In association with heise online

23 August 2008, 18:38

Panda presents: infected or not?

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Panda, the anti-virus specialist, says its ActiveScan 2.0 will enable end users to check whether their PC is still clean, quickly and without installing an additional virus scanner. According to Panda, 23 per cent of home PC users that have a current anti-virus product installed, still have undetected infections. Panda's publicity page doesn't say whether that figure includes current versions of Panda products.

The special thing about this test is that it doesn't just work via ActiveX, therefore being limited to Internet Explorer, but with FireFox too, for Panda has developed a Firefox plug-in. After that has been installed, the local test also runs in the open source browser. The system has to be running Windows otherwise the service reports an error. Anyone wishing to visit the Infected or Not publicity page has to register, but entering through a side link means that ActiveScan 2.0 will also run without registration.

Scan results
Zoom Panda neglects to mention that deleting the files is sufficient (after all, they have a product to sell)

ActiveScan presents its results as a list of problems found, sorted according to "threats removed free of charge" – for registered users – and those that can only be eliminated with the paid version. The results page does provide the choice of registration or purchase. The results should however be taken with a pinch of salt, for none of the contaminants found in a test by heise Security was active. Thus, simply deleting the files would have been sufficient, but the results page did not say so. It was only the exported log file that contained this important information.

But at least ActiveScan finds acute dangers and can thus provide a valuable second opinion. Whether you can rely on a diagnosis that the PC is clean is not to be judged after such a short test.


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