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A popular approach in current commercial anti-malware software detects malicious programs by searching in the code of programs for scan strings that are byte sequences indicative of malicious code. The scan strings, also known as the signatures of existing malware, are extracted by malware analysts from known malware samples, and stored in a database often referred to as a virus dictionary. This process often involves a significant amount of human e orts. In addition, there are two major limitations in this technique. First, not all malicious programs have bit patterns that are evidence of their malicious nature. Therefore, some malware is not recorded in the virus dictionary and cannot be detected through signature matching.
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