Archive for December, 2005

Gmail AntiVirus Test Drive

| December 3rd, 2005

After all the buzz about Gmail integrating an anti-virus scanner floating around on the web since yesterday I decided to test it out myself.

As per Gmail:

If a virus is found in an attachment you’ve received, our system will attempt to remove it, or clean the file, so you can still access the information it contains. If the virus can’t be removed from the file, you won’t be able to download it.

So I sent the EICAR Anti-Virus test file to my account and this is what I actually recieved:

This message has been processed by Brightmail(r) AntiVirus using Symantec’s AntiVirus Technology.

eicar.com was infected with the malicious virus EICAR Test String and has been deleted because the file cannot be cleaned.eicar.com was infected with the malicious virus EICAR Test String and has been deleted because the file cannot be cleaned.

eicar.com was infected with the malicious virus EICAR Test String and has been deleted because the file cannot be cleaned.

then again Gmail said:

If a virus is found in an attachment you’re trying to send, you won’t be able to send the message until you remove the attachment.

so I tried that out to by first trying to attach the eicar.com file to the outgoing mail for which Gmail responded as:

I also tried attaching the zipped virus and the response was similar:

Conclusion: Gmail uses Brightmail(r) AntiVirus using Symantec’s AntiVirus Technology which sure does its job well. The feature of not allowing a user to attach an infected file into the outgoing mail looks promising.

I had mailed Google about a month back regarding the new service idea I had come up with only to find yesterday that someone else too had thought of it (G2G) )-: . This is what my idea was:-

Hi,

I came up with an idea for a new Google service and thought it would be nice to share it with you. Gmail already offers infinite storage space. This has led to people not deleting their mails but rather storing them. Now many mails do have attachments in thm which may be pictures, videos, documents, audio files etc. Its like every user has their own private online hard drive.

Now what I propse is that these attachments (not the content of mails) should be allowed to be searchable/browseable if the owner of the mail wants them to (by setting attachment permissions for that mail to public). In such a case with more and more people sharing attachments we can have a sort of online peer-to-peer file sharing system. People would then be able to search for attachments made public. This could later be evolved by enabling folksonomies (tagging).

Regards,
Anand Kishore.

Lesson Learnt: “Implement your ideas (even if a prototype implementation) before someone else does it.”

I mailed Joshua regarding this and this is what he had to say:

Joshua: It’s in the next release of the blog-posting code and will be out soon.

Well till then you can workaround with the help of the previous post.