Knowledgebase: Avira Support
How can I safely test my antivirus program?
Posted by Samuel Turi on 28 April 2011 10:18 AM

How can I safely test my antivirus program?


The European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (eicar) offers harmless files with test viruses on its website www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm. These are not real viruses, but detection patterns. They cannot harm your computer.

Testing AntiVir WebGuard

If you installed it with default configuration, AntiVir should react when downloading the eicar test virus without SSL encryption:

  1. eicar.com:
    AntiVir WebGuard detects the test virus when you click on the download link.
  2. eicar.com.txt:
    AntiVir WebGuard detects the test virus when you click on the download link.

Testing AntiVir Guard and on-demand scanner

Use the encrypted download on ww.eicar.org, to avoid activating AntiVir WebGuard. If you installed AntiVir with default configuration, it should react when downloading the eicar test virus:

  1. eicar.com:
    AntiVir Guard will immediately detect the executable test virus. And it will of course be detected on demand (right-click on the file and select Scan selected files with AntiVir).
  2. eicar.com.txt:
    NOTE: In order to display double extensions, you have to activate the option in Windows Explorer. The initial version is not questioned by AntiVir Guard, since *.txt files do not contain executable program code, so they are harmless. But if the file is seen as eicar.com, AntiVir Guard reacts to it, as mentioned above. The on demand scanner detects the test virus.
  3. eicar_com.zip:
    In this case, the test virus is packed in a zip archive. Since zip archives themselves are not dangerous, AntiVir Guard does not react. It only acts upon unpacking of the archive. The on demand scanner will find the test virus in the archive. A notification appears, reporting the detection of a virus or malware, which cannot be processed within the archive, because it would affect its integrity.
  4. eicarcom2.zip:
    The test virus is packed in a zip archive, which is again packed in another zip archive. A more difficult task for a virus scanner. AntiVir Guard and the on demand scanner react as in the case of eicar_com.zip. On demand, the test virus will be detected and the notification window (as above) appears. AntiVir Guard reacts only at the second unpacking, when it can see the file eicar.com.
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