Antivirus & Multiple Detections

Published: 2020-05-17
Last Updated: 2020-05-17 21:08:39 UTC
by Didier Stevens (Version: 1)
4 comment(s)

"When a file contains more than one signature, for example EICAR and a real virus, what will the antivirus report?".

I'm paraphrasing a question I've been asked a couple of times.

The answer depends on the sample file and the antivirus.

To illustrate this question, I made a sample file: a ZIP file containing the EICAR antivirus test file and mimikatz.exe.

The EICAR file appears first:

The different antivirus programs I'm familiar with, will report just one detection: EICAR or mimikatz.

Like ClamAV:

Here we can see that ClamAV detects EICAR, and not mimikatz. This is because of performance reasons, ClamAV will stop scanning a file after the first detection. However, ClamAV has an option to make it continue scanning after a match:

Using this option makes that ClamAV reports EICAR and mimikatz:

Do you know antivirus programs with a similar option? Please post a comment!


Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP

4 comment(s)


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