Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Is this program malware or a false positive?

What can you do if your antivirus software (in this case Norton) identifies a program as a Trojan, but you're pretty sure it's not?

Article comments

What can you do if your antivirus software (in this case Norton) identifies a program as a Trojan, but you're pretty sure it's not?

Norton may have indeed given you a false positive when it warned you that a program was malware. But it's just as likely -maybe even more so - that Norton's mistake came when it told you that your hard drive was clean.

And I'm not knocking Norton here. These issues apply to every antivirus program in existence.

If your antivirus program identified something as a Trojan before you ran it, and found no infections afterwards, there's a very good chance that the malware is protecting itself from security software. That's pretty common behavior.

So what can you do?

First, boot into Safe Mode and try scanning from there. To do so, boot your PC, and press F8 repeatedly before the Windows logo appears. Instead of Windows, you should get a simple menu. Select Safe Mode. This might work because the malware may not load into Safe Mode.

On the other hand, it might. So a better solution would be to boot into Safe Mode, and scan from there with a portable malware scanner that you can run off a flash drive. I recommend the Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

Download the Kit on another computer, and unzip it to a flash drive. Run the program and have it update the malware database. Then remove the flash drive (safely, of course), boot your own PC into Safe Mode, insert the flash drive, and launch the program.

One more suggestion: Use a bootable malware scanner that bypasses Windows entirely. There are several such tools, all free. My favorites are the Kaspersky Rescue Disk and the F-Secure Rescue CD. Both can be downloaded as .iso files, which can be easily burned to disc. If the computer you're using to do this has Windows 7, you can simply double-click the .iso file to bring up the Windows Disc Image Burner. Otherwise, you may have to download and install a third-party iso-burning program, such as Active@ ISO Burner.

You can also prepare either of these for booting from a flash drive. To do this with Kaspersky, download and run the Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 to USB devices program after you've downloaded the .iso file. For F-Secure, you'll have to download and launch the Universal USB Installer.

And next time your security software warns you not to open a file, don't open it. Or, at least, scan the file with another security program first.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Site Map

* *