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CWF wrote: “My students are all very innocent and naive users of Windows XP. What I have in mind is to leave them each with a Linux LiveCD or two that they’ll be able to use as a rescue disc in case they get malware installing itself. So, the best way to teach this, I think, would be to purposely infect their machines and then go in a disinfect them.

But I’m not at all sure where I could get a virus or a trojan or other malware. Is it possible you could direct me to a source.”

You can do this safely and easily with the EICAR test virus. If you download it to your computer, it should trigger a virus alert in most, if not all, virus software. I gave it a try with one of my Windows XP virtual machines, and it caught the file name eicar.com, but not eicar.com.txt. However, when I renamed the .txt file to eicar.com, avast! sprang into action.