Proof-of-Concept Virus

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What Does Proof-of-Concept Virus Mean?

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.

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Techopedia Explains Proof-of-Concept Virus

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.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.