LimeWire enlists AVG for user protection

Notorious as a malware ghetto, LimeWire takes its first steps to integrate authoritative threat protection by signing on AVG to provide premium users with download scanning and blocking.

LimeWire's peer-to-peer file-sharing network is notorious as a malware ghetto, where distributed files that have legitimate-sounding names turn out to be Trojan horses hiding pernicious threats. In an effort to attract more users to the LimeWire premium upgrade and to protect those users better, the company signed a deal with AVG on Tuesday to extend download file scanning and blocking to LimeWire Pro users.

By integrating AVG's antivirus SDK engine, all files that LimeWire Pro users download will now be scanned before they run. A pop-up will appear letting users know when a file has been scanned or blocked.

This is a smart move to make, as users become more aware of the risky nature of running audio, video, and program executables from unverifiable sources without scanning them first. However, many security suite options already offer download scanning. Most of the premium ones, such as Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky, and ESET, and some of the free ones, such as AVG, Avast, and Avira, will block a malicious download before anything gets saved to your hard drive. Nearly all will prevent an already-downloaded file from running.

LimeWire pointed out in a press release that it has 50 million users worldwide but didn't specify how many of those were premium-version users who would receive the AVG protection.