The very first entry I posted at Krebs on Security, Virus Scanners for Virus Authors, introduced readers to two services that let virus writers upload their creations to see how well they are detected by numerous commercial anti-virus scanners. In this follow-up post, I take you inside of a pair of similar services that allow customers to periodically scan a malware sample and receive alerts via instant message or e-mail when a new anti-virus product begins to detect the submission as malicious.
While there are free services like VirusTotal and Jotti that will let visitors upload a suspicious file and scan it against dozens of commercial anti-virus tools, the reports produced by the scans are shared with all of the participating anti-virus makers so that those vendors can incorporate detection for newly discovered malware into their products. While virus writers probably would love to use such services to fine-tune the stealth of their malware, they may not want their unique malware samples broadly shared among the anti-virus community before the malware has even had a chance to infect PCs.
So it’s not hard to see why some malware authors and purveyors choose to avoid these free services in favor of subscription products that scan submitted files with multiple anti-virus engines, yet prevent those results from being shared with the anti-virus vendors. Such is the business model behind scan4you.net, a service that charges 15 cents for each file checked. Scan4you will scan your malware against 30 anti-virus products, but promises it will bar those products from snarfing up a copy of the malware:
“This service is about to help you in anonymous check of different anti-virus system. This check will be made by numbers of anti-virus system and no reports will be send to developers of this anti-virus system. You can be fully sure that your files will not be send to anti-virus databases. All reporting system in our version of anti-virus engines was disabled MicrosoftSpyNet, ESET ThreatSense.Net Early Warning System etc.”
For 15 cents, you can scan your file to see if any potential victim’s anti-virus program will detect it. Or maybe you’re more interested in seeing how well your drive-by download site is flagged by anti-virus products as malicious? Perhaps you want to see whether your site is listed on any of the major spam and anti-malware blacklists? All these checks can be had for $0.15 each.
So your malware is invisible by to all anti-virus products? Yay for you, but it won’t stay that way: Sooner or later, the malware author is going to need to tweak his creation or replace it with a newer version, or risk having the invader detected and killed by anti-virus software on the victim’s PC. Probably the most innovative feature of scan4you.net is a service that lets you choose the interval time to have your file re-scanned, and then receive alerts whenever an anti-virus product starts shipping detection for your malware. Customers can select anywhere from a 1-24 hour rescan interval, and receive update alerts via e-mail, ICQ, Gmail chat, or Jabber (see screen shot above).
Another service, avcheck.ru, does essentially the same thing — allowing users to scan their creations and receive periodic updates about future detection — but with fewer anti-virus products and fewer instant alert options.