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Polymorphic Virus

Definition - What does Polymorphic Virus mean?

A polymorphic virus is a complicated computer virus that affects data types and functions. It is a self-encrypted virus designed to avoid detection by a scanner. Upon infection, the polymorphic virus duplicates itself by creating usable, albeit slightly modified, copies of itself.

Polymorphism, in computing terms, means that a single definition can be used with varying amounts of data. In order for scanners to detect this type of virus, brute-force programs must be written to combat and detect the polymorphic virus with novel variant configurations.

Techopedia explains Polymorphic Virus

Removing polymorphic viruses requires that programmers rewrite language strings, which can be time-consuming, complex and costly. In order to detect polymorphic viruses, a scanner with strong string detection that enables it to scan several different strings - including one for each possible decryption scheme - is necessary.

A polymorphic function definition can replace several specific ones that are associated with one type. An example of polymorphism would be if the “C” key was switched to “D,” or “4” to “5,” and so on. Data types and functions are included in polymorphism, and functional programming languages widely use this type of computing technique. Thus, polymorphic viruses can be widely applied.

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