Computer Viruses

Posted by on Nov 10 2008 |

Computer Viruses

  • One might think of a computer virus as a tiny computer program designed to perform mischief. Most computer users have heard about computer viruses. A computer virus is the result of a destructive program that someone has written and placed inside a computer program, which unsuspecting people then place in their computer system.
  • Some viruses can erase all the information from the place where it’s stored on the computer’s hard disk. But each virus is different. Some display strange messages on your computer screen; others make small changes in your computer programs.
  • Where do these viruses come from? They certainly don’t float around in the air like some human viruses. Instead, like any other computer program, a human must create them.
  • Why do people create them? It’s hard to say. Some people create these programs out of meanness to get even. While others create them just as a challenge. Why do you think people create these very destructive programs? How does your computer get a virus? Almost exactly the way humans do. The computer gets exposed to one. Well, its not quite that easy.
  • Many people get contaminated computer programs by trading programs with other people. Others get contaminated computer programs through the use of modems, which allow computers to communicate over telephone lines (ie. The Internet)
  • Most of the time, programs that arrive by modem or a trade are perfectly safe to use. However, you do stand a chance of getting a program that has been tampered with. Here a computer program virus is hiding inside the normal program. Many computer programs that are traded were copied illegally.
  • When this program enters your computer through your input device, it hides in your computer’s memory and starts to duplicate itself like a disease. When you save your data, you also save the virus. Slowly but surely, the virus crowds out your data and causes major system problems.
  • The virus can’t affect the computer’s ROM (Read Only Memory), but it can affect RAM (Random Access Memory) and your computer disks. When your shut off your computer a virus that has been picked up will be lost, just like any other memory that is held in RAM.
  • If the virus is on your disk or hard drive, it will return to the computer when you use the program again. If you switch from one program to another without shutting down the machine, the virus will attach itself to the new program. In this way, it can slowly infect all your programs before you know that it exists. Today millions of dollars are being spent to rid and protect computer systems from these virus programs.
  • There are many solutions for detecting and fixing a virus if you think you have one.  Commercial and shareware programs have been created with the sole purpose of detecting and fixing suspect programs that might be viruses infected. These detection programs should be ran when any disk is put into your disk drive or every time your computer is first started up each day to scan the computer’s hard drive.
  • In computers, a Trojan horse is a program in which malicious or harmful code is contained inside apparently harmless programming or data in such a way that it can get control and do its chosen form of damage, such as erasing the files on your hard drive.. In one celebrated case, a Trojan horse was a program that was supposed to find and destroy computer viruses. A Trojan horse may be widely redistributed as part of a computer virus.
  • A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program. It uses a network to send copies of itself to other nodes (computer terminals on the network) and it may do so without any user intervention. Unlike a virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program. Worms almost always cause harm to the network, if only by consuming bandwidth, whereas viruses almost always corrupt or modify files on a targeted computer.
  • denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts of a person or people to prevent an Internet siteor service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely.
  • Question:

    Do Macs get viruses?

    Answer:

    It is possible for an Apple Macintosh to get a virus, so the short answer to the question is Yes. However, the likelihood of an Apple Macintosh user getting a virus when compared to a Microsoft Windows user is very little to none. In fact, many of the Apple Macintosh users don’t even run an antivirus protection program.

    Below are some of the reasons why Apple Macintosh computers do not have as many viruses as Microsoft Windows.

    1. Newer Macintosh operating systems, such as the Mac OS X, is built on the Unix kernel, which is one of the oldest and most secure operating systems available.
    2. Microsoft Windows is used by a lot more users. Because more users use Microsoft Windows, it is a lot better of a target than Apple Macintosh computers.
    3. Most of the virus writers are familiar with the IBM platform and Microsoft Windows, and therefore are only going to be able to create a virus for that platform.
    4. Many of the tools and scripts used to help users create viruses or other malware are designed for Microsoft Windows.

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