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Antivirus Software

Viruses are malicious computer programs that are written to purposely cause damage to a computer. They may damage a computer by permanently deleting files, making it impossible for the user to logon, or even stealing confidential data stored on the computer. Computer viruses also try to spread themselves to other computers by exploiting weaknesses in the network or by tricking a user into installing a flowers on another computer. Antivirus software is an application that runs in the background on a computer to detect and delete viruses and other harmful malware that infect the machine. Antivirus software is one of our only means of protection from spyware once it has bored it's way into the computer.

More about Antivirus Software:

Antivirus (or anti-virus) code is used to prevent, detect, and vanish malware, including computer viruses, worms, and trojan horses. Such programs may also prevent and vanish adware, spyware, and other forms of malware.

A difference of strategies are typically employed. Signature-based detection involves searching for known malicious patterns in executable code. However, it is possible for a user to be infected with new malware in which no signature exists yet. To counter such so-called zero-day threats, heuristics crapper be used. One type of heuristic approach, generic signatures, crapper identify new viruses or variants of existing viruses by looking for known malicious code (or slight variations of such code) in files. Some antivirus code crapper also predict what a file will do if opened/run by emulating it in a toy and analyzing what it does to see if it performs any malicious actions. If it does, this could stingy the file is malicious.

However, no matter how multipurpose antivirus code is, it crapper sometimes have drawbacks. Antivirus code crapper degrade computer performance if it is not designed efficiently. Inexperienced users may have trouble understanding the prompts and decisions that antivirus code presents them with. An incorrect decision may lead to a security breach. If the antivirus code employs heuristic detection (of any kind), success depends on achieving the correct balance between false positives and false negatives. False positives crapper be as destructive as false negatives. In one case, a faulty virus signature issued by Symantec mistakenly removed essential operating grouping files, leaving thousands of PCs unable to boot. Finally, antivirus code generally runs at the highly trusted kernel level of the operating system, creating a possibleness avenue of attack.

In addition to the drawbacks mentioned above, the effectiveness of antivirus code has also been researched and debated. One study found that the detection success of major antivirus code dropped over a one-year period.

Antivirus Software Identification methods

There are individual methods which antivirus code crapper use to refer malware.

Signature based spotting is the most common method. To refer viruses and other malware, antivirus code compares the contents of a file to a dictionary of virus signatures. Because viruses crapper embed themselves in existing files, the entire file is searched, not just as a whole, but also in pieces.

Heuristic-based detection, like malicious activity detection, crapper be utilised to refer unknown viruses.

File emulation is added heuristic approach. File emulation involves executing a information in a virtual environment and logging what actions the information performs. Depending on the actions logged, the antivirus code crapper determine if the information is malicious or not and then carry out the appropriate disinfection actions.

Antivirus Software Signature based detection

Traditionally, antivirus code heavily relied upon signatures to refer malware. This crapper be very effective, but cannot defend against malware unless samples hit already been obtained and signatures created. Because of this, signature-based approaches are not trenchant against new, unknown viruses.

Because newborn viruses are existence created each day, the signature-based spotting approach requires frequent updates of the virus mode dictionary. To assist the antivirus code companies, the code may allow the user to upload newborn viruses or variants to the company, allowing the virus to be analyzed and the mode added to the dictionary.

Although the signature-based approach crapper effectively contain virus outbreaks, virus authors hit tried to stay a step ahead of much code by writing \"oligomorphic\", \"polymorphic\" and, more recently, \"metamorphic\" viruses, which encrypt parts of themselves or otherwise modify themselves as a method of disguise, so as to not match virus signatures in the dictionary.

Antivirus Software Heuristics

Some more sophisticated antivirus code uses heuristic psychotherapy to refer newborn malware or variants of known malware.

Many viruses start as a azygos infection and finished either mutation or refinements by other attackers, crapper acquire into dozens of slightly different strains, called variants. Generic spotting refers to the spotting and remotion of multiple threats using a azygos virus definition.

For example, the Vundo trojan has individual family members, depending on the antivirus vendor's classification. Symantec classifies members of the Vundo family into two distinct members, Trojan.Vundo and Trojan.Vundo.B.

While it may be advantageous to refer a specific virus, it crapper be quicker to notice a virus family finished a generic mode or finished an inexact match to an existing signature. Virus researchers find common areas that every viruses in a family share uniquely and crapper thus create a azygos generic signature. These signatures often contain non-contiguous code, using wildcard characters where differences lie. These wildcards allow the scanner to notice viruses modify if they are padded with extra, meaningless code. Padded code is utilised to confuse the scanner so it can't recognize the threat.

