False detections by anti-virus programs for specialized fix tools are not uncommon.
Bleeping Computer's hosted programs for download
. However depending on the product some anti-virus software and other security scanners may flag certain programs as a threat for a variety of reasons when that is not the case.
Certain embedded files that are part of legitimate programs and specialized fix tools (like AdwCleaner
), may at times be detected by some anti-virus and anti-malware scanners as suspicious
, a Risk Tool
, Hacking Tool
, Potentially Unwanted Program
, a possible threat
or even Malware (virus/trojan) when that is not the case
. This occurs for a variety of reasons to include the tool's compiler, the files it uses, whether files are compressed
, what behavior (routines, scripts, etc) it performs, any registry strings it may contain and the type of security engine that was used during the scan. Other legitimate files which may be obfuscated, encrypted or password protected in order to conceal itself so they do not allow access for scanning but often trigger alerts by anti-virus software.
When flagged by an anti-virus or security scanner, it's because the program includes features, behavior or files that appear suspicious or which can potentially be used for malicious purposes. Compressed and packed files in particular are often flagged as suspicious by security software because they have difficulty reading what is inside them. These detections do not necessarily mean the file is malicious or a bad program. It means it has the potential for being misused by others or that it was simply detected as suspicious or a threat due to the security program's heuristic analysis
engine which provides the ability to detect possible new variants of malware
. Anti-virus scanners cannot distinguish
between "good" and "malicious" use of such programs, therefore they may alert you or even automatically remove
them. In these cases the detection is a "false positive
" and can be ignored.
Most of the well known specialized tools we use against malware are written by experts/Security Colleagues
at various security forums like Bleeping Computer, TechSupport, GeeksToGo, SypwareInfo and other similar sites so they can be trusted
...this includes any program hosted by BC for download. AdwCleaner was created by Xplode
(a BC Security Colleague). Unfortunately, many of these tools are repeatedly falsely detected by various anti-virus programs from time to time for the reasons noted above.The problem is really with the anti-virus vendors who keep targeting these embedded files and NOT with the tools themselves
. We can inform the developers but they have encountered this issue many times before and in most cases there isn't much they can do about it. Once the detection is reported to the anti-virus vendor, they are usually quick to fix it by releasing an updated definition database.
Either have your anti-virus ignore the detection or temporarily disable it until you download and run the tool. Another option is to download from another computer with a different antivirus, save to a USB drive and transfer it to the computer you need to run the tool. If you do that, you still may need to temporarily disable your antivirus.