Monday, January 9, 2012

Antivirus Anger

We planned to release a new version of the platform game last weekend, but unforeseen technical problems appeared. Compiling the game for Windows turned out to be difficult. We program the game in c, using Linux. Thanks to the SDL library and MinGW, a Windows port of the GNU c compiler, the game should be easily portable to Windows as well.

The first problem was F-secure's antivirus program. When I compiled our game, it immediately recognized the game's executable file as a virus and removed it (for our protection). It turned out that not just our game got treated this way, but even the smallest possible c-program with an empty main function was detected as malware as soon as I compiled it. I am using the current MinGW, with gcc 4.6.2.

My various test programs were classed as Gen:Variant.Graftor.11442, Gen:Variant.Graftor.11230, Gen:Variant.Graftor.10418, Trojan.Generic.KDV.492012, Gen:Variant.Kazy.50358. Of course we could turn off the stupid antivirus scanner, but then the problem would probably just move to whoever tries our game and has the same antivirus system installed. Switching to an older gcc (version 3.4.5 which I had lying around) made the problem go away. Also, the most recent version of the game seems to avoid the virus scanner, for no apparent reason.

EDIT 21.1.2012
I was going to report the problem today on the MinGW-users mailing list, only to discover that an empty program is no longer classed as a virus. Maybe f-secure updated their scanning system?
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