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Know the Basics of Malware Removal

Malware Removal

What is Malware?

Malware refers to a damaging computer program that, when installed, will affect the targeted computer’s basic functions. In addition to inhibiting the system’s performance capabilities, malware may enable a hacker to access or tamper with personal information that is stored on the system.

Malware is short for malicious software. The term refers to any software that is designed to damage or secretly access a computer system without receiving the informed consent of the owner or user of the system. Malware includes various computer viruses such as, Trojan horses, worms, dishonest adware, scareware, the majority of rootkits, and spyware.

Malware acts as a vehicle or medium to initiate a cybercrime. When a computer is infected, the personal or financial information stored on the system becomes observable by a hacker. In many cases, malicious software will be disguised as a legitimate application and may even come from a secured or official site. Malware is not regarded as defective software, which is a program or application that possesses a legitimate purpose but contains defects or harmful bugs.

Basics of Malware Removal

Malware removal refers to the disinfecting of a computer’s malicious software. In most instances a user whose computer is infected with malware must remove the viruses by downloading or purchasing a form of antivirus software. These programs will scan the system through the use of codes to initiate malware removal.

Malware removal is somewhat difficult and requires constant updating due to the fact that viruses and other forms of malicious hardware evolve through the formation of new codes. As a result of this complexity, malware removal programs will initiate various methods to remove harmful software.

To identify the presence of malicious software on a computer platform, a malware removal program will institute an assortment of techniques and technologies to pinpoint abnormal or disruptive behavior.

Signature-based detection is the most generic identification method incorporated by a malware removal program. To identify malicious software and computer viruses, malware removal programs will compare the contents of a file to a dictionary of virus signatures. Due to the fact that viruses can be latent in existing files, the entire file is searched as a whole and in fragments. As new viruses are being created each day, the signature-based detection approach requires constant updates of the virus signature dictionary. To achieve constant and thorough updates, anti-virus software companies will typically allow the user to upload new variants to the software, which will effectively add the formation of new viruses to the dictionary.

The Heuristic Approach of Malware Removal

A signature-based detection malware removal program will incorporate a search of the system’s hardware. The search is performed to evaluate known patterns of data within executable codes. That being said, this form of anti-virus software is susceptible to newer malware for which no signature is known. To counter this problem (known as zero-day threats) forms of malware removal, known as heuristics, can be employed. A generic signature, a type of heuristic approach, can effectively identify new computer viruses or variations of existing viruses by searching the system for malicious code or variations of such code.

Another type of Heuristic-based detection system incorporated by malware removal programs is in the form of file emulation. This process involves executing a program in a virtual environment and logging specific actions the program performs. Depending on the actions present, the anti-virus software can determine if the program is malicious or not. If the anti-virus software finds malicious programming, it will carry out appropriate disinfection actions.

NEXT: Malware At A Glance

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