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A Generic Virus Scanner in C++

Eugene Spafford, Sandeep Kumar
Technical Report CSD-TR-92-062
September 1992

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Computer viruses pose an increasing risk to computer data integrity. They cause loss of valuable data and cost an enormous amount in wasted effort in restoration/duplication of lost and damaged data. Each month many new viruses are reported. As the problem of viruses increases, we need tools to detect them and to eradicate them from our systems. This paper describes a virus detection tool: a generic virus scanner in C ++ with no inherent limitations on the file systems, file types, or host architectures that can be scanned. The tool is completely general and is structured in such a way that it can easily be augmented to recognize viruses across different system platforms with varied file types. The implementation defines an abstract C++ class, VirInfo, which encapsulates virus features common to all scannable viruses. Subclasses of this abstract class may be used to define viruses that infect different machines and operating systems. The generality of the mechanism allows it to be used for other forms of scanning as well.

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