Saturday, January 24, 2009

Computer Viruses and their Deadly Functions

Most computer users have come across the term “computer virus”. It conjures up a negative image that represents something horrific. The idea that computer viruses are always destructive is deeply ingrained in most people’s thinking.

A computer virus is a computer program that has the ability to destroy data and gain control of a computer. Its similarity with the biological virus is its ability to make a fully functional copy of itself (reproduce).

When a computer virus is executed it makes one or more copies of itself. These copies may later be executed, to create still more copies.

It is crucial to understand that not all computer programs that are destructive are classified as viruses because they do not all reproduce. Similarly not all computer viruses are destructive because reproduction, in itself, is not destructive.

What qualifies a program to be termed a virus is its destructive purpose, ability to gain control of a computer and its reproductive capability.

The very term “virus” is an emotionally charged epithet. The scientifically correct term for a computer virus is “self-reproducing automation (SRA)”.

A computer virus is written by someone with a purpose in mind. In this sense, a computer virus has the same two basic goals of a living organism: to survive and to reproduce.

Computer viruses have to be executed if they are to attain their functionality. To achieve this, the virus must attach itself to a COM, EXE or SYS file. If it attaches to any other file, it may corrupt some data, but it won’t normally get executed, and it won’t reproduce. A virus designed to attack COM files cannot attack EXE file.

We live in an interconnected world and computer viruses have the potential of spreading at phenomenal speed. Famous virus attacks have occurred in the past. The most memorable ones include the Melissa virus, I Love You virus and SQL slammer worm.

You can protect yourself from computer viruses by using an internet firewall. Windows XP with SP2 and Vista have an already built-in firewall and it is turned on by default.

You should also subscribe to industry standard antivirus software. This software should be constantly updated.

Finally never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know. You should also avoid opening attachments from friends, unless you know exactly what the attachment is. The sender may be unaware that it contains a virus.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The thing is, most users are ignorant of their computer requirements i.e the importance of having an updated Anti virus solution, most of them buy the solution from unscrupulous technicians who sell them pirated Anti virus solutions that leave there machines vulnerable, making the spread of virus to be easier.
The other risk they are not thinking about is losing their important data due to virus attacks, most of them loss vital data that stalls their businesses ending up losing money. All this can be avoided by initially investing in a genuine anti virus solution and making sure you update religiously even if it means hourly and i promise you will have a 98% chance of fighting of any malicious codes that come your way.

Howard said...

Thank you for sharing this information. read me article
A Famous Computer Virus

computer repair said...

Avast is the best antivirus and troujan remover I could find, and it is free. I have had troujan on my machine and could not get rid of it for ages. A friend introduced me to avast and it took the problem away. So avast 100%.

Data Center Monitoring said...

Computer viruses are most easily spread by attachments in e-mail messages or by instant messaging messages. Therefore, you must never open an e-mail attachment unless you know who sent the message or unless you are expecting the e-mail attachment. Computer viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files. Computer viruses also spread by using downloads on the Internet. Computer viruses can be hidden in pirated software or in other files or programs that you may download.

hanum said...


this is the paper related about computer viruses http://storage.jak-stik.ac.id/papers/Computers_Technology/Are_computer_viruses__spread_by_the_media_.pdf