FixMeStick® Architectural Update – Kaspersky replaced with McAfee in the FixMeStick®

Starting on 12/27/2017, all FixMeSticks received a major update that replaces the Kaspersky antivirus engine with the McAfee engine.

If you already own a FixMeStick, you don’t have to do anything. The FixMeStick will connect and automatically download this update the next time you use it. The same is true for new purchases. Even if you see a Kaspersky logo on the back of the FixMeStick box, once you plug it in, the FixMeStick will remove Kaspersky and add the McAfee antivirus engine.  

The architectural diagram shown below captures a ‘logical view’ (a view of the major software components) of the current FixMeStick technology:

In addition to adding the McAfee detection technology to FixMeStick’s parallel multi-scanner (the software on the stick itself that scans files for threats), this latest FixMeStick also uses McAfee’s Global Threat Information (GTI) database of file reputations alongside OPSWAT’s Metadefender.

Together these two cloud-based file reputation services make up the FixMeStick ScanArray. The purpose of FixMeStick’s ScanArray is to provide the FixMeStick with fast file reputation information for files that the FixMeStick deems to be suspicious, even though none of its three antivirus engines deemed the file to be an infection. This technique reduces the time between when a file is determined to be malicious (determinable by ScanArray) and when that malicious file’s information is available for download by the FixMeStick’s embedded antivirus engines.   

Taken together: the GTI, Metadefender, Avira’s, Sophos’, and McAfee’s antivirus engines, and external/off-host scanning (running the scan from the stick versus from the potentially compromised operating system of the computer, (e.g. Windows, MacOS), the FixMeStick gives you the upper hand in getting the files and programs you don’t want off your computer.

[UPDATE]: We’ve been getting some questions about this update. To clarify, we’re only using McAfee’s technology on the FixMeStick. Nothing is installed onto your computer and it will not affect the antivirus you already have on your computer. Please note we always recommend using FixMeStick in partnership with an up-to-date antivirus. You can also read “Why Your Antivirus is Not Enough” for more information.