Anti-virus software: a reputation threat

Self-tutoring about anti-virus software: the tutor mentions a recent experience.

I was programming the other day and then decided to send the program to another computer. It was written using an IDE, so it included a large collection of files. I zipped it up and sent a copy.

When I unzipped the file on the other computer it complained that one of the files within was unsafe, and quarantined it. I returned to the computer where I’d written the file, unzipped the file there, and executed a virus check on the re-inflated folder. The anti-virus program didn’t complain, instead reporting all was fine.

It’s the same malware protection program, even the same subscription, on both computers. The file that ultimately raised an objection from the malware protection program on the second computer passed inspection by that same malware protection program on the originating computer. How could such an event transpire?

I looked at the threat classification under which the malware protection program gave complaint. It was a classification I hadn’t seen, and involved a “reputation” rating. Specifically, the file was not familiar enough to the protection software that it could be deemed “safe”, so the software had to conclude it was a threat. The explanation admitted such a judgement could be erroneous.

Interesting, eh?

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Leave a Reply