How does Windows Defender detect and remove threats?

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s anti-malware software, which is included with Windows 10 and enabled by default. It has a range of features that protect your device from malicious software and viruses.

Windows Defender is designed to detect and remove threats, such as viruses, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, Trojans, and other forms of malicious software. It does this by using a combination of technologies such as Machine Learning and Real-Time Protection. Windows Defender also uses cloud-based protection from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which helps it identify newly created malware quickly so that it can be blocked before it can cause any damage.

The primary way that Windows Defender detects and removes threats is through signature-based detection. This is based on patterns of code that are commonly associated with malicious software. Windows Defender regularly downloads updates that contain new threat signatures, which help it detect and remove the latest forms of malicious software.

In addition to signature-based detection, Windows Defender also uses heuristic-based detection. This is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows Windows Defender to learn the behavior of malicious software, and then detects similar behaviors that could be indicative of a threat. This approach helps to identify emerging threats that may not yet be listed in signature databases.

Finally, Windows Defender also uses behavior-based monitoring to detect and remove threats. This technology monitors how an application behaves when it’s launched. If it exhibits suspicious behavior or doesn’t perform as expected, Windows Defender will block it from running and quarantine it.

Windows Defender also includes a feature called Exploit Guard, which helps protect against Zero Day attacks that are not detected by traditional detection methods. This feature works by monitoring for, and blocking, the activities commonly associated with these types of attacks, such as process injection, system modifications, and privilege escalation.

Another important feature of Windows Defender is its ability to monitor activity that occurs over the network. Network inspection is used to monitor data entering and leaving the computer, as well as determine whether a website is safe by examining its reputation. Any suspicious activity that is detected is blocked, and notifications can be sent as well.

Finally, Windows Defender is also capable of removing threats that have already infected your device. After an infection has been identified, Windows Defender can use its scanning engine to identify and delete malicious files, as well as repair any damage caused by the infection. After it has removed the threat, it can also generally undo any system changes caused by the malicious software.

Overall, Windows Defender offers a comprehensive set of features and technologies to help protect your device from malicious software. Its signature-based detection, heuristic-based detection, behavior-based monitoring, exploit guard, and network scanning capabilities all work together to keep your device safe from viruses and other threats.