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Malware Safety

Find out how to keep your systems protected whilst handling malware

How To Test Antivirus

Read our step-by-step guides on how to test your antivirus software

Contact Us

Twitter: @testmyav

Email: [email protected]


Read some of our most common questions and answers.

Which Antivirus is Best

Just want a recommendation for the latest and greatest antivirus software?

Malware Infections

Got an emergency? Infected with malware? Help is at hand.


Recommended software and hardware for testing antivirus and staying safe


Get your hands on fresh malware for testing your antivirus

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re thinking it, someone has probably already asked it.

Malware Samples

Some more information on the malware we have available

Which malware package should I use?

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.

Where does this malware come from?

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.

Why do you mix the malware samples?

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.

Can I get a different mix of malware samples?

Yes, feel free to get in touch and ask about a different recipe for a malware package.

How do I open these encrypted zip files?

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.

What's the password for the malware zip files?

The password is “testmyav” (without the ” “). We chose this over the industry standard “infected” for a number of reasons.

  1. Some web filters attempt to decrypt and open encrypted zip files with the well known password of “infected” so we wanted something different. (Note, if your web filter blocks zips or encrypted zips your out of luck anyway.)
  2. The password isn’t a secret, it’s just there to stop the zip’s contents being scanned and the malware detected. It also protects you from accidental opening. So the password doesn’t need to be complex.
  3. The most simple, memorable and relevant password we could think of was the all lowercase “testmyav”.

Handling Malware Safely

Stay safe whilst testing your antivirus

Is handling malware really safe?

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.

How do I stay safe whilst testing live malware?

It’s pretty straightforward, so we wrote a post on measures we recommend to stop yourself getting infected or spreading it on to others.

I'm infected. Help me clean it up.

We can help. Start here and get in touch.

About TestMyAV

Everything else we get asked

Who runs the TestMyAV website?

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.

Is TestMyAV free?

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.

How do I contribute to the site?

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.

What data are you collecting on me?

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.

Heard about GDPR? Want to know more? Check out our sister site at TheGDPRGuy.com