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A proof-of-concept virus is a method of identifying and removing a software vulnerability or flaw by creating a virus that actually exploits that vulnerability. It is a type of non-malicious software virus that aims to identify, evaluate and remove vulnerability from a software or system.
A proof-of-concept virus is typically created by a virus or information security (IS) researcher. It works when a researcher, or anyone with IS and programming skills, identifies a software vulnerability, bug or error that can jeopardize that system's security. After identification, the individual writes a virus that uses that vulnerability to exploit the software or break into the system. The individual later shares this with the owner/developer of the software or with the anti-virus vendor, in order to help them mitigate or remove it.