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A Guide to the Selection of Anti-Virus Tools and Techniques



William T. Polk, Lawrence E. Bassham


Computer viruses continue to pose a threat to the integrity and availability of computer systems. This is especially true for users of personal computers. A variety of anti-virus tools are now available to help manage this threat. These tools use a wide range of techniques to detect, identify, and remove viruses. This guide provides criteria for judging the functionality, practicality, and convenience of anti-virus tools. It furnishes information which readers can use to determine which tools are best suited to target environments, but it does not weigh the merits of specific tools.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-5
Report Number


availability, change detection, integrity, personal computer, precise identification, scanners, system monitor, virus, virus removal


Polk, W. and Bassham, L. (1992), A Guide to the Selection of Anti-Virus Tools and Techniques, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created December 1, 1992, Updated May 4, 2021