An anti-virus program (or anti-virus) is a computer program which purpose and main task are to protect your computer against viruses by detecting and removing them. Currently, such programs can be found in suites with other complementary applications.
How do Anti-viruses Work?
In most cases, these programs consist of two modules. These are:
- A scanner which purpose is to examine files periodically or on a specific request. It examines the contents of the disk and also selects potentially dangerous files. Scanning is one of the oldest ways to get viruses. It works by searching for a specific unique sequence of bytes. Because of the development of the viruses, this module will not always cope with the newest threats, but it is an effective protection tool.
- Monitor – a program which task is to constantly analyze files for threats. Its operation is based on monitoring any calls to the hard disk.
In addition to these two modules, there are also vaccines. These are special programs, designed for specific viruses, which are aimed at detecting malicious code and then eliminating it. The vaccines are an effective method only when it comes to the old type of viruses which are already known.
Additional components included in security suites, (besides the antivirus programs) are firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention modules, memory scanners and MBR guards. Modern anti-viruses use cloud computing that allows for an accelerated response in case of any new threats coming up.