Downloads scanned with AntiVirus
In Usitility we endeavour to offer high-quality and useful software to the end user. We not only take into account the quality of the software, but also we pay attention to the download and installation file, analyzing download files for Viruses and other threats.
To perform the virus scan of the downloads we use the online tool VirusTotal, which analyzes files with up to 54 Antivirus.
Today, viruses are not the greatest threat in the world of software downloads, as viruses tend to be destructive, and no website of legal downloads will offer infected files. However, there are other types of programs that can not be called Viruses, as they are not destructive, but can be very annoying to the end-user. There are cases when it is necessary to format and reinstall the Operating System to get rid of these annoying programs.
There is a generic term to refer to those programs: Crapware or PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Program). The Crapware includes Spyware and Adware programs. In general, you might call Crapware to any software that has not been explicitly installed by the user, and performs undesired activities (insert ads in web pages, collect usage information, change the default search engine, etc).
Nowadays, a large part of the Antivirus programs detects the Crapware, and inform to the user of their presence. Even so, this kind of Malware continues to expand more and more. This is because many developers, and a large part of the downloads web pages, includes the programs inside an installer, that in addition to installing the main program, it installs a series of extra programs that have not been requested by the end-user.
How do we analyze and categorize the download files?
We must first understand how the Antivirus works, then we will be able to differentiate between a malicious software, and a false positive. To do this we will explain the process that we follow on Usitility to identify and classify the downloads we offer:
- Analyze the file with VirusTotal.
- If the percentage of virus detection is 0, we can conclude that the download file is harmless and does not present any danger to the end user.*
- If the percentage of virus detection is less than 15, we check the file with other Antivirus solutions. 95% of the time, the files with less than 15% of viruses detection are false positive, which means that some Antivirus detected the file as a threat, but that files, does not really represent any danger to the end user.
- If the percentage of virus detection is more than 15, we scan the file with other Antivirus solutions.
- In case no threat is detected, the file is marked as a false positive, and therefore it is safe for the end-user.
- In case of a threat is detected, we proceed to classify the file.
False Positive: There are files that are considered dangerous by many anti-virus, but in fact do not present any kind of a threat to the end-user. This is the case of programs that are used to decrypt passwords, capture the keystrokes on the keyboard, reveal serial numbers of some software, etc. This type of programs will be marked as False Positive, because despite the fact that the antivirus can detect them as dangerous software, they do not perform any kind of hidden action, or install additional programs not requested. The messages showed by anti-virus on this type of programs should be taken as a security warning, as a misuse of these programs can cause damage to your PC or other. Like a knife, which can be very harmful if used in the wrong way, these programs can cause some type of damage if not used correctly. This does not imply that the programs have been designed to cause damage.
Real Threat: if a file is detected as a threat to the end-user, we proceed as follows:
- We search for a download file that does not contain the detected threat. Many downloads files includes an installer that is the responsible for the installation of Crapware (unwanted software). We search for download files that do not include these installers. If we find a clean file, we add it to our Database.
- If we don't find an alternative to the download file, we look at the possibility of installing the main program avoiding the installation of Crapware. Some of the installers allow to select if we want to install the Crapware or not. If that is possible, we warn the user and offer instructions on how to avoid the installation of Crapware.
- In case of the main sofware can not be installed without the installation of Crapware, we will remove that Software from our database, and in this way we avoid to contribute to the distribution of malicious software.
* The analysis passed to the files doesn't ensures that the scanned file is harmless. You need to install a good antivirus on your Computer and pay attention to the programs you install and where you download those programs. Currently, there is no antivirus that guarantees 100% effectiveness in the detection of viruses and malware.
Whenever possible, we use the download links of the authors of the programs, as it is usual that these downloads not includes any kind of Crapware. In case that the author decide to add an installer with Crapware, we act according to the steps listed above.
We do our best to prevent this type of software in our database. Even so, we are not 100% foolproof, so if you find any type of malicious download on our website, please do not hesitate to contact us using the contact form.