Testing your Email Virus Scanner… With EICAR

So, I have been spending the last few hours trying to work out why my email server’s anti-virus scanner seemed not to be working.

There is only one real way to test an anti-virus system, and that is to send it a virus.

So, you’re sitting there wondering, how does one get hold of a virus to test such a system. Fortunately you are not the first person to be in this position. The EICAR virus is a harmless string of characters designed to test virus scanners. The EICAR virus is obtainable by clicking the link above or by visiting www.eicar.org.


Now you have the EICAR virus on your PC, you need to somehow send it through your mail server to test it. This is not as easy as it seems. Chances are:

  • Your desktop has Anti-Virus software (that will stop you sending the email)
  • Your outbound email server has anti-virus software (that will stop you sending the email)

I take it that you are starting to see the problem now, no?

There is a second option!

You could use an online service that sends out the EICAR virus to a mailbox of your choice for you! This is what I tried!

The main problem that I have found with online systems that send out the EICAR virus is that they suck! Every one I used had problems, be it:

  • They do not send out the correct EICAR virus (The format of the virus is very specific)
  • They send from servers without PTR records and thus get caught as spam

Therefore, I have coded this tool!

This is a working EICAR virus sending script! Enter your email address and it will send the virus to you from a server that:

  • Sends the virus correctly
  • Is configured to make sure that it does not look like spam

I hope that this makes testing your email server virus protection a little easier!

To use the tool, simply enter your email address below and click Email Me EICAR!

4 Responses to “Testing your Email Virus Scanner… With EICAR”

  1. mark Says:

    Do you have a tester like this that sends spam messages,

    such as viagra offers and ads that kind of stuff.

    i tried spoofing messages to myself but they come through.

    Im wondering if i can fake the address’ee from a mesage that i know went to my spam mail box.

    O yah thanks for the great app, I was getting frustrated I coudnt email this eicar to myself.

  2. Mango Says:

    Thanks! :D

  3. IDDQD Says:

    Excellent, Thanks!

  4. Eric Campbell Says:

    Thanks a ton. I really didn’t feel like setting up an email server just to send an EICAR message as a test. (my prior plan to go through Gmail with telnet had failed with a lot of syntax errors)

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