly spreading threat but avg tend to have updated a few days b4 ] i got norton free for the year with my lappie so i use it but come february then avg will replace it and i'll only use the norton firewall as that seems ok