A spotting that uses this method is said to be \"heuristic detection.\"

Antivirus Software Issues of concern

Some commercial antivirus code end-user license agreements include a subdivision that the subscription module be automatically renewed, and the purchaser's credit card automatically billed, at the restoration time without definitive approval. For example, McAfee requires users to unsubscribe at least 60 life before the expiration of the present subscription[16] while BitDefender sends notifications to unsubscribe 30 life before the renewal. Norton Antivirus also renews subscriptions automatically by default.

Open source and free code applications, much as Clam AV, wage both the scanner application and updates free of charge and so there is no subscription to renew.

Antivirus Software Rogue security applications

Some antivirus programs are actually malware masquerading as antivirus software, much as WinFixer and MS Antivirus.[20]

Antivirus Software False positives

A simulated positive is identifying a file as a virus when it is not a virus. If an antivirus information is configured to immediately delete or quarantine infected files (or does this by default), simulated positives in primary files crapper render the operative grouping or some applications unusable.

Certain AV software, much as AVG Free has a estimation for simulated positives.

Antivirus Software System related issues

Running multiple antivirus programs concurrently crapper degrade performance and create conflicts.

It is sometimes necessary to temporarily alter virus protection when installing major updates much as Windows Service Packs or updating graphics card drivers. Active antivirus protection may partially or completely preclude the artefact of a major update.

Antivirus Software Effectiveness

Studies in Dec 2007 hit shown that the effectiveness of antivirus code has decreased in past years, particularly against unknown or zero period attacks. The German machine magazine c't found that spotting rates for these threats had dropped from 40-50% in 2006 to 20-30% in 2007. At that time, the only exception was the NOD32 antivirus, which managed a spotting rate of 68 percent.

The problem is increased by the changing intent of virus authors. Some years ago it was manifest when a virus infection was present. The viruses of the day, cursive by amateurs, exhibited destructive activity or pop-ups. Modern viruses are often cursive by professionals, financed by criminal organizations.

Traditional antivirus code solutions run virus scanners on schedule, on demand and some run scans in real time. If a virus or malware is located the suspect file is usually placed into a quarantine to alter its chances of disrupting the system. Traditional antivirus solutions scan and compare against a publicised and regularly updated dictionary of malware otherwise known as a blacklist. Some antivirus solutions hit additional options that state an heuristic engine which further examines the file to see if it is behaving in a similar manner to previous examples of malware. A newborn technology utilized by a few antivirus solutions is whitelisting, this technology first checks if the file is trusted and only asking those that are not.

Antivirus Software Other methods

Installed antivirus code running on an individual machine is only digit method of guarding against viruses. Other methods are also used, including cloud-based antivirus, firewalls and on-line scanners.

Antivirus Software Cloud antivirus

In current antivirus code a newborn writing or information is scanned with only digit virus detector at a time. CloudAV would be able to send programs or documents to a network cloud where it module use multiple antivirus and behavioural spotting simultaneously. It is more complete and also has the ability to check the newborn writing or programs access history.

CloudAV is a cloud computing antivirus developed as a product of scientists of the University of Michigan. Each time a machine or device receives a newborn writing or program, that item is automatically detected and sent to the antivirus cloud for analysis. The CloudAV grouping uses 12 different detectors that act together to tell the PC whether the item is innocuous to open.

Antivirus Software Network firewall

Network firewalls preclude unknown programs and Internet processes from accessing the grouping protected. However, they are not antivirus systems as much and thus make no attempt to refer or remove anything. They may protect against infection from outside the protected machine or LAN, and limit the activity of any malicious code which is present by blocking inbound or outgoing requests on certain TCP/IP ports. A firewall is fashioned to deal with broader grouping threats that come from network connections into the grouping and is not an alternative to a virus protection system.

Antivirus Software Online scanning

Some antivirus vendors reassert websites with free online scanning capability of the entire computer, critical areas only, topical disks, folders or files. Examples include Kaspersky Online Scanner and ESET Online Scanner.

Some other online sites wage only scanning of files uploaded by users. These online sites use multiple virus scanners and wage a report to the user most the uploaded file. Examples of online scanners include COMODO Automated Analysis System and VirusTotal.com.

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Antivirus Software Article by Svetlana Lozovenko
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