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06 April 2010, 16:33

Online virus scanners for virus authors

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Zoom lets users to setup automatic scans at regular intervals.
Special online virus scanners that notify virus, spyware and malware authors if their programs have been detected by commercial anti-virus and anti-malware tools are now available online. Unlike other online services, such as VirusTotal, and help aid malware authors and purveyors.

Previously malware authors used to use free services like VirusTotal to see if their pests would be detected. This, however, has stopped as the service now sends reports of the scanned files directly to participating commercial anti-virus vendors where they are tested and then destroyed. New sites like and promise not to send this information to anti-virus companies.

As expected, the services are not free. Scan4You, for example, charges $0.15 per test or a monthly fee of $25. Users can even configure automatic checks to take place at regular intervals – anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. That is, of course, provided they have enough money in their account to cover it. Users can also receive update alerts via email, Jabber and ICQ instant messenger. functions similarly to Scan4You, but it has a slightly different pricing model and fewer options.

Like VirusTotal, both services use signatures to check files to see if they are infected. It also appears that neither of the services use behaviour recognition. It's still unknown if behavior recognition detection for each of the scanners is possible. In many cases it's enough for the criminals to use the simple tests, since many scanners, especially the free versions, don't include behavior recognition. Many anti-virus vendors are actively working to include it in all versions of their products.

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