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Virus or Trojan or Malware or Adware – Follow up testing

In this article, I am going to talk about how does virus or any other things affect your conclusion of saying whether it is a bug or it is not a bug.

Before I talk about Follow-up testing you might want to know what these terms stand for. Below are few definitions according to my understanding, you could try going through Wikipedia for more information,

Virus: Let’s go by biological definition which means, “It spreads by multiplying itself and kills at last”.

Same way, a virus multiplies itself and spreads across the folders infecting the other files and programs as well.

Trojan: You might have seen a movie or heard a story where soldiers created a huge wooden horse which they named it as “Trojan Horse”. The soldiers got into that wooden horse and the other party thought that it is a gift by their enemy and they get the horse inside their territory. At night when others are sleeping the soldiers ( Enemies ) wake up and they start killing their enemies.

Now let’s relate this to computer world. Trojan could be a program that resides on victim’s machine and gets activated at scheduled time or anytime which depends on how it has been programmed.

Trojan’s do not multiply as viruses. They are used for stealing information from victim’s machine.

Malware: It is a malicious code which makes weird things happens on your machine. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what is malware actually. If you have an updated anti-virus running on your machine then that should tell you the identify of that program is virus / Trojan / malware / adware. You could try searching on Google to find more about the program.

Adware: During my college days, I was crazy about programs like “Paid to click” – “Pay Per Install” and other crap programs. In these days I downloaded “Pay Per Install” bundle and installed it on my own machine. Ah, so many pop-ups so many programs started opening randomly and random time. My machine started becoming slow. Then I learned about Adware’s in a better way.

Let me explain by taking an example,

There was anti-virus program that opened automatically listing viruses on my machine. Then there was a “Remove” button which I clicked and then I was asked to upgrade to full version to remove those. Later, I searched for Adware programs and found out that it is an ad-ware. What happens is there are no viruses on the machine but still they show fake viruses listed by default there by making you panic and buy their product which is a business for them  ( Ad = Advertisements ).

Now, let’s talk about Follow-up testing

As a tester whenever you find an issue you might want to do few things before you conclude it is a issue,

  1. Run updated anti-virus on the product
  2. Keep your anti-virus always updated
  3. If any virus is detected and you find issue in your product then test whether it is really a virus that is causing this issue or it’s just a co-incidence?
  4. Try to know how the virus affects by searching on Google. From this you can infer that your issue is because of virus or not

Example: Some module of your product is not working. This might be because of virus is blocking it. So try using your product on different machine with same operating system and other factors. Again, that system might also be affected because sometimes machines in network tend to get affected with virus. So having updated anti-virus is a MUST and also tries searching on Google if someone else also has encountered a problem like you.

Related Post: Impact of Microsoft Updates on Testing – Compatibility Testing


I have been as a software tester for over 5 years. I am a hands-on tester and I've been winning bug battles & testing competitions across the world. I am a testing enthusiast, who conducts free workshops on security testing across India (Covered locations: Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad & Chennai. Invite him to come to your location), and monthly meets for testers in Bengaluru. I am also an avid testing blogger.

My interests include traveling, driving my SUV, health & fitness and many others. I mentor budding entrepreneurs, testers, teams in any profession.

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  1. LN wrote:

    Good post covering the impact of viruses.

    There are other things that will have the same impact on testing and may need to consider for Follow-up.
    Few of them include Browser Helper Objects (BHO), Browser cache, Microsoft tuesday updates (Hotfixes, security updates etc.,)


    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  2. @LN,
    Thank you. Yes, you are right. The points you have mentioned should be included in Follow-up testing :)

    Thanks for your inputs LN.

    Santhosh Shivanand Tuppad

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  3. LN wrote:

    Check out
    I said will try to write on MS Update impact on testing in a week but could write it today. Thanks for propmting me to write this blog.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  4. @LN,
    That’s what I call as “WOW”. Cool. I will go through it :) Thanks for sharing the link.

    Santhosh Shivanand Tuppad

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

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