Tunneling Virus

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What Does Tunneling Virus Mean?

A tunelling virus is a virus that attempts to intercept anti-virus software before it can detect malicious code. A tunneling virus launches itself under anti-virus programs and then works by going to the operating system’s interruption handlers and intercepting them, thus avoiding detection. Interception programs, which remain in the background of an operating system and catch viruses, become disabled during the course of a tunneling virus. Some anti-virus programs do find the malicious code attached to tunnel viruses, but they often end up being reinstalled under the tunneling virus. To combat this, some anti-virus programs use their own tunneling techniques, which uncover hidden viruses located within computer memories.

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Techopedia Explains Tunneling Virus

By backtracking through operating systems’ interruption chains, tunneling viruses can successfully launch themselves in the DOS and basic input/output system (BIOS) handlers. This can result in a tug of war between the anti-virus program and the virus, resulting in substantial computer system operating problems.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

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.