How can this be a virus?

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

I run my virus scan­ner (ClamXav) once a week on my iMac, and have been do­ing so for years as part of my nor­mal main­te­nance rou­tine. This week, for the first time I had a hit! The virus is called ‘Win.Tro­jan. Sk­intrim-5564’ and ClamXav says that this file has been suc­cess­fully quar­an­tined. My con­cern is that the virus is ap­par­ently in file ‘hl2.exe’, which is the Half-Life 2 game. I in­stalled this from Steam years ago and haven’t played it for well over a year, so how could it be a virus? Mal­colm Jack­son-Stevens It isn’t. Win.Tro­jan.Sk­intrim-5564 is, as its name sug­gests, a Win­dows tro­jan. Tro­jans are rogue pro­grams that at­tempt to trick you into run­ning them by pre­tend­ing to be some­thing else. But you can’t run this one even if you wanted to be­cause it’s a Win­dows .exe file that won’t run on OS X. It’s prob­a­bly in your Half-Life 2 folder be­cause you con­verted a Steam in­stall from Win­dows to OS X some time ago. And to cap it all, I don’t think it’s even a tro­jan. Like all virus scan­ners, ClamXav pro­duces some false pos­i­tives. The tiny amount of OS X mal­ware out there makes misiden­ti­fi­ca­tions way more likely than a true read­ing, and as scan­ners are up­dated with more and more Win­dows virus sig­na­tures, that chance can only rise. You can check this for your­self by up­load­ing the file to virus­to­tal.com to com­pare the re­sults from other scan­ners.

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