Reliable identification of bounded-length viruses is NP-complete

@article{Spinellis2003ReliableIO,
  title={Reliable identification of bounded-length viruses is NP-complete},
  author={Diomidis Spinellis},
  journal={IEEE Trans. Information Theory},
  year={2003},
  volume={49},
  pages={280-284}
}
A virus is a program that replicates itself by copying its code into other files. A common virus protection mechanism involves scanning files to detect code patterns of known viruses. We prove that the problem of reliably identifying a bounded-length mutating virus is NP-complete by showing that a virus detector for a certain virus strain can be used to solve the satisfiability problem. The implication of this result is that virus identification methods will be facing increasing strain as virus… CONTINUE READING
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