If you are in the business of downloading and testing lots of different applications, you better make sure that the programs that you run on your PC are clean and not infected with some nasty malware. If you have the resources, you could build a PC only for testing and nothing else, but if you are on your own, you probably have to find a different solution that is not as expensive or time consuming. Sandboxing comes to mind as one of the most effective options. Still, you need to scan the program if you write about it as it may provide you with information that you need to communicate to your readers who may not all run sandboxing software or up to date antivirus software that protects their data from malware.
The main service that I use to test a file for traces of malware is VirusTotal which scans the file using more than 40 different antivirus engines from respected companies such as Avast, AVG, Symantec, Dr. Web or Microsoft.
The service is great for single-file verifications, but not so great if you have a number of files that you want to check. That's were programs like the official VirusTotal Uploader or Raymond's X-Ray come into play.
X-Ray 2.0 has just been released by Raymond. The program is a frontend for VirusTotal that offers additional features on top of the functionality that VirusTotal provides. It has three core features:
The new version features several improvements, most prominently full support for VirusTotal's API 2.0, support for automatic captach recognition services, proxy support, and a right-click send to option to use the program from within Windows Explorer.
The software could use some form of automation. When you drag and drop multiple files into the interface or use the add suspicious files button to do so, you will notice that the files won't get submitted automatically. You need to click on the get report or send to buttons for each file individually to get reports. It would be handy if you could click a button only once, or configure the program to use a default action automatically when files are added, to improve the usability.
It also appears that you need to click on the get report button after you have submitted a file that is unknown to VirusTotal to get the report. The analysis is not automatically displayed in the program window.
X-Ray 2.0 regardless of that is a well designed program that aids you in the verification of files using VirusTotal's online scanning service. Software authors in addition can use it to submit their programs for testing to various antivirus companies. The application is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.