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Armored virus

(also encrypted virus)

Armored virus definition

An armored virus, or an encrypted virus, is a malicious computer program designed to conceal its code by encrypting its payload (the part responsible for carrying out malicious actions). The encryption makes it difficult for traditional antivirus and security software to detect and analyze the virus. Armored viruses use many techniques to protect their code, like encryption algorithms, decryption routines, and anti-debugging measures.

See also: antivirus

Armored virus characteristics

  • Armored viruses hide their harmful code by encrypting it, making it tough for antivirus software to detect them.
  • They use self-decryption routines to allow them to carry out malicious activities.
  • Armored viruses often use anti-analysis techniques to prevent experts from studying them (like avoiding debugging or making their code unreadable).
  • Many armored viruses are polymorphic, meaning they can change their appearance and code structure with each infection to avoid detection.
  • These viruses are stealthy and hide their presence on the system (even after it restarts).
  • They may use advanced tactics, like rootkit technologies, to hide themselves from security software and system admins.
  • Armored viruses can cause various harm — from stealing sensitive data to system damage.

How to prevent an infection

  • Keep your software up to date.
  • Use strong, long, complex passwords.
  • Install a robust antivirus software.
  • Enable firewalls to monitor outgoing and incoming traffic.
  • Browse with caution.
  • Educate yourself about cybersecurity.
  • Perform regular backups.