Home > Articles


  • Print
  • + Share This

Anti-Virus Utilities

Anti-virus software can generally be defined as generic, malware specific, or hybrid. Generic software commonly includes change detection software (integrity checkers), behavior monitors, and behavior blockers. It deduces the existence of a virus from a change in the environment or an infectable object (a file, for example), or from a process displaying behavior characteristic of malware. (Note that the term malware is increasingly used with particular reference to Trojan horses rather than viruses. Trojans are considered at length in Chapter 8, as is change-detection software.)

Malware-specific software checks infectable objects against a database of virus definitions. If a match is found, it alerts the computer user and might be able to remove the virus from the infected object. This is usually possible with boot sector and macro infectors. File viruses are sometimes harder (and sometimes impossible) to disinfect, and some vendors don't try, taking the view that it's always better to replace a binary executable than to risk disinfecting it unsuccessfully.

Scanners can be on-access (real-time or memory-resident) or on-demand. On-access scanners check files and other infectable objects as they are accessed (especially as they're opened for reading or writing), and can be implemented as a DOS TSR, Windows VxD, NT service, Macintosh System Extension, and so on. Most anti-virus packages include an on-access malware-specific component, but on-access change-detectors do exist. On-demand scanners are executed only when called by the user or by scheduling software. They do their job, then terminate.

Modern malware-specific scanners are better described as hybrid. Although they use more-or-less exact identification, most are also capable of a generic technique known as heuristic analysis, which is related to behavior blocking. Code is checked for characteristics that suggest a virus, either by passive analysis of the code, or by executing it under emulation, so that its behavior can be safely monitored.

Inclusion in the following list of anti-virus products doesn't necessarily constitute a recommendation. Products change, and what works for one PC, environment, or organization won't necessarily work well in another. However, these are all competent products. In general, URLs in this chapter have been modified since the previous edition of this book, so that only the relevant domain name is given. Experience indicates that actual pages move around a lot. For a comprehensive list of vendors, try http://www.virusbtn.com/AVLinks/.

AntiViral Toolkit Pro (AVP)

AVP has been licensed by a number of vendors, but its exact status is uncertain at the time of writing. However, this is a very popular product. Check the Kaspersky Labs site for information about Kaspersky Anti-Virus, at


Kaspersky also provides a useful virus information site with virus encyclopedia at


Network Associates

The NAI range includes the current incarnations of McAfee and Dr. Solomon's for a wide range of workstation and server platforms, including PCs/Windows, Apple Macs, and UNIX (including Linux). The brand names McAfee and Dr. Solomon's are now usually applied to the same software, but the Dr. Solomon's brand is normally only used for the UK/European market. NAI's Web site is at


Norton Anti-Virus

Norton Anti-Virus is available for a wide range of workstation, server, and gateway platforms including DOS, Apple Macintosh, Windows 9x, and Windows NT/2000.



Eliashim, producer of eSafe and now part of the Aladdin empire, focuses primarily on gateway protection from viruses and other malicious software. Contact them at



PC-Cillin by Trend Micro can be found along with their InterScan gateway products at


Sophos Anti-Virus

Sophos is very focused on the corporate market. Products are available for a wide range of workstation, server, and gateway platforms, including PCs/Windows, Apple Macs, and UNIX (including Linux). Learn more at


Norman Virus Control

Norman Virus Control (NVC) by Norman Data Defense Systems can be found online at


F-PROT Anti-Virus

A number of products have been based on the F-Prot detection engine. The original product (which is free for personal use) can be found at


The product formerly sold by DataFellows as F-Prot Professional is now known as F-Secure, and is available at


The Command Software version of F-Prot Professional is at


Integrity Master

Integrity Master, by Stiller Research, combines an advanced change detector with conventional known-virus scanning. The Stiller Web site is a good source of general information (hoax information, for example) and is located at


There are hundreds of virus scanners and utilities. We have listed some previously because they have a good reputation, are easily available on the Internet, and are updated frequently. Viruses are found each day, all over the world. Most of them are unlikely ever to be seen In-the-Wild, but sometimes a formerly quiet virus will suddenly "get lucky" and go feral. New worms and other email-borne viruses like Melissa or LoveLetter can go from unknown to global within hours. Strange to think that only a few years ago, it was still normal for anti-virus software to be updated on a quarterly basis.

The second edition of this book included links to sources of freeware and shareware anti-virus utilities. These links have been removed. They haven't been replaced with more up-to-date links, as it would be doing the reader a disservice to imply that such utilities are still a realistic substitute for commercial software. This applies even for older machines, many of which are still supported by some vendors. In anti-virus as in real life, you generally get what you pay for, or sometimes less.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020