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What is a safe way to download viruses?

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4029090 posted 11:38 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a web app where users may upload files. All kinds of files - PDFs, ZIPs, EXEs, MP3s, AVIs, you name it. As they're uploaded, they're put directly into a storage cloud; they do not reside on my PC or on my web server.

I would like to verify that these files are not infected or malicious.

So, I was thinking I'd download all this stuff from the cloud into a folder on my C:, and use my virus scanner - Microsoft Security Essentials - to scan them.

But maybe that's not a safe thing to do?
Some of these files may be dangerous.

Is there a safe way to handle potentially infected data? I have this notion that it's like handling radioactive isotopes - I need the proper gear to do it safely.




WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4029090 posted 12:01 am on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

linux and then use a VM with your windows in and your AV to do the download ..if it gets trashed ..it's no big deal :)

search string = "virtual machines for linux that will run windows os" read ..make your choice :)


BTW I wouldn't depend on just MSE to catch every nasty it might show some crud as clean ..and you would not want to pass on infections to others ..by re-upping or whatever it is you'll do at the end.

And the reason why a VM on linux is a better idea than a VM on windows ( to check for nasties) is that linux is alien territory to it ..so if you made a mistake ..it would not matter :)

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:12 am (utc) on Nov. 21, 2009]


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4029090 posted 12:07 am on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)


I would agree that this would be the safest way. Keep a backup of working setup and it will be convenient, too. If something gets screwed up, restore, and there you go.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4029090 posted 11:35 am on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Assuming the file is deleted directly after downloading, there is no risk. However, if you plan to automate this process, you may have to disable real-time scanning - this does constitute a risk.

It's a guess but at least one of the main antivirus providers probably provides an online-scanner. This would be much faster since only a fraction of a file is normally scanned.


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