Computer Viruses Essay

2313 words - 9 pages

What is a Computer virus?Computer viruses are software programs deliberately designed to interfere with computer operation, record, corrupt, or delete data, or spread themselves to other computers and throughout the Internet. Viruses often slow things down and cause other problems in the process. Basic viruses typically require unwary computer users to unconsciously share or send them. Some viruses that are more sophisticated, such as worms, can replicate and send themselves automatically to other computers by controlling other software programs, such as an e-mail sharing application. Certain viruses, called Trojans, can falsely appear as a "beneficial" program to entice users into downloading them. To help avoid viruses, it's essential that you keep your PC current with the latest updates and antivirus tools, and that you follow a few basic rules when surfing the Internet, downloading files, and opening attachments. Once a virus is on your computer, its type or the method it used to get there is not as critical as removing it and preventing further infection. These issues and more will be discussed further on in this report.Types of virusesThere are many different types of viruses circulating the world. Below is a list of the major types of virus's that may affect a PC.Boot viruses: These viruses infect floppy disk boot records or master boot records in hard disks. They replace the boot record program, copying it elsewhere on the disk or overwriting it. Boot viruses load into memory if the computer tries to read the disk while it is booting. Examples: Form, Disk Killer, Michelangelo, and Stone virusProgram viruses: These infect executable program files, such as those with extensions like .BIN, .COM, .EXE, and .SYS. These programs are loaded into memory during execution, taking the virus with them. The virus becomes active in memory, making copies of it and infecting files on disk. Examples: Sunday, CascadeMultipartite viruses: are hybrids of Boot and Program viruses. They infect program files and when the infected program is executed, these viruses infect the boot record. When you boot the computer next time, the virus from the boot record loads in memory and then starts infecting other program files on disk. Examples: Invader, Flip, and TequilaStealth viruses: These viruses use certain techniques to avoid detection. They may either redirect the disk head to read another sector instead of the one in which they reside or they may alter the reading of the infected file's size shown in the directory listing. Examples: Frodo, Joshi, WhalePolymorphic viruses: A virus that can encrypt its code in different ways so that it appears differently in each infection. These viruses are more difficult to detect. Examples: Involuntary, Stimulate, Cascade, Phoenix, Evil, Proud, Virus 101Macro Viruses: A macro virus is a new type of computer virus that infects the macros within a document or template. When you open a word processing or spreadsheet document, the...

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