Definition: Virus Signatures are sections or pieces of of code that uniquely identify malware. Publishers of antivirus software build their product to detect malicious code look for telltale functions (behavior) that could be classified as typical of how a particular piece of malicious code works. The unique code is likely to be a type of algorithm known as a “hash”. The system is then searched for matches. Antivirus software publishers endeavor to maintain and update databases of the unique malware markers.
Its Relevance: The information security policies and procedures of an organization must address how the infrastructure is to be protected against malicious software vectors. One defensive technique that can be used is to purchase and deploy a security suite that actively scans information systems for recognizable snippets of code to target for deletion. The process is continual.