Symantec patents quicker virus detection

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Symantec has won a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for technology that streamlines virus detection.

Called "data driven detection of viruses," the technology allows researchers to write simple detection scripts for complex scanning and emulation of executable files in order to detect complex, self-mutating threats.

The technology also allows researchers to aim a virus scanner at specific regions of a file instead of having to scan larger parts of a file, which can slow down computer performance, according to Symantec.

"Over the years, viruses, worms and spyware have evolved considerably, making detection by traditional anti-virus software increasingly difficult and time-consuming," Carey Nachenberg, chief architect with Symantec Research Labs and developer of the technology, said in a statement.

"This invention fundamentally reduces the complexity of detecting malicious software and shortens the response time needed to address new threats without the need for new product updates or patches," he said.

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