Antivirus software are computer programs that attempt to identify, neutralize or eliminate malicious software. The term "antivirus" is used because the earliest examples were designed exclusively to combat computer viruses; however most modern antivirus software is now designed to combat a wide range of threats, including worms, phishing attacks, rootkits, trojan horses and other malware. Antivirus software typically uses two different approaches to accomplish this:
* examining (scanning) files to look for known viruses matching definitions in a virus dictionary, and
* identifying suspicious behavior from any computer program which might indicate infection.

The second approach is called heuristic analysis. Such analysis may include data captures, port monitoring and other methods.
Most commercial antivirus software uses both of these approaches, with an emphasis on the virus dictionary approach.

The Giant Black Book Of Computer Viruses

This definitive work on computer viruses discusses the techniques modern viruses use to propagate, evade anti-virus software, cause damage, & compromise system security. Unlike most works on the subject, "The Giant Black Book" doesn't stop short of giving the reader what he needs to fully understand the subject. It is a technical work which contains complete, fully-functional commented code & explanations of more than 37 computer viruses & 3 anti-virus programs, alone with detailed discussions of stealth technology, polymorphism, evolutionary viruses & good viruses. The book discusses viruses for DOS, Windows, OS/2, Unix systems, & more.

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