Official Signature Naming Guidelines

New official signatures published by Cisco-Talos in the daily, main, and bytecode signature databases follow this format:

{platform}.{category}.{name}-{signature id}-{revision}

Signature Naming Rules

Guidelines for creating new official signatures are as follows.


Start names with targeted platform (or file format).

Options for this field in official signatures include: Andr, Archive, Asp, Cert, Clamav, Clean, Css, Doc, Dos, Eicar, Email, Embedded, Emf, Gif, Heuristics, Html, Hunting, Hwp, Img, Ios, Java, Js, Legacy, Lnk, Midi


Follow with the category.

Options for this field in official signatures include: Adware, Backdoor, Coinminer, Countermeasure, Downloader, Dropper, Exploit, File, Filetype, Infostealer, Ircbot, Joke, Keylogger, Loader, Macro, Malware, Packed, Packer, Phishing, Proxy, Ransomware, Revoked, Rootkit, Spyware, Test


Finish with a representative name of your choosing. This is often a malware family name. It is common to choose "Agent" if you can’t come up with a meaningful name.

Some examples: Zbot, CVE_2012_0003, Sality, FakeAV, Koobface

Rules for the name field:

  1. "Must"
    • Only use alphanumeric characters, dot (.), underscores (_) in signature names
  2. "Must not"
    • Use space, apostrophe or quote marks.
    • Use company names, brand names, or names of living people, except where the virus is probably written by the person. Common first names are permissible, but be careful – avoid if possible. In particular, avoid names associated with the anti-virus world. If a virus claims to be written by a particular person or company do not believe it without further proof.
    • Use an existing Family_Name, unless the viruses belong to the same family
    • Invent a new name if there is an existing, acceptable name.
    • Use obscene or offensive names.
  3. "Should"
    • When possible reuse the most common family name used by other vendors
    • Avoid geographic names which are based on the discovery site – the same virus might appear simultaneously in several different places

signature id and revision

The signature id in combination with the revision form a unique value that can be used to identify any official signature without requiring the descriptive name.

The revision will increment each time a new signature replaces an older version. Revisions higher than 0 indicate that the older versions of the signature were dropped because they caused false positive alerts or because a newer signature was crafted with a higher detection rate.

Examples Official Signatures

  • Win.Trojan.Zusy-9935890-0
  • Win.Malware.Zusy-9935891-0
  • Win.Dropper.DarkKomet-9935892-0
  • Html.Malware.Agent-9915974-0
  • Java.Malware.CVE_2021_44228-9915817-0
  • Xls.Downloader.Qbot12211-9916030-0