Heuristics are designed to detect previously unknown viruses, that is to say, viruses that are newly released into the wild for which antivirus vendors have no specific definition files to address the threat.[1] Unfortunately, heuristics are not very successful in catching newly released threats - mainly due to consumer demand for an unobtrusive scanner. To minimize the risks of false positives, some vendors have cut back on the level of heuristics employed, or given users configurable options to lessen or increase heuristics as desired. As a result, traditional antivirus scanners, even those with heuristics, are more adept at detecting and disinfecting known viruses only. As more users become infected by viruses, particularly those with damaging payloads, a greater degree of user involvement will be tolerated and the level of heuristics will likely increase.


  1. Heuristics Antivirus Glossary -

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