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In The Name Of Malace Or For Business. A Look Into Computer Virus

747 words - 3 pages

Most of us swap disks with friends and browse the Net looking for downloads. Rarely do we ever consider that we are also exchanging files with anyone and everyone who has ever handled them in the past. If that sounds like a warning about social diseases, it might as well be. Computer viruses are every bit as insidious and destructive, and come in a vast variety of strains. A computer virus tears up your hard drive and brings down your network. However, computer viruses are almost always curable diagnosed, and cures for new strains are usually just a matter of days, not months or years, away.
Virus, a program that 'infects' computer files (usually other executable programs) by inserting in those files' copies of itself. This is usually done in such a manner that the copies will be executed when the file is loaded into memory, allowing them to infect still other files, and so on. Viruses often have damaging side effects, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. (Microsoft Encarta 1996)
Most viruses are created out of curiosity. Viruses have always been viewed as a well written, creative product of software engineering. I admit there are many out there who create them out of malice, but far more people are just meeting a challenge in software design. The people who make anti-virus software have much more to benefit from the creation of new virii. This is not a slam, just an observation. A common type of virus would be a Trojan Horse, or a destructive program disguised as a game, a utility, or an application. When run, a Trojan Horse does something devious to the computer system while appearing to do something useful (Microsoft Encarta, 1996). A Worm is also a popular type of virus. A worm is a program that spreads itself across computers, usually by spawning copies of itself in each computer's memory. A worm might duplicate itself in one computer so often that it causes the computer to crash. Sometimes written in separate 'segments,' a worm is introduced secretly into a host system either for 'fun' or with intent to damage or destroy information. The term 'Worm' comes from a...

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