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Friday, August 19, 2011

Concerning false positive reports about AxCrypt from antivirus software

From time to time I get user reports about warnings from antivirus software concerning either the installer or one or more of the components of AxCrypt.

This causes great trouble both for me and the user. The user often winds up with an inoperable software, and I get a lot of extra work defending myself against unfounded allegations by software companies that take no responsibility whatsoever. They will not guarantee anything about the 'security' they provide, and they will not in any way assume responsibility for harm caused by flagging clean software falsely as malicious. In a normal legal context this would be called slander, and be cause for legal action.

Some facts about AxCrypt and AxCrypt distributions. AxCrypt is always built completely from source, we do not statically or dynamically link to any third party code except those libraries that are part of the Visual Studio development environment and which come directly from Microsoft.

Distributions are not built in a developer PC, they are built in a special purpose build server which only do that. No other software is installed than that required to build our various softwares there. This server is stationed behind double firewalls, and is never used for any general purpose.

As part of the automated build process, each executable is digitally signed with an authenticode certificate, issued to 'Axantum Software AB'. The issuer of this certificate do certify that such an entity exists, and that it is in good standing. I have provided them with proofs of the companys registration etc. This signing process then ensures that any bits distributed with that signature is traceable back to me and my company, and we would thus potentially be legally accountable for any malware intentionally placed there.

To sum it up: There is no infection in a distribution from me which is digitally signed with my authenticode certificate in the name 'Axantum Software AB'.

It is a continuing effort trying to defend oneself as an independent developer against the so-called anti-virus companies unfounded allegations.

It is beyond belief that a serious anti-virus vendor still in 2011 will flag a properly digitally signed executable as malicious.

If I had the financial resources I would take strong legal action, since this causes sometimes hard or impossible to repair harm to my good standing, and that of my programs.

Please check that you have the properly digitally signed versions of both the installer and the executable components if you are in doubt, instructions on how to do this are found here.

Please help the community by reporting your findings as a false positive to your anti-virus vendor. Although the vendors empathically deny this, they do share signatures (or 'borrow' from each other). This is clearly evidenced by the fact that these false-positive situations usually come in swarms where I get a few reports first from one vendor, and then most of the other vendors follow suit. That can't be a coincidence...

1 comment:

  1. Hello admin, I believe that AxCrypt is a one such successful antivirus software and I haven't come across any malware with it so far. Anyway thanks for this case study, it might be helpful to me in future.

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