How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

It’s vital that you understand how your antivirus software can detect threats. Cyber-terrorists keep creating more dangerous malware and viruses, which can infiltrate computers, capture data, corrupt documents and cause other harm. Most antivirus programs are designed to detect and eliminate malicious threats before they can cause harm. They do this by analyzing and scanning your data, system files and computer programs.

Antivirus programs typically use signature-based detection. It compares the files that are downloaded by your device to a database of known viruses signatures. This method searches for fingerprints of a specific virus, locates the match software or file, and warns you in the event of a match. This method is efficient, but hackers are constantly creating new and different kinds of malware. 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 method used by hackers to bypass antivirus scanners. Once a virus has been encoded, it will bypass scans and signatures since it isn’t executable. This is usually accomplished by tagging a tiny header program on the front of the encoded virus which allows it to leap the counter of the program and run when it has the chance.

Antivirus software uses various methods to identify viruses, including heuristic-based detection and behavior-based detection. Heuristic-based analysis is akin to signature detection, in that it tries to find patterns and trends in a program’s behavior. Using a trial-and-error approach Heuristic detection is able to detect viruses that aren’t detected through signature-based detection.

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