Test your Antivirus with EICAR Test

All of you must be having an antivirus installed with your system or some firewall tools for protection. But how can be sure your defenses are actually working as well as you think they are?

Test Your Antivirus

No, I am not going to recommend downloading a virus to test your antivirus program – that’s not a good practice to play . Using real viruses for testing in the real world is rather like setting fire to the dustbin in your office to see whether the smoke detector is working. Such a test will give meaningful results, but with unappealing, unacceptable risks. If you ever want to test your antivirus software, you can use the EICAR test file. The EICAR test file isn’t an actual virus – it’s just a text file containing a string of harmless code that prints the text “EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!” if you run it in DOS. However, antivirus programs are all trained to recognize the EICAR file as a virus and respond to it just as they would respond to an actual virus.

You can download an EICAR test file from the EICAR website. However, you could also create your own EICAR test file by opening a text editor (such as Notepad), copy-pasting the following text into the file, and then saving it:




About the EICAR Script

The first 68 characters is the known string. It may be optionally appended by any combination of whitespace characters with the total file length not exceeding 128 characters. The only whitespace characters allowed are the space character, tab, LF, CR, CTRL-Z. To keep things simple the file uses only upper case letters, digits and punctuation marks, and does not include spaces. The only thing to watch out for when typing in the test file is that the third character is the capital letter “O”, not the digit zero.

Your antivirus program should react as though you had just created an actual virus.

If you are aware of people who are looking for real viruses “for test purposes”, bring the test file to their attention.