Why does my virus scanner have problems with *.lnk attachments

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Question

I am using Norton’s Anti Virus (NAV) in conjunction with GMS Anti-Virus to scan incoming email messages for the presence of viruses.

If anyone sends a file containing a .lnk attachment the virus scanner hangs and no further messages containing attachments can be processed by my server.

Answer

The problem lies with the Norton Anti Virus software. For some reason this software tries to follow the path given in the .lnk file. As this .lnk file was created on some other system it is very unlikely that the exact path will exist on your server.

This issue has in the past been reported to Norton Anti Virus but so far they have not produced a work around for it.

If you have GMS Anti-Spam installed on your system you can use the Attachment Blocking feature to block all .lnk attachments from entering your server and thus prevent them being passed to Norton Anti Virus.

.lnk files are Windows Shortcut files, i.e. their sole purpose is to act as a shortcut to another file, to be able to do this the file itself contains the path to the full file. It is this path that Norton Anti Virus is trying to follow, it can not follow it as it does not exist but instead of returning an error it simply hangs there thus preventing any further files from being scanned.

The best solution is to upgrade to GMS Anti-Virus. This provides excellent virus protection together with disinfection (where possible), automatic updates and high performance.

The next best thing as a workaround is to install GMS Anti-Spam on your system. You can then use the Attachment Blocking feature to block all .lnk attachments from entering your server and thus prevent them from being passed to Norton Anti Virus.

NOTE: Due to reliability and performance issues, VSM has been replaced by VPP which includes continous signature file upadtes and cleaning options.

See Also:

Keywords:Norton, NAV, lnk, *.lnk, Virus, Virus Scanner, attachments, VSM

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