ProSim-AR software and virus scanners

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Joined: 17 Dec 2010, 14:42
Location: Delft

ProSim-AR software and virus scanners

Post by Hanne »

Hi guys,

With the recent news of FlightSimLabs having embedded malware in their A320-X distribution we would like to clarify ProSim-AR’s position on such matter. Although we understand FlightSimLabs’ need to fight piracy as much as we do, I assure you we will never turn to measures like this. Going through their forums I came to realize that FlightSimLabs’ approach has been to disable virus scanners when these were causing issues during installation.

ProSim-AR software has in the past, and may be in some cases also today, also caused virus scanner warnings. The reason why I am reaching out to you is that I want to avoid misunderstandings, since I personally have also advised people to simply disable or ignore their virus scanners in these cases.

In the early days ProSim-AR software never had any issues with virus scanners. But as over the years these scanners improved and started making use of heuristic analysis we sometimes experience issues. With heuristic analysis the behavior of software is monitored, like replication and file overwrites. Since ProSim System is complicated software and performs many unusual activities, like starting an internal webserver, making network connections, starting other executables and overwriting executables on updating them, some scanners don’t trust our software.

As a resolution we obtained a code signing certificate last October. This certificate is embedded in any software we publish and assures virus scanners that the software comes from a reliable publisher. The confidence in our software grows every time a user uploads our software for security analysis. Therefore your virus scanners are likely to give no or limited warnings when installing newer versions over time.

Still we might ask customer to disable anti-virus and firewall products also in the future. The reason is that these products can generate unexpected behavior, for instance by blocking requests between our client/server applications. Especially when trying to track down an issue reported by a customer it’s important to eliminate any external tool that could have influence in this scenario with anti-virus and firewall products being one of them. Furthermore, any additional application that runs in the background needs system resources. Especially in a professional simulation environment where you want to keep your “frames per second” as high as possible, you want to have as less applications running in the background as possible. Also this might be a reason to recommend not to use additional anti-virus products in these environments.

I hope this post explains why we have recommended to disable virus scanners and that our reasons have nothing to do with any doubtful activities.

Best regards, Hanne

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