ClamAV is short for Clam AntiVirus, which an open source antivirus program which functions on both Windows and Linux platforms. This toolkit has the power to detect a range of malicious scripts, such as viruses, trojans, malware, adware and spyware. It is primarily used to provide protection to mail servers by serving as a mail scanner.
ClamAV was originally developed for Unix systems, so it has a wide array of 3rd party versions to offer. These include Solaris, OpenVMS, MacOS, Tru64, Linux, BSD, AIX and HP-UX. As versatile as ClamAV is, it is also functional on Windows, and that version is also free. Most users feel that Linux is a very low-risk environment when it comes to security threats such as viruses, as most are designed to deploy on Windows machines. This is why the demand for Unix-based antivirus is relatively low, so people aren't really prepared to pay for security measures.
If there is sensitive or sentimental data and files on your machine or network and privacy and safekeeping are major concerns for you, the ClamAV will assist you.If you have a dual boot system whereby you log into both Windows and a Linux-based system on the same machine, then this program is especially useful for you. While logged into Linux, you can safely scan all your partitions, including the Windows data, to ensure that your machine has not been compromised. If the Windows system does have a virus, then by accessing the files without logging into Windows, you are minimizing the risk of the virus spreading or damaging your files when you log in.
ClamAV boast a range of useful tools and functionality. Its utilities include a database which updates automatically, a command-line scanner, and a multi-threaded daemon that is scalable, operating on a shared antivirus engine library. It also has a Milter interface, which is for scanning on demand and for outgoing mail. ClamAV supports a variety of formats, including RAR, Tar, Zip, Gzip, Cabinet, OLE2, Binex, and CMH. Additionally, it supports an array of office document formats, including RTF, HTML, MS Office files and sheets, and PDFs.
As free software goes, ClamAV has established itself as a reliable security measure for detecting the majority of security threats. It is especially good at detecting phishing emails. Unfortunately, it is also known for returning a lot of false positives, more that its competitors, so be aware of this when you install it on your server.
That being said, ClamAV stands tall and proud among its competitors. Shadowserver tested more than 25 million samples in 2011, using ClamAV and a score of other antivirus programs. ClamAV was able to successfully detect 76.6% of the malicious software.
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