Anti-Virus Hall of Shame

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Antivirus vendors catch viruses using signatures of little bits of virus. That way the software doesn't have to store whole viruses, and even better, if the virus changes it may still be recognized.

Only some vendors use very short bits of virus. So small in fact, that innocent programs are often reported as containing viruses. In fact, even a simple Hello World example gets reported as malware.

Why would they do this? Because it's cheaper for them to accuse an innocent program, then to actually test their signatures in a more robust manner. If a developer doesn't want their program falsely accused, they can spend their time and register their program as innocent with dozens of vendors, and pray that their program is accepted. Until the next revision, that is.

The problem is especially bad for hobby programmers. Not only are the vendors wasting the programmer's unpaid personal time, the false positives seem to especially be triggered by using open source tools. One might guess the reasoning is that virus authors use open source tools, so therefore open source tool users are virus authors, QED.

I am a hobby coder, and open source programmer, and I am tired of trying to trick the virus engines by using different debug options. I'm tired of explaining to users what a false positive is. I'm tired of wasting my time trying to update these vendor websites with each code revision. So I created this list of Antivirus engines that regularly flag my software.

If your Antivirus vendor is on this list, you probably find a lot of software you download is broken, and get alerted unnecessarily. Save yourself, save hobby programmers, and get yourself some better Antivirus software.

Regular Offenders 2019

  • AhnLab-V3
  • Avast
  • AVG
  • Cylance
  • DrWeb
  • Ikarus
  • Rising