How Does Antivirus Software Identify Potential Viruses?

As cyber-terrorists and thieves continue to create newer, deadlier viruses and malware that can infiltrate systems, steal data, corrupt files, and cause other harm, it’s important for you to understand how your antivirus software recognizes potential threats. The majority of antivirus programs are designed to identify and eliminate dangerous threats before they cause harm. They accomplish this by analysing and analyzing your data, system files, and computer programs.

Traditionally, antivirus software uses signature-based detection to check the documents that are downloaded to your devices against a database of known virus signatures. This method search for fingerprints and then matches the program or the file to the virus. It will warn you if the match has been found. It is effective, however hackers continue to create new and different types of malware. To detect them, antivirus software needs to keep its definition files up to current with the most up-to-date virus signatures.

Another method used by hackers to bypass antivirus scanners is to decrypt the malware payload. Once a virus has been encoded, it is able to bypass scanners and signatures since it isn’t an executable. This is usually accomplished by tagging a small header program on the front of the encoded virus which allows it jump the counter for the program and execute whenever it is offered.

Antivirus software uses a variety of methods to identify viruses. These include heuristics-based detection and behaviour-based detection. Heuristic-based analyses are similar to signature detection, in that it looks for patterns and tendencies in a program’s behaviour. Utilizing a trial-and-error method it is possible to identify viruses that aren’t identified by signature-based methods.

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