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NetCat/HackTool: Antivirus Software Reports a Threat
Posted by Matthew Yetter, Last modified by Matthew Yetter on 09 April 2019 03:56 PM
Some antivirus software has reported a Trojan or other threat during installation of ZBrush.
What this is usually referring to is Netcat (or nc.exe), aka a HackTool:Win 32 threat. This is a framework that simplifies communication between programs or computers. Netcat itself is harmless and its presence on your computer does not open you to malware attacks. There are some people who use it in the creation of Trojan malware, which is why antivirus software can sometimes flag it.
Pixologic does NOT use it in any malicious manner. It is essential for GoZ to be able to work with newer versions of Maya.
It is highly recommended to temporarily suspend your antivirus software before installing your software. Leave it disabled through installation and activation. You can then enable it again after that.
Antivirus software is not perfect. It depends on what are called "heuristics" -- patterns that could indicate a virus or other malicious software. This allows it to proactively fight threats even before such threats are actually known about. Unfortunately, those same heuristics can and often do get in the way of legitimate installer behaviors. For this reason, it is always recommended to temporarily suspend your antivirus software before installing programs from developers that you trust (such as Pixologic). Their imperfection is exactly why they have the ability to suspend them in the first place!