Computer viruses have been around almost as long as computers themselves. Initially, these portions of code were written for self-replication and did not do any harm. Their objective quickly shifted. A virus is often an executable file or a piece of code meant to perform destructive actions on a computer system. Viruses were first propagated mostly through floppy discs, but they have thrived in the age of networked computers.

The earliest antiviruses developed practically simultaneously with the first infections. The phrase, like the programs themselves, has developed through time. Today, we expect anti-virus software to protect our computer systems from viruses, adware and spyware, ransomware and keyloggers, backdoors and rootkits, trojans, worms, dialers, fraud tools, and so on. But, it also frequently includes network firewall functionality, such as protection against DDoS attacks, spam, scam, and phishing attacks.

The workings of antiviral software are based on three main mechanics:

  • Examining the computer system for known Malware signs
  • Heuristic analysis: scanning for code that resembles known viruses;
  • Real-time monitoring for suspicious behavior such as accessing certain files and registries, altering permissions, copying without user approval, and so on.

However, new technologies are being developed, with the most current examples including data mining, sandboxing, and many more.

Antivirus software must be routinely updated to perform optimally and stay up with the most recent infections. The well-known antivirus product suppliers are ESET NOD, Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, McAfee, and others.

Crypto wallets and user private keys are well-known as lucrative targets for cybercriminals, with new malware tailored to attack them being produced.