Is win32:Malware-Gen False Positive? | Is It Necessary?

In various device security forums, many users are raising a question about whether Win32:Malware-gen is a false positive or not? Some user has claimed it as a false positive and others claimed that it is not a false positive. So, what exactly Win32:Malware-gen is? Is it a false positive? Or, it is truly malicious? Let’s find out;  

Win32 Malware-gen False Positive

What is Win32:Malware-gen?

Win32:Malware-gen is a type of generic threat. Third-party security tools (e.g. antivirus, anti-malware) detect it as a suspicious file or a potential threat to a computer system. Though it is detected as a suspicious malicious file, its definition does not match with the definitions of any known malware threats. The Win32:Malware-gen alert means that there is a 32-bit file on the Windows OS which needs to be flagged for further inspection.

As you know, most third-party security tools use heuristic methods to detect and remove viruses, malware, and other malicious files. This detection method is designed to detect any kind of determined or undetermined malicious presence on the device system. It is possible that the reported infection is actually clean and the detection is completely a false positive.

What are False Positives?

False positives are defined as a test result that wrongly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is present. Sometimes, the third-party security tools wrongly indicate a legit program as a malicious one, which is called a false positive or f/p in malware terminology. This is marked as a type-1 error. The false positives are known for misleading the user. So, why do the security tools wrongly alert the user about the potential threats of legit files or programs?

What Causes False Positive Anti-virus?

The security tools use some rules to detect malicious programs or files. These detection rules are designed to cover most malicious programs or applications without triggering any false positives. Yet it may lead the user to false positives. Some reasons are highly responsible for causing false positives antivirus. Here are the possible reasons that can possibly cause false positives in security tools;

1. Heuristics Detection Method

The most common drawbacks of the heuristics detection method are the decisions are made on minimal bits of information. And for this reason, the antivirus or security tools that use heuristic detection methods could cause false positives on antivirus.

2. Definition Analysis

Most of the security tools use a database that contains the definition of virus or malicious threats. This database is based on the behavior of different types of viruses and malicious threats. Sometimes these malicious definition matches with the behavior of a legit program. And this could cause the false positive of the security tools.   

3. Machine Learning

Machine learning of the application or program is done by teaching the system a large amount of training data. The security tools are not an exception to this. A slight mistake or ambiguities on the training data of security tools may trigger various errors, including false positives.

Is Win32:Malware-gen False Positive?

Though Win32:Malware-gen is a type of generic threat that has malicious behavior. But sometimes it could be a false positive alert from the third-party security tool. As you know, this is a suspicious threat that is detected by third-party security apps, and it doesn’t resemble any type of malicious threat. Also, the Win32:Malware-gen has the notoriety of CPU high usage and effecting the device performances. So, despite being a false positive, it can cause huge damage to the device. And for this reason, it is always better to remove it from the device.

How to Fix Win32:Malware-gen False Positive?

To avoid the false-positive alert from the third-party security tool, you need to add the legit program, files, or application to the exception list of the security tool. This is the most common practice to keep away false positives. You cannot stop the false positives entirely, but adding the legit programs or files to the exception list could help you to keep away the false positive alerts from the security tools. You can keep the Win32:Malware-gen false-positive away from your device by the same method.

Is Win32:Malware-gen Safe?

Win32:Malware-gen is not a system file nor any type of important file. But it is a highly suspicious file that is flagged as a potential threat. For this reason, it is recommended to remove it from the device. Also, it may cause different physical damage to the device. This physical damage includes high CPU usage and slows down the device, which could affect the device’s performance. So, it is not safe or unsafe.

Should I Need to Remove Win32:Malware-gen?

To avoid further disturbance, you need to remove Win32:Malware-gen. As you know, it could damage a device physically. So, it is better to remove Win32:Malware-gen to ensure the device’s health. Though, it also could be a false positive alert by the security tools. Despite being a false positive, you need to remove it for avoiding risks.  

How to Tell if a Virus Is Actually a False Positive?

There doesn’t have any fixed methods to tell if a virus is actually a false positive or not. But some methods can simply show you the difference between black and white. The online validation method is one of them. Here are some methods that can help you to identify the false positive alerts of third-party security tools;

1. Use Online Threat Detector

Online threat detectors like VirusTotal offers the user to check specific files with multiple security tools at a time. Whenever you get a threat alert from a third-party security application, you need to scan through an online threat detector. It will help you to check if it is really a false positive or not. Also, some online threat detectors can compare the scanned file of 40+ antivirus or security tools. But still, there is no guarantee to detect whether it is a false positive or not.

2. Check the Download Source

This is the most important thing you can do is check the validation of the download source of the file that is flagged as malicious by the security tool. If the source is trustworthy, that’s a false positive, if not they are actually malicious. Online security tools like VirusTotal could help you to check the validation of the source.

3. Check the Malware Definition

Every security tool gives a specific name for every detected threat. The false positives are not an exception to it. You should search that specific name of the threat on the internet, you can probably find some link of malicious definitions links that can help you to check whether it is a false positive or not.

[ Note: Never download anything from an unsecured or not trustable link, even if they say it is a false positive.]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can False Positive Error Trigger for the Firewall Vulnerability?

Yes, the false positive can trigger the Firewall vulnerability. Especially while using scanning tools, WAF (Web Application Firewall), and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System. These firewall tools can incorrectly flag a security vulnerability during scanning, which could be responsible for triggering a false positive.

What is a False Negative?

The false negative is completely the opposite of a false positive. The false positive is a security term for detecting a legit file or application as malicious. Whilst, the false negative is referred the malicious file or application as malicious. Despite being opposite to each other, they both are pretty annoying for a user.

What is a True Positive?

True positives are the state when the IDS (Intrusion Detection Control) truly detects an activity as an intrusion or attack on the device. The true positives are successful detection of intrusion or attack on a device system.


At this part of the article, you already have known enough about whether Win32:Malware-gen is a false positive or not. It is always better to remove the suspicious files from the device. Else, it could be a reason for physical or security threats to your device. That’s all for today, use a secure device and have a great day.

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