Browse Definitions :
Definition

virus signature (virus definition)

A virus signature (also known as a virus definition) is a file or multiple files that are downloaded by a security program to identify a computer virus.

The files enable detection of malware by the antivirus (and other antimalware) software in conventional file scanning and breach detection systems.

Researchers at antivirus firms study viruses found commonly on the internet, often testing their behavior in a sandbox-type set up. The sandbox is generally a virtual machine-based environment. The behavior, file names used and unique strings of data in the files are all analyzed.

Commercial antivirus utilities have long depended on virus definitions. Security software frequently downloads the files to keep the software able to detect current threats. The files are used to update criteria for detection of files in hard drive scans and checks on running processes. The main weakness of virus signatures is in detection of new viruses.

Another method of virus detection is the use of heuristics. In these systems, antivirus programs use algorithms to detect the behavior patterns that were found when a specific virus was tested by researchers. Strong heuristics are becoming increasingly important because of advanced persistent threats, which conceal themselves through encryption to evade detection by typical scans. Metamorphic and polymophic viruses, which change their code in propagation, also hide malicious software from conventional scanning processes.

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About virus signature (virus definition)

Networking
  • firewall as a service (FWaaS)

    Firewall as a service (FWaaS), also known as a cloud firewall, is a service that provides cloud-based network traffic analysis ...

  • private 5G

    Private 5G is a wireless network technology that delivers 5G cellular connectivity for private network use cases.

  • NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure)

    NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure) encompasses all of the networking hardware and software needed to support ...

Security
  • phishing

    Phishing is a fraudulent practice in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in an email or other form of ...

  • computer forensics (cyber forensics)

    Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular ...

  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

CIO
HRSoftware
  • OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

    OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) encourage companies to set, communicate and monitor organizational goals and results in an ...

  • cognitive diversity

    Cognitive diversity is the inclusion of people who have different styles of problem-solving and can offer unique perspectives ...

  • reference checking software

    Reference checking software is programming that automates the process of contacting and questioning the references of job ...

Customer Experience
  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

  • customer profiling

    Customer profiling is the detailed and systematic process of constructing a clear portrait of a company's ideal customer by ...

Close