Avira DE-Cleaner is a new specialized security software from the makers of the popular antivirus software AntiVir. The program has been designed as an on-demand virus scanner that can be installed or used as a portable version. The tool has been created in cooperation with the Anti-Botnet Advisory Center, an initiative run by the Association of the German Internet Industry (eco) which is backed up by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).
The goal of the advisory center is to aid and help computer users remove Botnet Threats from their computers. This is done by educating users about potential threats and securing computers, giving them easy to use tools at hand to scan their computers and remove infections, and working closely with Internet Service Providers who are informed about affected customers.
Avira's DE-Cleaner falls into the "easy to use tools" category. The program has been released with a German interface only at this point in time. Most users on the other hand should not have a problem using the tool, even if they do not speak German as the controls have been reduced to a bare minimum.
Let me walk you through the installation and use of the antivirus scanner:
Avira DE-Cleaner Installation, Use
It begins with the download of the program files after the application has been started on the local computer system. This is an automatic process that requires no user interaction.
The German terms of service are displayed. Information about the data that is collected by the application are available in English on the Botfrei website. The Akzeptieren (accept) button accepts the license agreement, Beenden (cancel) would close the application.
The next page displays several options that require explanation. The "USB-Gerät kopieren" link offers to copy the software to an USB device for portable use.
The "Vollständige Systemprüfung durchführen" checkbox can be checked to run a complete system scan instead of a scan of the most important directories and files.
A click on Suchlauf starten begins the scan of the computer.
The processing time depends highly on the speed of the computer, the type of scan (complete, quick) and the storage devices and their files.
It is possible to cancel the scan at anytime with a click on the Abbrechen (cancel) button. Avira DE-Cleaner indicates malicious software in the line "Gefundene Schadsoftware".
The scan results window displays the number of potentially dangerous objects that have been found during the scan.
Here it is possible to select "Alle entfernen" to remove the objects from the system, "Details ansehen" to view details about the files that have been found during the scan or "Abbrechen" to cancel all operations.
It is recommended to select Details ansehen to look at the scan results before deleting files on the system.
Avira DE-Cleaner lists the files and their infection on the scan details window. The view lacks location information and an option to open the folders the files are stored in. The program seems to have found two phishing emails on the computer during the scan. I first thought that the program did scan my inbox, but it scanned only the mailbox files on the system (and suggested to remove those which is BAD).
The "entfernen" checkbox indicates if a file is included in the removal. The "Ausgewählte entfernen" button deletes the selected items, Abbrechen cancels the process.
Avira's security tool displays a summary in the end which lists the scanned files and folders, the time and malicious files it discovered during the scan.
A click on "Ausführlicher Bericht anzeigen" displays a log file of the scan. This can be actually pretty helpful to determine the location of the potentially dangerous files that have been found during the scan. I was able to determine that the program scanned the Thunderbird mailboxes on the computer which contained two phishing emails. I did not want to try the disinfection as it could very well corrupt the mailbox.
It is therefor advised to be very cautious if the program detects malicious files or data in mailboxes.
Users have the option to send the scan report to the Anti-Botnet Center which use it to improve their service. Bericht Senden would send the report, Bericht nicht senden not.
Avira DE-Cleaner appears to be using the Antivir engine for its scans. The core purpose of the program is to make antivirus scans of a system as easy as possible. The main problem that I see is that it does not provide enough information about items that it found, so that it is often difficulty to determine if the files should be deleted. There does not seem to be a quarantine which means that it is not possible to restore the files at a later time.
The program could do with an English user interface as it would increase the reach of the application. While it is not difficulty to use, most users do prefer information in a language that they speak, especially when it comes to PC security and file deletions.
Avira DE-Cleaner is provided for the Windows operating system. No further compatibility information are provided, it ran fine without problems on a 64-bit Windows 7 test system.