Antivirus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware).
Antivirus software typically uses two different techniques to accomplish this:
Examining (scanning) files to look for known viruses matching definitions in a virus dictionary
Identifying suspicious behavior from any computer program which might indicate infection. 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.
Historically, the term antivirus has also been used for benign computer viruses that spread and combated malicious viruses. This was common on the Amiga computer platform.
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