How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

It’s essential to understand the way your antivirus software detects threats. Cyber-terrorists continue to develop more dangerous viruses and malware that can infiltrate computers and make copies of documents, erase data, and cause other harm. As you’re likely aware, the main goal of the majority of antivirus programs is to find and take out these threats before they cause any harm. They do this by studying your data, system files and computer programs.

Antivirus programs typically use signature-based detection. This method compares documents received by your device to an inventory of known viruses signatures. This method searches for the fingerprints and matches the program or the file to the virus. It will notify you if a match is discovered. It is a good method however, hackers are continuing to develop new and unique kinds of malware. To be able to detect them antivirus software must keep their definition files updated with the most current malware samples.

Another technique used by hackers to circumvent antivirus scanners is to use encryption to protect the malware’s payload. Once a virus has been encoded, it will bypass scanners and signatures because it is not an executable. This is usually done by attaching a small header to the virus. This lets it leap over the counter and execute the virus on the first chance.

Antivirus software employs various methods to find viruses. These include heuristics-based detection and behavior-based detection. Heuristic-based analysis is similar in concept to signature detection in that it seeks out patterns and trends in a program’s behavior. Utilizing a trial-and-error method, heuristic detection can catch viruses that are not found by signature-based methods.

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