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July 19, 2012
Some anti-virus software has started using “reputation-based” security algorithms – notably Symatec/Norton, but others are likely to follow. The general idea is that if their user base has not seen a file before (or has only seen it a few times), it should be considered unsafe. Depending on the settings of your virus scanning software you may receive a warning, the file may be quarantined, or the file may be deleted. In the case of Symantec/Norton, the warning threat is currently identified as “WS.Reputation.1”.
Although the concept of reputation-based filtering makes some sense, the current implementation causes significant problems for developers of small, niche software products (like Diablo Analytical). Since our software programs are used by hundreds, rather than millions, or tens of millions of customers, it is unlikely that the user base of a particular virus scanning software vendor will have installed the software very often, and thus, the reputation score will likely always be low.
Symantec does have a process to “white list” program files, and we have started to submit our installation programs for white listing. However, approval takes time, and every new release of the software has to be re-submitted. As other vendors implement this technology, the overhead associated with managing these white lists will become significant and probably unmanageable.
We take great care to ensure that our systems are free of virus and malware. In addition, all of our application and installation executable files are digitally signed to ensure that they have not been modified after we build them. However, if you still have concerns about downloading the software from our web site, you can request that we send you a physical installation CD.
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