Anti-Virus Dependent Vulnerabilities in E-mail Infrastructure Security (A-D-V-E-I-S)
A description of any technique that uses "unanticipated" file formats and/or E-mail headers to interfere with anti-virus software. The interference can be a simple nuisance or, worse, cause the anti-virus software to do something it isn't supposed to (e.g., shut down a server). Since the anti-virus software runs at a very low level in the system, any errors it may generate could propagate up through the system and maybe even shut it down. One simple example might be a zero-length .COM file. At one time such a file would have hung some anti-virus software and if that software were running on a server, would have hung the server as well and required a server restart. This is more than just a nuisance. This isn't new; it was highlighted in a ZDNet News article back in August 1999 and has been known for some time before that. Rob Rosenberg, editor at VMyths.comWeb Link, has been discussing this topic for some time as well.