Cyber-crooks are looking for ways to test their creations before distributing them. An investigation conducted by the malware analysis and detection laboratory at Panda Security, has shown that cyber-crooks are collaborating on different forums and pages to develop test-tools that replicate the scans of some of the leading security solutions.

The underground tools are technically similar to Hispasec’s legitimate Virus Total tool, according to Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Software.

It notes that the increased interest in underground testing tools coincides with the removal of the “do not distribute the sample” option in Virus Total. The now compulsory feature means that samples of files scanned by Virus Total are sent to security firms.

Trialling a malevolent application against security products is useful for any malware author, mainly because even quite crude applications have to attempt to disable security to have any chance of working. But carrying out testing application-by-application is bound to be hugely time-consuming.