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I suppose that there are every day new viruses detected, that it is hard for the software companies to keep up. As a consequence there has to be a significant amount of any kind of malware, to which I simply refer to as viruses, to stay undetectable for a while. Will someone ruffly estimate or give numbers of the amount of those being undetected, at any given time? Since virus programmers have potentially more time and enthusiasm then their counterparts, who work for money, but may have more sophisticated methods it might come a nonlinear developement.

edit: you can leave the viruses that never get discovered out of scope. i just wonder how unprotected you are even with good antivirus software.

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closed as not constructive by heavyd, Nifle, random Aug 6 '10 at 17:34

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The title is bothering me. Can someone edit it to say "What percentage of all viruses are detected by anti-virus software?" – Thomas Owens Aug 5 '10 at 23:54

It's not 100%, which is really the only metric that matters. Some things are going to get by. Your best bet is to use multiple types of protection (not multiple anti-virus programs, but anti-virus programs, file integrity scanners, malware scanners, etc) and to do your virus-happy stuff on a machine that you can wipe without much trouble.

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I can tell you that today's malware are much more stealthy. Honestly, I'm not sure what kind of reasonable experiment or research could answer your question.

There is this though: .

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I can't give a number, but you do realize this is an impossible question to answer, just guess at.

If you can't detect it, it's probably because you don't know about it at all. So you're trying to guess at an unknown quantity. We've gone from the 'hey, let me show how cool i am by having a virus that makes a lot of noise when you're infected' to 'lets stay under the radar so we can exploit this computer for money for a long time'.

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