antivirus program


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antivirus program

[‚an·tē′vī·rəs ‚prō·grəm] antivirus software

antivirus program

antivirus program

Software that searches for viruses. Also known as a "virus scanner." As new viruses are discovered by the antivirus vendor, their binary patterns and behaviors are added to a database that is downloaded periodically to the user's antivirus program via the Web. Popular antivirus programs are Norton, McAfee, Sophos, Bitdefender, AVG and Kaspersky. Windows Defender is Microsoft's own antivirus software that comes with Windows, starting with Windows 8.

Antivirus programs are used on all Windows machines, but most Mac users do not install them. However, as more Macs are acquired, the Mac has slowly but surely become a target of attacks, and Mac antivirus programs are being installed at a more rapid rate than in the past. See virus, quarantine, disinfect and scareware.

Multiple Detection Approaches
Early antivirus scanning matched the binary signature (pattern) of executable files against a database of known malware signatures before they were allowed to run. This "scanning" process was vastly speeded up by doing a one-time scan of all the executables in the computer and also when a new one is installed. If the executable is virus free, a checksum (hash) of its binary pattern is computed and stored in a checksum database. The next time the executable is launched by the user, its checksum is recomputed and compared with the virus-free checksum. If they match, the file was not adulterated.

Because malware may generate a unique signature each time it is downloaded to an unsuspecting user, antivirus programs also use behavior detection, which looks for suspicious activities such as copying and deleting files when launched (see behavior detection). See Symantec, McAfee, Sophos, Bitdefender, AVG, checksum, virus, polymorphic virus and Reputation-based Security.


Scan and Create a Checksum (Hash)
This is commonly used to speed up antivirus scanning, because computing and comparing an executable's checksum is considerably faster than analyzing the file each time it is loaded.
References in periodicals archive ?
rtf" extension is not one that the antivirus programs bother to check, unless you specifically tell them to.
Some antivirus programs can monitor a computer system for viruslike behavior, such as making a file bigger without adding new data, but such systems are prone to false alarms and virus makers can take steps to evade such detection systems.
Malware will become much more sophisticated in 2010 and many antivirus programs will be slow to treat infected computers due to advanced file infection methods and rootkit technologies," stated Alex Gostev, director of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team.
False positives, he said, happen relatively often - most famousely with MacAfee last year, when an antivirus program actually damaged computer systems and the company was embarrassed - and paid millions in compensation.
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Microsoft has taken aim at a rogue antivirus program called Internet Antivirus Pro.
Anyone connecting to the Internet, whether by dial-up modem or broadband connection, needs a good antivirus program.
GFI recently posted a warning about OpenCloud Antivirus, a fake antivirus program that scares infected users into purchasing software to clean phony scan results.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose, among other things, that NQ far overstated its presence and market share in China, misrepresented the size of its paying user base, and that the Company's antivirus program Antivirus 7.
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Earlier versions of Conficker tried to install a program called Antivirus XP, a notorious rogue antivirus program that infects victims' computers with pop-up messages in an attempt to trick them into paying for bogus software.
Makers of the popular McAfee antivirus program have reclassified Stages as a larger threat.