Virus Essay Research Paper General Virus Information

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Virus Essay, Research Paper General Virus Information A virus is a piece of software designed and written to adversely affect your computer by altering the way it works without your knowledge or permission. In more technical terms, a virus is a segment of program code that implants itself to one of your executable files and spreads systematically from one file to another. Computer viruses do not spontaneously generate: They must be written and have a specific purpose. Usually a virus has two distinct functions: + Spreads itself from one file to another without your input or knowledge. Technically, this is known as self-replication and propagation. + Implements the symptom or damage planned by the perpetrator. This could include erasing a disk, corrupting your programs or just

creating havoc on your computer. Technically, this is known as the virus payload which can be benign or malignant at the whim of the virus creator. A benign virus is one that is designed to do no real damage to your computer. For example, a virus that conceals itself until some predetermined date or time and then does nothing more than display some sort of message is considered benign. A malignant virus is one that attempts to inflict malicious damage to your computer, although the damage may not be intentional. There are a significant number of viruses that cause damage due to poor programming and outright bugs in the viral code. A malicious virus might alter one or more of your programs so that it does not work as it should. The infected program might terminate abnormally,

write incorrect information into your documents. Or, the virus might alter the directory information on one of your system area. This might prevent the partition from mounting, or you might not be able to launch one or more programs, or programs might not be able to locate the documents you want to open. Some of the viruses identified are benign; however, a high percentage of them are very malignant. Some of the more malignant viruses will erase your entire hard disk, or delete files. Viruses: The Threat is Real It is not overstating the case to say that viruses could interrupt the free flow of information that has been built up by the personal computing in the last 10 years. Indeed, the prevalence of viruses has ushered in a new era of safe computer to the point where those that

ignore the guidelines run grave risks. Considering the extreme warnings of danger–and the incidents already on record–it is a mystery that there are those in the computing industry who claim news reports of viruses are exaggerated. The National Center for Computer Crime Data in Los Angeles estimates that American business have lost as much as $550 million from unauthorized access to computers yearly. The amount of lost time may be incalculable. As an indication of the severity of the problem, the federal government has helped to form a virus SWAT team called the Computer Emergency Response Team. Its job is to investigate security threats in major computer networks across the country. The Software Publishers Association has also adopted certain measures to address the problem.

Furthermore, in the last year many Fortune-listed companies have begun to establish computer policies to deal with viruses. In many cases those new procedures will set practices for testing in all software before it is put on a network and restrict the downloading of software from electronic bulletin boards. Literally no one who uses computers–not the government nor the police nor even your local bank–is immune from computer viruses. Suppose a space shuttle executed order from a virus-infected software program. Or an air traffic controller was given incorrect information from a fouled system. Or your company’s financial records were suddenly eradicated or permanently altered. These are not necessarily fantasies of impending doom. Thus far, computer viruses have hit a