The Antivirus Story

Socrates By Socrates, 11th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Software

Strange as it may sound, the computer virus is something of an Information Age marvel. On one hand, viruses show us how vulnerable we are -- a properly engineered virus can have a devastating effect, disrupting productivity and doing billions of dollars in damages

What are Viruses

Viruses - A virus is a small piece of software that piggybacks on real programs. For example, a virus might attach itself to a program such as a spreadsheet program. Each time the spreadsheet program runs, the virus runs, too, and it has the chance to reproduce (by attaching to other programs) or wreak havoc

Types of viruses

E-mail viruses - An e-mail virus travels as an attachment to e-mail messages, and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to dozens of people in the victim's e-mail address book. Some e-mail viruses don't even require a double-click -- they launch when you view the infected message in the preview pane of your e-mail software .

Trojan horses - A Trojan horse is simply a computer program. The program claims to do one thing (it may claim to be a game) but instead does damage when you run it (it may erase your hard disk). Trojan horses have no way to replicate automatically.

Worms - A worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to replicate itself. A copy of the worm scans the network for another machine that has a specific security hole. It copies itself to the new machine using the security hole, and then starts replicating from there, as well.


Working Of Antivirus

Anti-virus scans your email and downloads—but what is it looking for? There are two main types of scanning “Specific” and “Generic”.

Your first line of defense are all those virus definitions, signatures, and updates that your anti-virus software is always downloading. They provide identifiable characteristics, or finger prints, for malicious code. This is what is meant by “Specific” scanning—your anti virus program takes all these updates and stores them in an internal database. The anti-virus then matches them against any new files being introduced to your system via email or file download for known threats.Antivirus programs like Norton, Digitallifeboat, Total security can be very handy.

Types of Scanning methods :

Heuristic-It is a type of generic scanning that looks through the lines of code, not for exact matches to virus definitions, but for suspicious code. The anti-virus makes intelligent assumptions based on the scrutinized code. Basically this means that the anti-virus can try to determine whether or not a file has a virus in it by looking at how the file or program is constructed and acts. This isn’t a perfect system, however, and can bring up some strange results. This is why some programs tell you to turn off your anti-virus before installing. This type of scanning isn’t a perfected science, but on the bright side it is better to be safe then sorry.

Sandboxing-It is where an antivirus program will take suspicious code and run it in a Virtual Machine (secure from the rest of the system) in order to see exactly how the code works and what its purpose is.



Antivirus, Pc Backup, Pc Maintenance

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author avatar Denise O
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Good info. Please add some tags, so other will be able to find this page. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Retired
13th Jun 2011 (#)

Nice sharing.

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