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Netcat Reported as Malware (Old)

Netcat is no longer needed by or installed with ZBrush.  If you are encountering this issue, please download the most current ZBrush version from My Licenses.


Some antivirus programs occasionally report that Netcat is malware and therefore interfere with the proper installation of ZBrush.  This is one of the reasons why we always recommend that antivirus software be suspended when installing ZBrush.

Netcat itself is not malware.  It is simply a framework that simplifies transmitting data via TCP or UDP.  Click here for more info.

Due to its nature, it has two potential issues:

  1. It transmits data in plain text format, making it unsuitable for use with secure data, except across a secure (local) network.
  2. It can be exploited by some malware.


For these reasons, antivirus software occasionally flags Netcat as a security issue.  However, neither of those possible problems apply to ZBrush.  

  1. We only use Netcat for the purpose of helping to send a model's 3D data to other applications.  No secure data is involved, and so there is no risk in regard to that data.  Further, that data is transmitted locally, to another program on the same computer.  It is not transmitted across any network.
  2. In order for malware to exploit Netcat, it must know that Netcat is present.  Further, that malware must itself be installed.  Netcat does not make it any easier for that malware to be installed.  


In short there is no risk from Netcat as implemented by ZBrush.


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  1. Matthew Yetter

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