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Start with the “Average Combined” malware package. It has a mix of malware that is most similar to what most organisations are seeing on a daily basis. We update the recipe of malware type percentages as we hear of real world changes.
We collect malware from a number of sources and specific contributors, including honeypots, automated feeds and manual creations. Most sources have chosen to stay private but we’ll gladly publicise the names of any contributors should they approve it.
The idea of creating these malware “packages” of mixed samples in a recipe of percentage ratios is to reflect real world scenarios. It allows us to easily create and provide different packages that relate to different people and different tests. For example, a test of an endpoint PC that has several layers of AV protection before it (e.g. email / web filters) might require testing against proportionately much more aggressive and evasive malware than a perimeter anti-malware product. Feel free to suggest a different recipe for a malware package here.
The zip files containing the malware executables are all encrypted with a password of “testmyav”. “7-Zip” is a great (and free) tool to open these zip files and extract the malware inside. More tools are available on the Tools page.
The password is “testmyav” (without the ” “). We chose this over the industry standard “infected” for a number of reasons.
If you know what you’re doing, yes. At a high level, malware is only dangerous when it is executed by something or someone. For example, a dormant executable file isn’t going to magically jump into life. But accidents happen and even the most professional of malware analysts infect themselves occasionally, so a bit of paranoia can be healthy and isolation is king here. Keep malware away from things you care about, and you’ll be okay. Read more on malware safety.
TestMyAV is run by Carl Gottlieb, Consulting Director of the British Cyber Security company Cognition Secure, and Carl has a major bee in his bonnet about antivirus. Almost every organisation recognises that their anti-malware products aren’t very good yet few feel equipped with the knowledge and capability to find out for themselves which products really work. Carl has presented this topic at BSides London in June 2016 and encourages people to test products themselves and not to implicitly trust anyone’s biased advice (even his). Carl feels so passionately about this that he created this website to help everyone that wants to test their products for themselves.
For end-users we will always have a free service. We don’t have advertising from anti-malware vendors that could degrade the independence of the site. Of course the website has its costs, both in technology and man time, and that’s covered by the owners, Cognition Secure, a UK based Data Security company, as well as a few commercial organisations that subscribe for premium malware access.
We want to make this website as useful, complete and accurate as possible. So if you have your own malware to share, or have testing guides, tools or techniques to recommend then please contact us here. It’d be massively welcome.
We automatically try to collect metrics on everyone that visits the TestMyAV website using Google Analytics. If you register for access to malware then we also collect information from your social media profile. Find out exactly what here.