How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

When you are choosing an antivirus program for your home or business you must consider more than the rate of detection of a product in controlled tests. You should also make sure that it’s able to recognize new malware and viruses. Researchers are working hard to devise methods of defeating antivirus programs. They create viruses that can disable their own detection techniques, or use their own anti-virus software to defeat itself.

One of the earliest types of antivirus programs functioned by comparing files that came into devices against their database of malware signatures that they have identified. This is a type of signature detection that works well with older malware, but the problem is that virus creators can create new signatures for new varieties of viruses at any moment so the antivirus protection would always be playing catch-up.

Modern antivirus programs employ heuristic detection to identify potential threats. Heuristics are not looking for exact matches, but instead look take a look at the behavior of software and files to determine whether it is compatible with malware known to exist. This method has been enhanced by a method known as behavior-based detection which examines how the program or file performs to to determine if it is malicious.

Certain viruses attempt to stop anti-virus software by hiding, preventing access to the antivirus program’s updating system, or corrupting library files required for the virus scanner to function. Certain viruses are more sophisticated and directly alter or disable elements of the antivirus software. These kinds of viruses are becoming more widespread and typically include features such as a worm component that spreads from computer to computer.

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