Computer Viruses : Discussion About Virus

941 words - 4 pages

Like the common cold, virtually countless variations of computer viruses exist. Unlike the biological viruses that cause the common cold, people create computer viruses. To create a virus, an unscrupulous programmer must code and then test the virus code to ensure the virus can replicated itself, conceal itself, monitor for certain events, and then deliver its payload-the destructive event or prank the virus can was created to deliver. Despite the many variations of viruses, most have two phases to their execution: infection and delivery.To start the infection phrase, the virus must be activated. Today, the most common way viruses spread is by people running infected programs disguised as e-mail attachments. During the infection phase, viruses typically perform three actions:1.First, a virus replicates by attaching itself to a program files. A macro virus hides in the macro language of a program, such as Word. A boot sector virus targets the master boot record and executes when the computer starts. A file virus attaches itself to program files. The file virus, Win32. Hatred, for example, replicates by first infecting Windows executable for the Calculator, Notepad, Help and other programs on the hard disk. The virus then scans the computer to locate .exe files on other drives and stores this information in the system registry. The next time an infected file is run, the virus reads the registry and continues infecting another drive.2.Viruses also conceal themselves to avoid detection. A stealth virus disguise itself by hiding in fake code section, which it inserts within working code in a file. A polymorphic virus actually changes its code as it infects computers. Win32.Hatred use both concealment techniques. The virus writes itself to the last file section, while modifying the file header to hide the increase file size. It also scrambles and encrypts the virus code as it infects files.3.Finally, viruses watch for a certain condition or event and activate when that condition or event occurs. The event might be starting the computer or hitting a date on the system clock. A logic bomb activates when it detects a specific condition (say, a name deleted from the employees list). A time bomb is a logic bomb that activates on a particular date or time. Win32.Hatred, for instance, unleashes its destruction when the computer clock hits the seventh day of any month. If the triggering condition does not exist, the virus simply replicates.During the delivery phase, the virus unleashes its payload, which might be a harmless prank that displays a meaningless message, or it might be destructive, corrupting or deleting data and files. When Win32.Hatred triggers, it display the author’s message and then covers the screen with black dots. The virus also deletes several antivirus files as it infect the system. The most dangerous viruses do not have an obvious payload;...

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