If you have downloaded a file that you aren’t sure is safe or malicious, you can have it scanned locally on your computer using your existing antivirus or anti malware programs. You probably have one or two or maybe even three such scanners at most, and except one single resident, real-time scanner, others are likely to be demand only since no two real-time scanners can exist together without killing each other and the system it resides on. This is why online malware scanning services are so handy, because it allows you to scan files with multiple scanners without installing any of them locally on your computer. Let us look at some of the online malware scanning services at our disposal.
Malware Scanners Aggregator
VirusTotal – Possibly the most popular online virus scanner out there. Now a subsidiary of Google, VirusTotal aggregates more than 40 anti-virus vendors and their malware scanner and 40 URL scanners to analyze files and URLs submitted by users for detection of viruses, worms, trojans and other kinds of malicious content. The maximum file size that users can upload is 32 MB. Files can be uploaded either through the web interface or through a desktop program.
Jotti’s malware scan – Another aggregate service that scans uploaded files by 20 (at the time of this writing) malware scanners. Maximum upload file size is 25 MB. Files has to be uploaded via the web browser. If you are looking for a convenient desktop program to upload files, try JottiQ.
VirSCAN.org – The third aggregator malware scanning service checks files against 37 antivirus scanners. Maximum upload file size is 20 MB.
Metascan Online – Over 40 anti virus scanners are available under Metascan Online, and maximum upload file size is 40 MB. Metascan is also available as a server application with a local and network programming interface that allows administrators to setup a Metascan Online type of malware scanning service locally for their customers.
UploadMalware – This site allows users to submit up to 6 files at once for analysis by 50 antivirus software. You have to leave your email ID, where you will be contacted when the scanning is done and the results available.
Standalone Malware Scanners
Anubis – This is a malware behavior analysis service, where submitted files are run in an emulated environment and the execution is analyzed for security-relevant aspects of a program’s actions. Anubis is not really intended for end-users, rather malware and virus interested person to get a quick understanding of the purpose of an unknown binary.
Comodo Instant Malware Analysis – An automated malware scanner run by security products vendor Comodo.
Comodo Valkyrie – Another cloud based file analysis service from Comodo that tests user-submitted files with a range of static and dynamic detectors – including heuristics, file look-up and real-time behavior analysis. Maximum upload file size is 20 MB.
GFI SandBox – Automated malware analysis service that analyzes files for potential threats within a controlled environment. Results of analysis are sent to email.
EUREKA Malware Analysis – Eureka is a binary static analysis preparation framework that implements a novel binary unpacking strategy based on statistical bigram analysis and coarse-grained execution tracing. Eureka incorporates advanced API deobfuscation capabilities to facilitate the structural analysis of the underlying malware logic. For each uploaded binary, the Eureka service will attempt to unpack and (for Eureka I, disassemble; for Eureka II (not yet available), decompile) the binary, and will produce an annotated callgraph, subroutine/data index page, strings summary, and a list of embedded DNS entries.
(I didn’t understand any of the above, but apparently, it’s a sophisticated malware analysis service. But maximum upload file size is a paltry 5 MB.)
ThreatExpert – An automated threat analysis system designed to analyze and report the behavior of computer viruses, worms, trojans, adware, spyware, and other security-related risks in a fully automated mode. Maximum upload file size is 5 MB.
Vicheck.ca – An advanced malware detection engine designed to decrypt and extract malicious executables from common document formats such as MS Office Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Access, or Adobe PDF documents. Users can submit up to 5 files at once but the total size of all uploaded files shouldn’t be more than 10 MB.
F-Secure Sample Analysis Service is run by the security products vendor F-secure. Maximum upload file size is 10 MB.
Avira Online Analysis – You can submit multiple files to Avira for analysis using a drag-and-drop web interface.
Avast! Online scanner – Lets you scan files using Avast’s malware scanner of files up to 16 MB in size.
NoVirusThanks Online AntiVirus Scanner – Free service that allows users to upload and analyze a file with multiple Antivirus engines to help the detection of possible dangerous and infected files. Users can also analyze a website URL or a remote file with the option Scan Web Address. Maximum upload file size is 20 MB.
Know any other good malware scanners that should be in the list? Tell us.