How Does An Antivirus Program Work?

mathematics and engineering skills are required when designing an antivirus program

There are a lot of mysteries when it comes to the computer.

Most people do not realize that there are different parts of computer science.

Firstly, there is the mathematical part.

In this section of computer science the topics that you study about includes algorithms, logic theory, data structures, and other items that try to help you think in the ways that a computer would.

Secondly, there is the other part of computer science.

This is the part that deals with mostly engineering concepts such as the structure of the actual computer, how to read and access bits in the memory.

Also, how those bits operate with one another.

When most students take a computer science course they get exposed to both sides but usually excel at one or the other.

It’s the same in the real world.

Some of the students become excellent software engineers and others excel at putting the high mathematical concepts that they learned in school to real world code.

The Two Sides Collide With Antivirus Programs

An antivirus program is the rare case where both of those worlds merge together.

To have an excellent antivirus program you must be able to merge these two worlds.

The software needs to analyze new data coming in quickly and without using too many of the system’s resources.

So, to create the program, they will use several regression analysis techniques, while at the same time, trying to create the perfect algorithm to be able to do this.

This is kind pf precision is usually not needed when you are just programming business logic.

Work like this takes a lot of mathematical precision.

If you get one thing wrong, it can mean the difference between your program not be noticed by the user or slowing down the computer and making the user upset.

While it takes a lot of math to get a well honed antivirus program working, you must also make sure that you are able to recognize the flaws that the hackers are using.

This is where the engineering part comes into the play.

Once you have a speedy algorithm able to analyze the software being fed to it, you now need to know what you are actually analyzing.

You need someone who knows the memory structure inside and out.

Understanding Opcode

Most of what the software reads is opcode.

Opcode is the instructions that are fed to the processor.

You need someone who is going to be able to understand what the opcode means.

This is the level under assembly and not many people can understand it.

This opcode tells you everything you need to know about what a certain program is doing.

As you can see, you will need to make the program speedy as well as be able to understand the very deep dark parts of the computer.

When you have this, it is when you know that you have a well rounded antivirus program.

The viruses that are coming into the computer are just code.

Some people forget about that.

There is nothing magical about them.

It is just code that someone wants to use so that they can cause another person harm.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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