Friday, January 25, 2013

Generations Of Anti-virus Softwares

The key characteristics of the generation of anti-virus software are as follows:

  • 1st Generation   These anti-virus software programs were called as simple scanners. They needed a virus signature to identify a virus. A variation of such programs kept a watch on the length of programs and looked for changes so as to possibly identify a virus attack.

  • 2nd Generation   These antivirus software programs did not rely on simple virus signatures. Rather, they used some rules to look for possible virus attacks. The basic idea was to look for code blocks that were commonly associated with viruses. For example, such programs can look for encryption key used by a virus, decrypt it, and remove the virus and clean the code. Another variation of these anti-virus programs used to store some identification about the file to detect changes in the contents of the file.

  • 3rd Generation    These anti-virus software programs were memory resident. They watched for viruses based on their actions, rather than their structure. Thus, it is not necessary to maintain a large database of virus signatures. Instead, focus on keeping a watch on a small number of suspect actions.

  • 4th Generation These anti-virus software programs package many anti-virus techniques together(example scanning, monitoring, filtering). They also contain access control features, thus defeating the attempts of a virus to infect the files.

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