A short time ago, in a Galaxy, Mac, and Windows device not far, far away …

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There is an upheaval in the Force and Luke Filewalker is on the move. A malicious horde from the Dark Side has invaded, subverting minds, stealing data, and emptying bank accounts. To counter this threat, Luke is going through millions of devices, scouring them for suspect code and cleaning up the damage left behind. He is guided on this critical journey by the whisperings of the Force, the power of artificial intelligence, and a small support crew at a remote outpost.

 

Luke Filewalker is alive and active…

…and we don’t even need that missing  map piece of the right star system to find him. He has been located on one relatively insignificant planet rotating about a star in the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy which is itself in the Local Galaxy group within the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies.

Got that? It’s the third rock from the sun – not the red one.

Luke Filewalker is the auto scan and repair component within Avira Antivirus. Every week, Earth week that is, Luke automatically checks the millions of computers where Antivirus has been installed and looks for signs of the Dark Side. If he finds anything suspicious, he can root it out himself or call in reinforcements. And if Antivirus detects unusual signs of Dark Side activity with its real-time protection elements, Luke will jump into action as needed.

His origins within Avira Antivirus have been lost in the murky beginnings of the Computer Era. “‘Luke Filewalker’ is definitely more than 20 years old and was already in use on a lot of different operating systems,” said Sven Carlsen, team leader of disinfection services at the Avira Protection Services.

A short time ago, in a Galaxy, Mac, and Windows device not far, far away …

In each covered device, Luke Filewalker is there to do a quick, full, or other custom scan. The quick scan looks into the most important and essential system locations. It also checks the usual infection paths used by malware. The full scan goes over the complete system. And the other is for customized scan profiles on the device such as scanning “My Documents” or a scan of removable devices. The decision to run each type of scan is primarily automated within Avira Antivirus (when certain requirements are met) without requiring user involvement – unless the user wants to start a special scan.

Once the scan is finished and it detects a malware or unwanted application, the repair will start working. The repair will look for all the leftovers from the malware in order to fix and clean up the mess left by the malicious file.

Luke’s discoveries have varied over time as the forces of the Dark Side have shifted from relatively primitive Trojans into botnets enslaving millions. “He discovers all the threats that we tell him about through our AV engine and AI analysis. Currently, his most common discovery is ransomware,” pointed out Sven.

Luke listens to the Force for directions on discerning the identity and intent of suspect code. Otherwise known as the LocalDecider, this Antivirus component decides if suspicious files need to be uploaded to the Avira Cloud – not the Oort one — for additional analysis. After AI discerns whether the file is, in fact, malicious or harmless, the message is sent back to the individual device and Luke steps into action as needed. This information about a potential new threat is then relayed to other Avira Antivirus users.

 

He is visible as Luke Filewalker only for the Windows version of Avira Antivirus. The scanning services in Mac and Android Avira Antivirus remain incognito. But even if you don’t see him – the Force is still with you – and your device.

This post is also available in: German

As a PR Consultant and journalist, Frink has covered IT security issues for a number of security software firms, as well as provided reviews and insight on the beer and automotive industries (but usually not at the same time). Otherwise, he’s known for making a great bowl of popcorn and extraordinary messes in a kitchen.