It is essential to know how your antivirus software can detect threats. Cyber-terrorists are constantly creating more dangerous viruses and malware, which can infiltrate computers and capture data, corrupt documents, and cause damage to other things. As you’re probably aware the primary purpose of the majority of antivirus programs is to detect and eliminate malicious threats before they cause harm. They do this by studying your system files, data and computer programs.

Antivirus software has traditionally relied on signature-based detection. It compares documents that are sent to your device with a database of known viruses signatures. This method searches for fingerprints of a specific virus, and then finds the appropriate file or program, and warns you when there is a match. It’s a great method however, hackers continue to create new types malware. To be able to detect them, antivirus programs must keep their definition files up-to-date with the most current viruses.

Encrypting the malware’s payload is another method hackers employ to get around antivirus scanners. Once a virus is encoded, it is able to bypass scans and signatures as it is not an executable. This is usually done by attaching a small header to the virus. This lets it leap over the counter and execute the virus on the first chance.

Antivirus software employs various methods to search for viruses. These include heuristics-based detection and behavior-based detection. Heuristic-based analysis is similar in concept to signature detection, in that it looks for patterns and trends in the program’s behavior. Utilizing a trial-and-error method it is possible to identify viruses that aren’t detected using signature-based methods.