OpenAV: Developing Open Source AntiVirus Engines

Wednesday, 18 December 2002, 1:24 PM EST

According to its Web site, the OpenAntivirus Project is “a platform for people seriously interested in antivirus research, network security and computer security to communicate with each other, to develop solutions for various security problems, and to develop new security technologies.” Among these technologies are ScannerDaemon, VirusHammer and PatternFinder, which are “a first implementation of a GPLed virus scanner written in Java.”

This article will take a look at the OpenAntivirus AV engine, assess its progress so far, and offer some suggestions of how the developers can continue to develop it. While some of the commentary in the following sections may be fairly critical, the purpose of this paper is not to flame the OpenAV project or its developers but, on the contrary, to salute their efforts. Hopefully, this article and the comments herein will make a significant contribution to the development of a viable, working open source antivirus product.

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