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Computer Viruses Essay

1083 words - 5 pages

Computers are an important part of our everyday life. We use them to learn new information and to communicate with others. Through the course of using the Internet, and your computer, you may have come in contact with a computer virus. They are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another, and to interfere with the computers operations. I would like to explore and discuss some common computer viruses, what they do to your computer, and ways that you can protect yourself from picking one up while using your computer. It is good to be informed about the dangers associated with computer use, and now everyone is connecting to the Internet, so you should know ...view middle of the document...

It may claim to be a game, but instead it will do damage when you run it. This program is capable of erasing your hard disk. Trojan horses are unable to reproduce automatically. You must open them before they can infect your computer. A worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to reproduce. The worm will scan a network looking for another machine that has a security hole. It will copy itself using the security hole, and will continue to reproduces from there.
You may be wondering why someone would want to make a virus and spread it. People write computer viruses. A person has to write the code, test it to make sure it spreads properly, and then release it. There are at least three reasons for a person to create destructive computer viruses. The first reason is that some people enjoy being destructive, and if that person knows computer programming, they may enjoy knowing that they could cause damage for so many people. Then, there are computer programmers that see a security hole and want to be the first to prove that there is a security issue before someone else beats them to it. They may feel that this is something to brag about and show off their computer skills. The last reason is to make money. A virus can trick you into buying fake software, or steal personal information to get to your money. Your personal information can even be sold, earning the thief a good profit.
The first known virus was named "Elk Cloner" and it was designed to run on the Apple DOS 3.3 operating system. A high school student made the virus as a joke. It was transmitted through a floppy disk which contained a game. The disk would open the game 49 times, without a problem, but on the 50th the virus was released. The virus would cause the screen to go blank and then show a poem reading: "It will get on all your disks. It will infiltrate your chips. Yes it's Cloner! It will stick to you like glue. It will modify RAM, too. Send in the Cloner!" This virus spread and caused a...

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