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is a subset of .

Is there really a need to distinguish between the two when for all intents and purposes, they are referring to tools to protect a system from malware?

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    Intuitively, I think they should be the same, but in reality they're NOT. Products of each work in very different ways, they fit different environments, e.g. AV is often a regulatory requirement, ...
    – AviD Mod
    Jun 22 '13 at 21:09
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(Turning my comment to an answer):

Intuitively, I too think they should be the same, but in reality they're NOT.
Products of each work in very different ways, they fit different environments, e.g. AV is often a regulatory requirement.

So syntactically, you would be right it is a subset, but the actual products are not.

Bottom line, while in theory, there should be no difference between the two, but in practice there is.

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Well the 'virus' is something you'll hardly see these days. However the rootkit, trojan, worm, spyware and adware are common to see.

A virus, (real virus) can replicate himself to other programs and is memory resilient. What you see commonly is a worm that weaponized an exploit and spreads over the networks.

But, this is kinda off topic. I'd recommend to just use Anti-Malware. As Virus is an outdated term most of the time.

Don't trust my word on it, trust Wikipedia

A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another.[1] The term "virus" is also commonly, but erroneously, used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have a reproductive ability.

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  • "memory resilient" what do you mean?
    – curiousguy
    Aug 13 '13 at 8:13
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    Doesn't have it's own 'body'. It infects other files (exe, com, elf) and injects it's code. Most often (in old viruses) it finds the EntryPoint, changes the first instruction to a jmp to the end of the code. Pastes it's code and finsishes with the first code on the EntryPoint and adds a jump back. When you get the newer viruses you'll detect Metamophic stuff and packers that pack other executables. A virus is 'hard' to detect or delete by hand. Where a 'netcat backdoor' is not.
    – Stolas
    Aug 13 '13 at 8:40
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I would just put them up as synonyms.

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  • Not sure why this was voted down. I think Lucas is right. Aug 22 '13 at 14:40
  • +1, the average computer user doesn't know or care what the difference is and will call any manner of malware a virus by default. It's the default pariah. "Why didn't you bring your laptop to class today?" "It's not working. I got a virus."
    – killermist
    May 12 '15 at 22:59

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