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Is this possible?


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#1 Daxe

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:46 PM

Lets say I downloaded a program that was a .exe virus, but I didn't run it, could I still get infected from it somehow?
 



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#2 quietman7

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:32 AM

.EXE is a file extension for an executable file format that contains encoded instructions which when run allows it to function or perform a certain action (either legitimate or malicious. The extension helps a computer's operating system (or application) identify what it is and understand what it does. An .EXE file can be run in MS-DOS, by using a Windows command, by right-clicking on it...then choosing run as, or by double-clicking on it deliberately or by accident.

There are various types of executable file extensions.

When dealing with malware, keep in mind that a file could actually be an executable containing malicious code disguised as some other file. This is designed to trick users into opening a file type which can execute malicious code without the victim knowing. This can be done using double file extensions...adding an executable extension (.exe, .pif, .com, .vbs, etc) to the end of a file such as anyfile.jpg.exe so that it appears to be a jpg file. In some cases, you may not see the double extension because file extensions are hidden by default in Windows. If you have chosen the option to unhide file extensions, you still may be fooled if the malware writer named the file with extra spaces before the ".exe" extension such as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge). The real extension is hidden because the column width is too narrow to reveal the complete name and the tiny dots in between are nearly invisible.
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#3 Kilroy

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:01 PM

The short answer is yes.  If it is on your system it could be executed without you actively executing it.  This is why when people who deal with live viruses transfer them the put them into a password protected zip file so that they cannot be executed accidentally.



#4 Daxe

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

@Rkilroy

 

How do they package it then? They have to download to package it correct?



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:48 PM

The file is normally obtained from an already infected machine.  They package the virus in a password protected zip file.  The standard password is infected, recent news had Google blocking such files from being sent via GMail.  Normally a password protected zip file cannot be scanned since you have to be able to open the zip file to scan it.



#6 quietman7

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

In the past BC used submit files packer when requesting folks to submit samples to our Malware Removal Team. Some anti-virus vendors will provide instructions for users to submit zipped samples. For example, AVG provides this guide: How to create a password-protected archive


A couple of other things to be aware of...

Autorun is a feature in Windows which looks for autorun.inf and can automatically execute a malicious file to run silently on your computer. Autorun.inf is a text-based configuration file that provides instructions for the autorun feature and contains instructions for the operating system. Essentially it is a loading point that tells the operating system which executable to start, which icon to use, and which additional menu commands to make available. Autorun.inf can be exploited to allow a malicious program to run automatically without the user knowing since it is a loading point for legitimate programs. Since autorun.ini can be a legitimate file which other legitimate programs depend on, the presence of that file may not always be an indication of infection. As a safety precaution, Microsoft recommends to disable it. In order to help prevent malware from spreading, the Windows 7 engineering team made important changes and improvements to AutoPlay so that it will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media.File infectors can take files with certain extensions (.jpg, .doc, etc) create a virus file with the same name but with a .exe extension so that a user might inadvertently execute virus code when he is attempting to open one of his documents.
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