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nicolagear


Joined: 03 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Leeds
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Can someone confirm wether it is possible a virus can be contained within a photo such as a jpg?
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GuitarBob


Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4279
Location: USA
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You can upload questionable files to Jotti at http://virusscan.jotti.org/en or VirusTotal at https://www.virustotal.com/ on the web. Both services will scan your file with multiple antivirus programs, including Clam AV (which provides the scanning engine used by ClamWin) and give you the results. I like to see 2 of these AVs verify a file as infected before I believe it: Avira AntiVir, Bitdefender, NOD32, Kaspersky, or Sophos.

Regards,
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Re: email photos
Dgriff


Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Dublin
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nicolagear wrote:
Can someone confirm wether it is possible a virus can be contained within a photo such as a jpg?


As far as I know the answer is no. As long as the extension is .jpeg , .gif , .mp3 etc. you wont have anything to worry about. These type files are not executable and only have one extension. I remember reading somewhere that a method called stenography can embed a virus into a photo but browsers don't recognize it so it's nothing to worry about.

I remember reading up on this about 6 months ago. We all know that 6 months is a long time in IT, so I'll be happy if someone can confirm my statement or correct it.
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GuitarBob


Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4279
Location: USA
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Gif, jpeg, and jpg extensions can harbor a virus, but this it not seen very often. Just check files with Jotti or Virus Total.

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Silly Snake


Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Greenvale Idaho
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Thanks for the info. I was actually curious about that myself. Any chance a virus can come through a mp3?
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GuitarBob


Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4279
Location: USA
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MP3 is still listed as a dangerous file extension, but I haven't seen a virus using that extension in a long time. You can get a list of dangerous Windows file extensions at http://prasoon-nigam.blogspot.com/2011/08/list-of-dangerous-file-extensions.html on the web. The list is not quite complete (no list ever is), so it may not have some of the exotic extensions, but it is pretty good.

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basketballjack


Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
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+1 for Virustotal.com for email attachments
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Re: email photos
Maki


Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
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Dgriff wrote:
nicolagear wrote:
Can someone confirm wether it is possible a virus can be contained within a photo such as a jpg?


As far as I know the answer is no. As long as the extension is .jpeg , .gif , .mp3 etc. you wont have anything to worry about. These type files are not executable and only have one extension. I remember reading somewhere that a method called stenography can embed a virus into a photo but browsers don't recognize it so it's nothing to worry about.

I remember reading up on this about 6 months ago. We all know that 6 months is a long time in IT, so I'll be happy if someone can confirm my statement or correct it.


Thanks, this is good to know.

It's a little hard to believe that is possible to have a virus in jpeg. But, who knows.
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GuitarBob


Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4279
Location: USA
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A creative malware writer can put a virus in lots of files that you would not think would be accommodative. In the case of JPG, JPEG, and GIF files, the malware would have to be specially crafted. Viruses have even appeared in MP3 and AVI files, but it has been a while now. In addition to the usual executable stuff (EXE, DLL, SCR), I have lately seen more HTM and HTML malware and lots of PHP stuff. The virus writers seed web sites (some of them innocent sites) with PHP script that will redirect the user to a drive-by download. The AV companies do not presently do very well at spotting PHP malware, and that is why it is being used.
I sure wish Microsoft, Google, FireFox, et al would do more to secure their browsers. Ditto Adobe and Oracle for their widely-used programs.

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Re: email photos
blters


Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Jakarta
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nicolagear wrote:
Can someone confirm wether it is possible a virus can be contained within a photo such as a jpg?


According to current technology, yes of course it is possible for some virus to be contained in a photo. Even though I have no idea how. For us the users, in my humble opinion we need to do some prevention of malware destruction to our compter system by being wise in downloading or even just viewing some thing we are not sure it is safe or not. The source of some data is to be concerned. Thank you. Smile
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GuitarBob


Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4279
Location: USA
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Malware in photos must be specially crafted. I have seen it in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, and .png a few times. You do not see it used with these extensions very often. Most malware will be in Windows executable files like .exe, .dll, .tmp, .ocx, and sometimes in other file types like .pdf, .htm, .js (Javascript), .zip, .pdf, .swf, .class (Java), and .scr. Malware authors like to hide their malware in filenames that look like they are pdf files, screensaver files (.scr), Office files (.doc, .xls, .ppt), but the final extension will be a Windows executable extension (.exe, .dll) on the end. They often will have UPS, Fed-EX, USPS, DHL, Photo/foto somewhere in the filename. If you see such a filename with a .exe extension, it is probably malware.

You are right! All of us users need to be careful about what we download. You can not always depend upon your antivirus. It may not have a signature for a very new virus, and sometimes malware is downloaded in little pieces to slip by the AV. The trend in malware is to have smaller numbers of viruses that are changed often to avoid detection by AVs. Large malware outbreaks are not seen as often today.

Regards,
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