In my travels to find a solution to the latest threat facing Facebook users, I ran across this antivirus scanning service. The company that offers the service is the same company that I purchased my antivirus software from about 6 months ago, ESET. I’ve been using their software for over half a year so far, yet this is the first time I’ve run across this service.
Anyway, after I discovered this gem, I decided to test-drive the service.
I’ve got several rigs, one is currently running the ESET NOD32, so I didn’t expect anything to show up with that one. My IBM workhorse, however, has been running without an antiviral program for over a year now, ever since I decided to drop Symantec Norton Antivirus. As I stated in a previous post, it was just too much of a drag on the system.
My other systems were recently rebuilt with bare-metal operating system installs… that’s techno-talk for a raw windows installation. So there was almost no chance for anything to have infected them. They haven’t been out in the web playground long enough to pick up any communicable diseases.
The best chance I had of catching something nefarious was on my IBM rig that has been operating sans antiviral software for over a year. Here’s what transpired.
First stop is to get to the ESET website online scanner. You can get there from the resource link on the side panel or by clicking here.
Here’s the installation part. And you may have to actively give your browser permission to do this. If your browser is configured for security, you will see a yellow bar along the top of your browser. This bar simply states that a site is trying to download executable software on your system and you will need to left click the bar in order to allow the software to download.
Do you want to do this all the time?
Well, only for sites that you trust and for software that you know about. You can do it for this paricular software.
The executable being downloaded and installed is the antivirus engine that will run the virus scan along with the required virus definitions.
Once the software is downloaded, you will come to ESET welcome page. It will give you the three steps that will be performed on you system during the process: the installation of the antivirus software, the actual antivirus scan, and then it will display the results from the scan.
Hitting start begins the process with the installation and the initialization of the scanning engine
After the system has initialized, the system pauses to get further instructions before the actual antivirus scan. It gives you the option of removing the found threats and the option to scan any unwanted applications. In general, you will want both of these checked.
Once both check boxes are checked, hit the scan button and you are off to the races:
The antivirus scan will examine everything on your local drives. As you can see here, I have an old copy of ACT 2007 that I should someday take the time to get rid of. Salesforce.com has since replaced it. There’s a lot of stuff on here that needs to be taken to the cleaners. At some point in the future we’ll talk about another little utility that I discovered that identifies all of the apps on your system that are un-patched, insecure, or obsolete. But for now, let’s stick to looking for viral infections.
When the antivirus scan is finished, you get a screen that may look something like this:
Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell me much. I’d like to think that this means I have no malicious software on my system. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that need to see it catch something in order to know that it works.
So I tried it on my other machines as well. As you can guess all of them passed this scan with flying colors, as well they should. As I said before, one is running the full version of NOD32 and the others can be considered “newborns”.
I’ll have an opportunity to test this again during the week against some other machines. I’ll give you an update after I complete their examinations.
In the meantime, if you run the scanner on your system and discover something (like maybe you caught something), feel free to leave me a comment. I’d love to know what this utility can really capture.