How To Check Virus Online by Uploading File?

Do you sell any digital goods online? Have you received any complaint from few users saying their Antivirus is blocking the file?

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I sell few e-books (Free + Paid) & plugins. I use Mac OS, as it’s more secure than Windows. Needless to say, I’m little paranoid about security. I ensure my system remains safe by using inbuilt Mac Firewall & stay away from downloading files from unreliable sources.

Getting back to why I ended up searching for online virus scanner:

ShoutMeLoud free WordPress Guide eBook has been downloaded more than 5000 times and in the past 2 months, I received 2 emails saying that their antivirus software (Avast to be precise) disabled the file access. Here is the email that I received:

Virus detected in a file
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This was something unlikely to happen & I started digging more into this issue. The very first step was to check if the file is infected or not. (Do read the second section to learn about virus false positive detection).

My requirement was simple, as I needed one tool that could check the database of all popular antiviruses & detect any viruses, worms, trojans or malware in my uploaded file.

While I was researching for the tool, I landed on a pretty awesome tool & also some interesting findings that you will be learning in this article.

VirusTotal: An online Tool to check a file to Viruses or Malware

VirusTotal is a free online virus checker tool where you can upload any file & it would test it for the presence of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware. Along with file upload, you can also check any online website/URL & find out if they contain any viruses. This is useful for bloggers as they often get warning that their site has been compromised, and with Virustotal you can quickly check your page to clarify your suspicion.

The tool is pretty easy to use. You can head to their homepage; click on “choose file” to upload any file from your computer (Up to 128 MB) & click on Scan it.

upload file check for Virus
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The tool will analyze your file with all popular antiviruses & show you the result on the next page along with detected warning. Here is what happened when I scanned one of my ebooks:

VirusTotal online virus scanner result
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Even though Virustotal suggested this file to be harmless, but Avast anti-virus was showing “PDF:UrlMal-inf [Trj]” error. That means any user who has Avast anti-virus will get a warning just like Digitalud got one above.

What is PDF:UrlMal-inf [Trj] & how to fix?

This is where things get interesting as I started researching more about PDF:UrlMal-inf [Trj] warning. After a bit of probing, I got the solution from Avast official support as many other users faced the similar warning.

One user who was using iCloud to create a To-do list for himself also got such warning. Here is what Kevin experienced:

Avast web shield Issue
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So the issue is with the Web shield module of Avast Antivirus & a response from Avast staff made the situation clear.

This is what Avast support staff suggested:

Hello,
This detection means that the PDF contains some URL that is blocked. For more info send us the PDF through https://support.avast.com/ -> Avast Virus Lab

Usually, a PDF file has many weblinks & if there is any link that is blocked by Avast, they will block the file access with the warning. This issue could happen with any Word doc or any file that contains a hyperlink to a website that is blocked by Avast database.

At this moment, I couldn’t find a resource online which could let me check which URL is that, so here is what I did & hope it would help anyone in a similar condition like me.

Head over to Avast support & create a support ticket. Let them know about the issue & also attach the file that is blocked by Avast or showing PDF: UrlMal-inf [Trj] issue in VirusTotal. This is what I emailed them:

Avast Support
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Now, all you need to do is wait for Avast support team to reply back & you can remove the URL that is blocked by them. In Kevin’s case, it was a popular site called Couchsurfing.com.

Another workaround:

Here is another workaround which would work when you have few links in your pdf or doc file. You can remove all links & add them one by one. After adding every link, either use VirusTotal or scan it using Avast online scanner to find the link that is blocking. At this moment, the only suggestion is to remove the link from your file & notify the Website owner about this issue. In most of the cases, the website owner will reach out to Avast team to whitelist their website.

Bonus tip for Website owners who are blocked by Avast Web-shield:

Most of the time Avast blocks a website because your server I.P. might be listed in Anti-spam database. This is very common with shared hosting users who are sharing same I.P. with over hundreds of other sites. You can check using Blacklist checker tool to see if your server I.P. is banned in any of the spam databases.

Read: Does shared hosting affect Website SEO?

Here is how to check if your website I.P. is blacklisted.

  • Go to this online ping tool & in the host name type your website URL without www. (Ex: ShoutMeLoud.com)
  • Copy the I.P. address that it pinged. For example here is what I got for ShoutMeLOud 64 bytes from 104.28.18.5: icmp_seq=1 ttl=58 time=5.25 ms, and 104.28.18.5 is the I.P address.
  • Go to Blacklist checker tool & paste the I.P. address & click on check blacklists. If you see any warning message, it’s time for you to either get a dedicated I.P. or change your hosting. Here is what result for ShoutMeLoud looks like:

Website Blacklist status
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I hope this would give you a lot of new perspectives when you are selling any digital goods online, or your website is being marked as a suspicion by any antivirus or firewall software’s.

