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Tunneling Virus

(also Tunneling Malware)

Tunneling virus definition

A tunneling virus, or tunneling malware, is a type of malicious software that hides from regular security scans by using special techniques to go undetected. It avoids antivirus programs by inserting itself into lower levels of the computer system, making it harder to find and remove. This allows the malware to operate in the background, causing damage or stealing information without being noticed right away. 

See also: Anna Kournikova virus, antivirus scanner

How does a tunneling virus work?

  • The virus gets into your computer through a downloaded file or an email attachment. 
  • Once inside, it uses special techniques to avoid detection by your antivirus software (like operating at lower levels of the system, where it’s less likely to be noticed). 
  • The virus creates a "tunnel" to bypass regular security checks. This means it can move through the system without triggering alarms from antivirus programs.
  • It then works on its malicious activities, like corrupting files, stealing data, or creating backdoors for other malware, while staying hidden from security tools.
  • The virus stays active on your system by embedding itself in critical parts that are less likely to be scanned or cleaned by regular antivirus software.

How does a tunneling virus infect devices? 

  • Opening infected attachments in emails.
  • Downloading and running infected software or files from the internet.
  • Visiting unsafe or malicious websites that exploit vulnerabilities in your browser.
  • Plugging in USB drives that are already infected with the virus.
  • Exploiting weaknesses in network security to spread to connected devices.
  • Taking advantage of bugs in operating systems or apps.