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The File is a benign DOS executable file that you can use to test the operation of antivirus-scanning software instead of using an actual live virus that could accidentally proliferate or cause system problems. is made available by the European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research (EICAR), an internationally recognized antivirus consortium. The file contains a test string of characters, and launching the file at a command prompt results in the message EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!

You can learn more about EICAR and at the EICAR Web site ( For McAfee's or Symantec's explanation about how to use to test the company's antivirus products, go to for McAfee or for Symantec.

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