Do let me know if you found any virus in your file uploaded on VirusScan or is your website blacklisted in the anti-spam database?

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

29 thoughts on “How To Check Virus Online by Uploading File?”

  1. Avast is a robust anti-virus indeed. Windows operating system is virus prone because hackers love it. Windows is the most hacked operating system in the world. As Harsh said, use Mac OS if you can afford it, but for those who can’t like me, use Linux Mint or Ubuntu.

  2. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Thanks harsh for this awesome tips. Actually I am looking for some programs to check viruses while uploading my files online and this article really helps me a lot. Great Job.

  3. I also like to stay away from virus sources, I prefer Kaspersky Internet security for better protection, but it has more resource usage than any other internet security. Thank you, Harsh, for your awesome tips.

  4. Hello bro,
    I was using total virus from last few months but never I was able to see how it notifies about the ‘virus’. With the help of your article I’m able to know how it detects and notifies.

    Thank you…

  5. Thanks for this method. I actually found one of my site’s IP blacklisted by Avast. A warning had alerted me when I entered it on the Ping tool. I guess I have to find another host.

  6. Online scanning is a file is the best way to check whether the file you are downloaded is safe or not. As it scans with multiple antivirus which are connected cloud virus database. Thanks for this post.

  7. Hello Harsh,

    Thanks Buddy for this awesome tips. I use AVG antivirus but when i am unable to find virus but now with the help of your article I am able to know how it detects and notifies.

    Thank You

  8. Thedore Nwangene

    Hello Harsh,
    This is really an awesome tool and i wonder why i didn’t discover it before now. Virus can really be a pain in the ass if not taken care of, it can give you lots of headache indeed.

    I’ve also received an email some years ago from one of my blog readers and he was telling me that he wanted to visit my blog and was warned that it is not safe and man, i was really disturbed upon receiving that email but i remembered i was able to get the matter resolved later but can’t really remember the tool i used.

    I’m going to check out Virus Total right away so i can see things with my own eyes :).

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. For Real? is this a sponsored article?

    Their privacy policies explicitly state that they will retain and share your information as they see fit

    Information we share
    When you submit a file to VirusTotal for scanning, we may store it and share it with the anti-malware and security industry (normally the companies that participate in VirusTotal receive files containing virus samples that their engines do not detect and are catalogued as malware by at least one other engine). The samples can be analysed by automatic tools and security analysts to detect malicious code and to improve antivirus engines. Participating anti-malware and security companies will adhere to VirusTotal’s Best Practices when using the samples.

    TIP: DO NOT ever upload a file unless you really have to. Spend the money and buy a well known reputable antivirus application for your machine. If you are paranoid, buy two.

  10. MD Aslam parvez

    Thank’s , i will try it cause i really need this, i hope this will help me thankโ€™s for sharing.

  11. Hi,

    Learn some new stuff from your post and thanks for sharing other website to check server I.P.

    Hope will get more new interesting post from you in future.

    Thanks,
    Satish

  12. Mahesh Dandyala

    This article is very useful for those who uploads a quite files to online. Nice post #Harsh and this was in very detail ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Hi Harsh,
    You creatively came out with the solution. When I find this issue in daily routine life then I use my own solution which cannot be said right but I do it on my own risk. Your’s way is a good idea to sort out this issue.

    Your website is an authenticated source to download the free and paid resources. However, we should take precaution each time.

    I have a doubt in my mind. Suppose I put a downloadable link in the virualtotal. ok! Then I click on the check and it begins to process. In this case, Does VIrualtoal has the right to scan the content of the downloadable file?

    Get me the answer please…

    Nikhil

  14. Now this is really interesting. First VirusTotal for scanning our file. then forwarded that info to Avast Support for clarification. Good job Harsh, even i am working on my first ebook. hope it also gets 5000+ downloads… ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

    1. @Ankit
      And I also figured out the issue. The issue is one link which is written wrong. Instead of Facebook, it’s written as Faecbook.com ๐Ÿ˜ Sigh!

  15. @Harsh
    I required one instrument that could check the database of all famous antiviruses & recognize any infections, worms, trojans or malware in my transferred record.

    I will do deal with my digital book… …trust it lives up to expectations..

    Regards

    Priyanka

  16. Hi Harsh,

    Thank you, Harsh, I was using Kaspersky antivirus for malware protection and internet security, but Kaspersky took a lot more resource for its usage, that slows my system down. I’m glad to have this information from your article.

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