Computer Virus

Computer Virus
Who can forget the​ way the​ world was frozen with the​ threat of​ the​ Millennium Bug? While people around the​ globe should have been counting down to​ a​ phenomenal celebration,​ we​ were too busy preparing for certain doom and gloom beset by a​ computer virus .​
Of course,​ the​ clock struck twelve on​ January 1,​ 2000 and a​ new millennium quietly began,​ bug-free .​

Those unfortunate enough to​ have had to​ deal with a​ computer virus knows all too well the​ damage that can be done .​
From taking on​ annoying quirks,​ to​ erasing files,​ to​ completely obliterating computers or​ entire systems,​ the​ powerful effect of​ a​ computer virus is​ nothing to​ sneeze at .​
Computer viruses pose real threats that can be minimal,​ or​ can cause worldwide destruction .​
In computer security technology circles,​ the​ definition of​ a​ computer virus is​ a​ self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of​ itself into other executable code or​ documents .​
a​ computer virus behaves in​ a​ manner similar to​ a​ biological virus,​ which spreads by inserting itself into living cells .​
Extending the​ analogy,​ the​ insertion of​ a​ computer virus into a​ program is​ termed as​ an​ infection and the​ infected file (or executable code that is​ not part of​ a​ file) is​ called a​ host .​
Viruses are one of​ several types of​ malicious software,​ also known as​ malware .​
the​ term virus is​ often extended to​ refer to​ worms,​ Trojan horses and other sorts of​ malware .​
These are less common than they used to​ be,​ however,​ so the​ inclusion of​ these types of​ malware can be confusing to​ computer users .​
This confusion can have serious implications,​ as​ it​ can lead to​ a​ focus on​ preventing one genre of​ malware over another,​ potentially leaving computers vulnerable to​ future damage .​
the​ basic rule holds that computer viruses can only damage software,​ not hardware .​
Viruses have targeted in​ the​ following types of​ hosts:
* Boot sectors of​ floppy disks; hard disk partitions.
* Master boot record of​ a​ hard disk.
* Binary executable files (.COM-files and .EXE-files in​ MS-DOS; portable executable files in​ Microsoft Windows; ELF files in​ Linux).
* General-purpose script files (batch files in​ MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows; shell script files on​ Unix-like platforms).
* Application-specific script files (Telix scripts).
* Documents containing macros (Microsoft Word documents).
A computer virus by nature is​ destructive,​ but others are created solely for the​ annoyance factor .​
Some viruses pester computer users with a​ delayed payload,​ also known as​ a​ bomb .​
For example,​ a​ bomb virus might display a​ message on​ a​ specific day,​ or​ wait until it​ has infected a​ certain number of​ hosts .​
a​ time bomb occurs on​ a​ particular date or​ time,​ and a​ logic bomb occurs when the​ computer user takes an​ action that triggers the​ bomb .​
However,​ the​ predominant negative effect of​ viruses continues to​ be their uncontrolled self-reproduction,​ which wastes or​ overwhelms computer resources.
To hinder the​ continuous spread of​ computer viruses,​ programmers have created anti-virus software .​
However,​ a​ fast infector can infect every potential host file that it's able to​ access .​
This presents a​ special problem to​ anti-virus software .​
a​ virus scanner will perform a​ system-wide scan,​ accessing every potential host file on​ the​ computer .​
If the​ virus scanner fails to​ notice that a​ virus exists in​ the​ computer's memory,​ the​ virus can piggy-back on​ the​ virus scanner,​ and infect every file that is​ scanned .​
Fast infectors rely on​ their incredible spreading rate .​
To combat the​ problem,​ certain anti-virus software programs,​ like the​ well-known Spyware,​ are expanding to​ cover worms and other threats .​

Like the​ potential devastation of​ the​ Millennium Bug in​ 2000,​ computer viruses continue to​ present a​ real threat to​ single users and corporate networks alike.

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