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Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

I have one desktop HP with XP 3.0 all updates and clean of virus etc.

This desktop is where I temporarily store photos, (.jpg's), thousands of them and they slow down my monthly regiment of protection that includes:

CCleaner, Glary Utils, RegscrubXP, Hijack This,
Malwarebytes, RDSKiller, Avira antivirus,
Super Anti Spyware and Smart Defrag.

What's the odds of getting a virus etc in a .jpg file or any picture file for that matter?

I would like to tell the software (where applicable like Aivra) to skip .jpg's.

Thanks in advance


RE: Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

It's a very low threat, but there have been instances in the past. But as a way into a system, data files which contain no code at all (unlike say word documents or pdf documents) are very hard to make use of from a malware writers point of view.

I don't know if there were any "in the wild" examples of this image (as opposed to the proof of concept test cases). Perhaps ask your AV vendor if they actually detect known JPG file exploits.

If they're all your own photos uploaded from your camera, then it's even less of a problem.
Rather than skipping all JPG's (including ones you might download), perhaps just exclude the directory where you store all your temporary photos.

If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.

RE: Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

I haven't checked up on this but I believe that because of the way JPGs are compressed there is lots of scope to hide other data in a jpg file.
So the answer is yes.

Steve: N.M.N.F.
If something is popular, it must be wrong: Mark Twain
That's just perfectly normal Paranoia everyone in the universe has that: Slartibartfast

RE: Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?


I believe you're correct in saying "very low threat" particularly since all the .jpg's are mine in origin.

Since this desktop is mainly used for pictures alone I think I'll try skipping the jpg files for a while to see how much time I save.
When I suspect a virus etc. I'll include all files.
I'll continue to see if I can actually find a concrete example of infected jpg's since I also suspect some truth in sggaunt's post.

Avira antivirus allows one to skip file types but I can't see where it allows folder skipping, I'll look again.

As for CCleaner, Glary Utils,Malwarebytes and Super Anti Spyware, I'll have to visit the help pages and look for file/folder skipping.

Thanks to Both


RE: Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

Just scan executable files (this is not just .exe's but includes stuff like .vbs .scr.....most AV do this as normal for a quick scan, until you ask to do a system full scan.

Robert Wilensky:
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.


RE: Can I get a virus in a picture file (like .jpg etc.)?

I think I agree Sympology and will do such until my bones tell me it feels like I have a virus.

Thanks for the info


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