Microsoft Windows Publisher - 0.065% Detection Rate *

Did you just download a file that has a digital signature from Microsoft Windows Publisher and wonder if the file is safe? If that's the case, please read on.

You will probably see Microsoft Windows Publisher when clicking to run the file. The publisher name is then displayed as the "Verified publisher" in the UAC dialog as the screenshot shows:

Screenshot where Microsoft Windows Publisher appears as the verified publisher in the UAC dialog

You can view additional details from the Microsoft Windows Publisher certificate with the following procedure:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and locate the Microsoft Windows Publisher file
  2. Right-click on the file and select Properties
  3. Click on the Digital Signatures tab
  4. Click the View Certificate button

Here is a screencap of a file that has been digitally signed by Microsoft Windows Publisher:

Screenshot of the Microsoft Windows Publisher certificate

As you can see in the screenshot above, Windows reports that "This digital signature is OK". This means that the file has been published by Microsoft Windows Publisher and that no one has tampered with the file.

If you click the View Certificate button shown in the screencap above, you can view all the details of the certificate, such as when it was issued, who issued the certificate, how long it is valid, etc. You can also see the address for Microsoft Windows Publisher, such as the street name, city and country.

Microsoft Windows Verification Intermediate PCA, Microsoft Windows Production PCA 2011 and Microsoft Windows Verification PCA has issued the Microsoft Windows Publisher certificates. You can also see the details of the issuer by clicking the View Certificate button shown in the screenshot above.

Microsoft Windows Publisher Files

These are the Microsoft Windows Publisher files I have gathered, thanks to the FreeFixer users.

The FreeFixer tool treats files from Microsoft Windows Publisher as trusted, which means that the Microsoft Windows Publisher files will appear with a green background and that there's no removal checkbox for the file. However, as you can see in the scan results below, a few of the anti-virus scanners detects the Microsoft Windows Publisher file(s). My guess is that those detections are false positives and that the files are safe. It's unlikely that Microsoft Windows Publisher would ship a malware file.

Detection RatioFile Name
0/68ctfmon .exe

Scanner and Detection Names

Here is the detection names for the Microsoft Windows Publisher files. I've grouped the detection names by each scanner engine. Thanks to VirusTotal for the scan results.

As mentioned above, I think these detections are false positives since it is very unlikely that Microsoft Windows Publisher would ship a malware file.

ScannerDetection Names
BkavHW32.Nonim.dygc, HW32.Nonim.qasc
TheHackerW32/Mabezat.b, Trojan/Downloader.Bagle.fw
TrendMicro-HouseCallSuspicious_GEN.F47V0124, TROJ_GEN.F47V0719

* How the Detection Percentage is Calculated

The detection percentage is based on the fact that I have gathered 19940 scan reports for the Microsoft Windows Publisher files. 13 of these scan results came up with some sort of detection. If you like, you can review the full details of the scan results by examining the files listed above.

Analysis Details

The analysis is done on certificates with the following serial numbers:


No comments posted yet.

Leave a reply