How to package .smi installer?

Posted on 2011-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have this installer that the freelance programmer provided in .smi format.
When I download it, it gets detected as a virus by my anti-virus.
How can it be packaged so that it doesn't get quarantined & isolated as a virus?
I tried zip, but still it gets detected as a virus.
Question by:developer400
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 36481428
Are you sure it's not an MSI file?

Expert Comment

ID: 36481476
I think you have to ask the programmer to check the code. Normal software should not be detected as a virus.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 36482212
As graye asked, it's easy enough to quickly check if this is actually a misnamed *.MSI file.

1. Unless you have a program associated with the *.SMI file extension, the file should be displaying the "unknown file type" icon.
2. Renaming a copy of the file by changing the extension from .smi to .msi probably won't warn you about changing file extensions if it is an .MSI file.
3. Right-Click > Properties should show tell-tale information in the "summary" tab if it is an .MSI file.
4. Opening the file in a text editor should show a block of black squares near the start of the contents that resembles the old Windows 98 Defrag screen, and you should also be able to see a lot of the text-based content used for the tables if this is an .MSI file.

Make a copy, rename it as a *.ZIP file, and see if it can be unzipped in WinZip, 7-Zip, or other zip/unzip program.

Is it possible that the "developer" has created this package for the Apple Mac platform?

"The SMI file extension stands for "Self Mounting Disk Image". The SMI file extension is used for the disk image files created by Apple Disk Copy or Alladin ShrinkWrap for Mac OS Classic. Files in the SMI format mount as disks on the computer desktop when they are opened. The SMI file extension for MacOS X was later replaced by the DMG file extension.

A self mounting disk image is described as the disk image summarized in a certain application that mounts the image as file system. When these images are downloaded from the Web, they are usually in BinHex, StuffIt, or BIN formats. Even though these images are considered as applications, they still have the SMI file extension. The use of self mounting images has gradually reduced upon the arrival of the Mac OS X Operating System. This is because the file extension for the mounting disk images for this Operating System has been changed to DiskImageMounter or DMG."

Personally I would do as Darude1234 has suggested, and ask the developer what he is playing at.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 36483989
Let's assume that we're really talking about an MSI file....

What kind of message did you get from your anti-virus software.  I would expect that you might have gotten a message saying something along these lines:

            Hey, this is a potentially dangerous file from an unknown source, are you sure you want to do this?

If so, then that kind of message is perfectly normal when dealing with an unsigned MSI file.  That is NOT an indication that there is indeed a virus... it's just a warning.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 36484091
graye has made a very valid point, and it would be interesting to have your feedback on what message you are seeing.  There is also the possibility that if it IS an .MSI file with the .SMI extension, your Anti-Virus application may simply be issuing a warning about a possible mismatch between Content Type and extension in the same way that Experts-Exchange warns of this in red when attaching a file.  If less than 20MB, upload the file to VirusTotal and see what the different scanners make of it.

Author Comment

ID: 36493342
Thank you all for trying to answer.
My apologies for the typo. It is .msi file. It is not a virus. It is a small program that logs internet user activity for a small client that I have. So once it is installed, it records websites that were used.
If I download it on a Mac and then install it on my PC, there is no problem.
But when I download it on PC, Norton Anti-Virus quarantines it as a potential threat. I tried Zip, it doesn't work. The client wants it downloadable so that his customers could buy it online.
Any thoughts on avoiding Norton thinking that it's a virus?
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 36493356
What exactly was the message from Norton?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 36493873
It is PROBABLY what is referred to as a "False-Positive" detection, but you never can be too sure.  Most Anti-Virus applications these days use "Heuristics" in detection of malware.  They look for and recognise suspicious behaviour that is similar to what they already know from known viruses, as well as using "definitions" to exactly match known ones.  Usually when you see something like "Trojan.xxxx.Gen" detected, the "Gen" means that it is a "general" detection of a susoicious file but hasn't been identified as a known virus.

Programs that look deeply into certain registry keys or search for files in certain folders, or which seem to be logging system activity, are detected as "Potentially Unwanted Programs", but not necessarily as specifically named viruses.  Often legitimate software is positively detected even though the result is a false one.

What was the exact message issued by the Norton application?

Author Comment

ID: 36529718
Norton says that it cannot verify the source of its download (which is from our server). Would SSL reduce or eliminate the problem?
LVL 41

Accepted Solution

graye earned 500 total points
ID: 36531159
OK, that's perfectly normal...   The "source" that it's referring to is not your server... it's the developer.   So, no... SSL will not solve this problem.

One way to make that go away is to have the developer "digitally sign" the MSI file before giving it to you.  However, if this is a small independent operation, the programmer probably hasn't paid for a digitial signature from a known Certificate Root source.

So, you're kinda stuck...   Quite frankly, I'd just tell people that the MSI file is OK and answer the prompt from Norton accordingly.
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 36975308
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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