Truth And Lies About The Computer Virus

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Truth And Lies About The Computer Virus Essay, Research Paper Truth and Lies About the Computer Virus Walk into any computer store today and there will be at least twenty or thirty computer virus programs. From the looks of it computer viruses have gotten out of hand and so has the business of stopping it. The computer user must cut through the media hype of apocoliptic viruses and shareware programs and discover the real facts. Before we even start the journey of exploring the computer virus we must first eliminate all the “fluff.” The computer user needs to understand how information about viruses reaches the public. Someone creates the virus and then infects at least one computer. The virus crashes or ruins the infected computer. A anti-virus company obtains a copy of

the virus and studies it. The anti-virus company makes an “unbiased” decision about the virus and then disclose their findings to the public. The problem with the current system is that there are no checks and balances. If the anti-virus company wants to make viruses seem worse all they have to do is distort the truth. There is no organization that certifies wheather or not a virus is real. Even more potentially harmful is that the anti-virus companies could write viruses in order to sell their programs. Software companies have and do distort the truth about viruses. “Antivirus firms tend to count even the most insignificant variations of viruses for advertising purposes. When the Marijuana virus first appeared, for example, it contained the word “legalise,” but a

miscreant later modified it to read “legalize.” Any program which detects the original virus can detect the version with one letter changed — but antivirus companies often count them as “two” viruses. These obscure differentiations quickly add up.” Incidentally the Marijuana virus is also called the “Stoned” virus there by making it yet another on the list of viruses that companies protect your computer against. I went to the McAfee Anti-virus Web site looking for information on the Marijuana virus but was unable to obtain that information. I was however able to get a copy of the top ten viruses of their site. On specific virus called Junkie: “Junkie is a multi-partite, memory resident, encrypting virus. Junkie

specifically targets .COM files, the DOS boot sector on floppy diskettes and the Master Boot Record (MBR). When initial infection is in the form of a file infecting virus, Junkie infects the MBR or floppy boot sector, disables VSafe (an anti-virus terminate-and-stay-resident program (TSR), which is included with MS-DOS 6.X) and loads itself at Side 0, Cylinder 0, Sectors 4 and 5. The virus does not become memory resident, or infect files at this time. Later when the system is booted from the system hard disk, the Junkie virus becomes memory resident at the top of system memory below the 640K DOS boundary, moving interrupt 12’s returns. Once memory resident, Junkie begins infecting .COM files as they are executed, and corrupts .COM files. The Junkie virus infects diskette boot

sectors as they are accessed. The virus will write a copy of itself to the last track of the diskette, and then alter the boot sector to point to this code. On high density 5.25 inch diskettes, the viral code will be located on Cylinder 79, Side 1, Sectors 8 and 9.” Junkie’s description is that of a basic stealth/Trojan virus which have been in existance for 10 years. They also listed Anti-exe as one of the top ten viruses but did not acknowlege the fact that it has three aliases. It’s no wonder that the general public is confused about computer viruses! I decided to investigate the whole miss or diss-information issue a little further. I went to the Data Fellows Web site to what the distributors of F-prot had to say about viruses. It is to no surprise that I found them