How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

It is essential to know how your antivirus software recognizes threats. Cyber-terrorists keep creating more dangerous viruses and malware that can infiltrate computers, take data, corrupt documents and cause damage to other things. As you’re probably aware the primary goal of most antivirus programs is to detect and eliminate malicious threats before they cause any harm. They do this by looking at your system files, your data and computer programs.

Antivirus software has traditionally relied on signature-based detection. This method compares the files that are downloaded by your device to the database of known virus signatures. This method search for fingerprints and then matches the program or file with the virus. It will notify you if a match is found. It is a good method, but hackers continue to develop new and unique types malware. To be able to detect them, antivirus software needs to keep its definition files up-to date with the latest virus signatures.

Encrypting the malware’s payload is another technique used by hackers to avoid antivirus scanners. Once a virus has been encoded, it is able to bypass scans and signatures because it isn’t an executable. This is usually accomplished by attaching a small header to the virus. This allows it to jump the counter and execute the virus on the first chance.

Antivirus software employs a variety of methods to search for viruses. This includes heuristics-based discovery and behavior-based detection. Heuristic-based detection resembles signature-based detection, in that it analyses the program’s behavior in search of patterns and patterns. By using a trial-and error approach the heuristic detection method can detect viruses that aren’t identified by the signature-based method.

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