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I need to use a piece of windows software which is made by a small independent developer.

I dont have any specific reasons to be concerned about security of this software, but am always cautious.

Are there some tests i can do prior to installing the .exe that would show me if there where issues / viruses / malware within the software. For instance would running a Anti Virus Scan on the .exe (I use Avast Free for W10) work ?

Please note this isnt about running a check sum against the downloaded file, its about the actual file itself.

  • You scan it with your security software that's about all you can do but that isn't a perfect solution but there isn't a better solution hence the reason we have security software that still identifies safe files as malicious files as false positives – Ramhound Sep 15 '17 at 12:45
  • @Ramhound would the AV / Security software be any better at threat identification / malicious processes as the software is running, rather than pre testing the .exe prior to installation ? – sam Sep 15 '17 at 12:53
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    Upload it to VirusTotal? – Mokubai Sep 15 '17 at 13:26
  • @sam - That entirely depends on the specific security software you are using. Even VirusTotal isn't a perfect solution. – Ramhound Sep 15 '17 at 13:41
  • New VirusTotal:: virustotal.com and Old VirusTotal:: virustotal.com/en – Biswapriyo Sep 16 '17 at 20:45
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You can run it in a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox or VMware Workstation) and see how it behaves. Or use a sandbox (like Sandboxie); you will see what files are installed.

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Take a look at virustotal.com You can upload your file to it. There are likely other sites also.

However, there are threats other than known malware. If you're really concerned then you need to run it in a 'sandbox' or virtual machine.

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