Author Topic: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing  (Read 1533 times)

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Offline Dinobot2

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Like the title says, the number of virus definitions with each definitions update seems to only decrease. I've brought this up before and googled it before, and the response is usually something along the lines of the number of definitions going down just means that there is consolidation or optimization in signatures, as a signature can identity hundreds or thousands of different samples.

Still, over the last month or so I have noticed the number of definitions almost always going down and almost never going up, and I would imagine (maybe incorrectly) that occasionally they would at least go up and there'd be something of an ebb & flow.

Has anyone else noticed this? I know people don't just check their virus definitions number every day, but I don't know: maybe people can look at the About section and show the number of definitions along with the virus definitions version? Mine is currently 24,689,028 under version 230406-2.

Offline bob3160

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2023, 03:53:54 PM »
That's normal. They get consolidated over time into groups.
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Offline Dinobot2

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2023, 03:58:01 PM »
Mind if I bug you for what your definitions number and version number are from the About page, Bob?

Offline bob3160

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2023, 05:15:07 PM »
Mind if I bug you for what your definitions number and version number are from the About page, Bob?
Sorry, but it's not anything that I ever check or am ever concerned about.
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Offline Dinobot2

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2023, 05:37:49 PM »
I understand you're not concerned about it, but it takes about 5 seconds to do and it was just a quick request.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2023, 05:43:07 PM »
Like the title says, the number of virus definitions with each definitions update seems to only decrease. I've brought this up before and googled it before, and the response is usually something along the lines of the number of definitions going down just means that there is consolidation or optimization in signatures, as a signature can identity hundreds or thousands of different samples.

Still, over the last month or so I have noticed the number of definitions almost always going down and almost never going up, and I would imagine (maybe incorrectly) that occasionally they would at least go up and there'd be something of an ebb & flow.

Its called optimisation and speeds up scans.

I too never bothered about this from when this optimisation of signatures was introduced many, many years ago.
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2023, 05:43:51 PM »
I understand you're not concerned about it, but it takes about 5 seconds to do and it was just a quick request.

But what would it achieve when you now know why it happens.
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Offline Dinobot2

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2023, 05:45:48 PM »
Because I want to make sure mine is actually working properly and isn't decreasing more than normal. It's the logical conclusion to the sanity check that i've already posted. And, again, it takes literally less than 10 seconds. It probably takes less time to check and copy the info in then to respond with "sorry, i'm not going to do that because i'm principled."

Offline DavidR

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2023, 06:40:44 PM »
It doesn't really matter how long it takes it is almost comparing apples with oranges.  Virus signatures are constantly updated throughout the day, but aren't all updated at the same time (400 million plus users).  There are also the streaming updates and they essentially keep things up to date until the next VPS update. 

As far as I'm aware these streaming updates aren't included in the figure for number of virus definitions displayed in the UI.
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Offline dnzrzx34

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2023, 06:09:28 AM »
Because I want to make sure mine is actually working properly and isn't decreasing more than normal.

It should be easy to help, here while writing this is the number: 24.616.517,

or see here:
« Last Edit: April 08, 2023, 06:16:09 AM by dnzrzx34 »

Offline Dinobot2

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Re: Number of virus definitions keeps decreasing, almost never increasing
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2023, 03:00:03 AM »
Thanks!