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Virus (Generic)


Category: Malware

Type: Virus

Aliases: Virus.generic.[variant], virus.gen.[variant]


A generic detection has identified a program or file that has features or behaviors similar to a virus.

Generic detections are broad patterns of code or behavior that are used by security software to identify programs or files. If you suspect the detected file was incorrectly identified, go to: Removal: Resolve a False Positive.


Automatic action

Based on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either automatically delete, quarantine or rename the detected program or file, or ask you for a desired action.

Resolve a False Positive

Security programs will sometimes unintentionally identify a clean program or file as malicious if its code or behavior is similar to a known harmful program or file. This is known as a False Positive. In most cases, a False Positive is fixed in a subsequent database release. If you suspect the detected file is a False Positive, you can:

Knowledge Base

Find the latest advice in our Community Knowledge Base.

About the product

See the manual for your F-Secure product on the Help Center.

Contact Support

Chat with or call an expert for help.

Submit a sample

Submit a file or URL for further analysis.

Technical Details

A virus is a harmful program that silently integrates its own code into a program or file (referred to as the host file) on a computer.


A virus almost always arrives as an executable file. The virus file is most popularly distributed as an email attachment, or as part of a trojan's payload. Some viruses are distributed using more sophisticated distribution methods such as:

Other ways viruses can be spread are through removable media such as floppy disks, CDs or USB thumb drives.


Once the virus file is run, it begins its attack on the files on the computer. Each time a host file is run, the virus code in it will replicate - that is, it will create and insert more unwanted code, either into the same file or into another file on the same machine (essentially infecting the other file as well).

As this process repeats, the increasing additions of unwanted code can disrupt the host file's normal operations. If it happens often enough, the virus code can completely corrupt the host file. If enough files are infected, the entire computer may be completely disrupted.

In addition to infecting its host files, a virus can often perform other harmful actions on the affected computer. These actions can range from simple nuisances to severely harmful:

  • Changing the desktop background
  • Playing sounds or displaying images
  • Deleting files and programs
  • Modifying or stealing sensitive data files

Depending on what other actions the virus performs, the impact of an infection can range from annoying to devastating.

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