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What's the difference between 'disinfect' and remove/move virus?


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#1 big--phil

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 04:38 AM

Hi,


Antivirus programs generally give the option to disinfect or remove/move a virus/malware when it finds it.

What exactly is disinfect? What does it do and is it not as safe as removing the threat?


Hopefully someone can shed light on it for me.

I know it's a pretty basic question but I searched through google and can't seem to find it explained.


Thanks in advance,
Phil

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:10 AM

A virus infects a file when it injects its own code in a binary executable file, so that when you execute this executable virus also starts up. For example, a virus can hide its code inside "notepad.exe" in such a way that when you run Notepad, virus runs first and then Notepad.

Some antivirus recognize the code of that virus and can remove it from the infected file, changing the infected file back to its original form - thus disinfecting it.
But this is not possible for all types of viruses or when virus has damaged that file too much, then best choice is to delete the infected file.

Another choice given is move the infected file, this moves the infected file in a special quarantined folder making the infected file inert. This is done for new variants for viruses or suspicious files. The antivirus will scan these files again, after a database update. Also the antivirus can later send these files (with your permission) to their server for inspection.

Well all antivirus products behave differently. So above said process is a general behavior.

When you get a prompt, you can choose to try to disinfect and if disinfection is not successful, you can choose to delete that file.

#3 big--phil

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

Thanks very much for the detailed reply, that has cleared things up for me! :thumbsup:

I have one more question:
My college has a license for sophos antivirus, so I can download and install it. Up to now, I have AVG installed,and spybot.
Should I change over to sophos?
Is it better than AVG?

Thanks again for the help,
Phil

Edited by big--phil, 08 July 2009 - 10:10 AM.


#4 http.pipelining

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:19 AM

According to test from av comparative,Sopho have alot of false positives so i recommend you not to install it.
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#5 big--phil

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:32 AM

Hi,

thanks for the advice.

I didn't know about av comparitives so I checked it out.

The report there seems to indicate that sophos has the second lowest false alarm rate, better than AVG.

Although AVG had a higher detection rate than sophos.

Thanks for letting me know about av comparitive.

#6 http.pipelining

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

Yea, no problem.
Also sorry about the misleading information about sopho.
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#7 big--phil

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:15 PM

No problem,

thanks for the letting me know about av comparitive. It seems AVG and sophos are rated very close to each other,
so I might try out sophos just as a comparison from my perspective and see what it's like.

Thanks again.

:thumbsup:




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