Can a virus infect an encrypted file?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by farmerlee, May 2, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    Forgive my ignorance but i'm wondering if its possible for a virus to infect an encrypted file? Is encrypting a file sufficient enough to keep it safe while being stored on a hard drive? opinions & suggestions would be great!
     
  2. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    Depends on what you mean by encrypted file. If it's encrypted SFX archive it's most likely it will infect it. If it's just an password protected ZIP/RAR/7z archive, that won't happen.
     
  3. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    Yeah I mean like if use password protected encryption on an exe would a virus still be able to infect it?
     
  4. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    If it has EXE PE structure, then yes, regardless of encryption. However it may break the executable since it could bork up the encrypted data.
     
  5. theshadow247

    theshadow247 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Posts:
    323
    Location:
    ontario.canada
    how about a winrar file that is encrypted and password protected...
     
  6. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,160
    Location:
    127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0
    A virus can damage any file and corrupt it, whether encrypted or not. However, encrypting a file makes it so you can't tell what the contents of the file are, so while it may be able to corrupt it, the file won't really become infected and spread the infection whenever opened, it just simply won't decrypt or unzip properly

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  7. theshadow247

    theshadow247 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Posts:
    323
    Location:
    ontario.canada
    i also think that a encrypted file can be altered.but a password protected file i dont think can be altered..i could be wrong though...
     
  8. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,160
    Location:
    127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0
    I think password-protected archives are just forms of encryption using that archiver, if I am not mistaken, so it won't make any difference since they are essentially the same thing.

    Also, if you think about what you said, it doesn't make any sense, because if a file is encrypted, its contents are completely scrambled and such, so much so that you really wouldn't be able to tell if it is an .exe or a .txt. Anything can be altered, but in the case of encryption, it probably messes with the encryption and makes it impossible to unencrypt.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  9. theshadow247

    theshadow247 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Posts:
    323
    Location:
    ontario.canada
    like i said i could be wrong.i dont know eny thing about encrypted files and how safe they are.i use winrar and encrypt and password protect my files and always thought they where safe from infection but after reading this thread.i feel a little bit less safe with this setup...
     
  10. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Posts:
    1,160
    Location:
    127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0
    I don't see what's not safe. Your data is still private and the virus cannot steal it. The most damage it can do is either corrupt the file or delete it. That is really no surprise at all. That is just another reason why backups are so essential. No data is compromised, it is just destroyed, but a virus isn't exactly a non-destructive thing now is it

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.