An introduction to on-access virus scanning, part one

Wednesday, 4 September 2002, 1:06 AM EST

By now, most savvy computer users have anti-virus software (AV) installed on their machines and use it as part of their regular computing routine. However, most average users do not know how anti-virus software works. This two-part series will offer a brief overview of a particular type of anti-virus mechanism know as on-access virus scanners. These programs are loaded at during the operation system start-up and interact with programs in the background until the system is shut down. In the Microsoft Windows world, which this article will focus on, they must function reliably and speedily across a range of Windows flavors. They must also be able to correctly identify and disinfect thousands of viruses - known and unknown. On-access scanners must stand in the gap, ensuring that nothing passes the ground they defend.

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