Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Software designed to help in the battle against spam may take its expiration date seriously. Perhaps you should to.

Why does ComboFix care about the current date it expires?

In this excerpt from Answercast #4, I outline the reasons why malware and virus software need to stay up to date.

Cleaning up after malware

I need to start by saying that I certainly have heard a lot of good things about ComboFix. I haven't used it in years. So, what I'm going to do here is hypothesize; give some ideas about why it cares about the current date.

ComboFix, if you've not heard of it, is a utility that basically fixes a combination of known malware side effects. So, if your machine has been infected by malware and you don't want to (or can't) take care the extreme step of reformatting and reinstalling your machine, ComboFix is one of those tools you might have in your arsenal that will go in and look and clean up as much as it can after the malware's been removed.

Why might it care about the date? Well, malware's always changing. What you really want to make sure you have is the most recent version of a tool that deals with malware. Be that anti-malware software or the databases that it uses or a utility like ComboFix.

Old software vs. today's problems

If you have, say, a six-month old version of ComboFix, it's not going to be fixing the things that they've detected in the most recent six months and as we know, the antivirus and antispyware arena is always changing; there's always something new.

So it makes sense to me that ComboFix might say, "You know what, I'm kinda old. This copy of ComboFix is kinda old. You might want to go get another copy, an updated one to make sure that you're actually fixing everything that the updated copy would know how to fix.

Article C5141 - March 29, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.