What are Viruses?

COMPUTER VIRUS DEFINITION

A virus is malicious software that is usually embedded into other programs and/or files in order to install itself into a user’s system. The effects of a virus infection vary depending on the creator’s intentions, as hey are highly customizable. The consequences of a virus infection may include remote access to your computer, file and program infection and damage, private user information theft, boot sector and computer hardware damage, etc.

There are three major virus types:

  • File infectors spread by infecting and corrupting various files
  • Another virus type is called boot record infectors, propagates by infected removable media, corrupting hardware, mostly hard disks through Master Boot Records.
  • The third most widely spread virus type is called marco viruses, which infect computers via macro commands in Microsoft Office applications.

COMPUTER VIRUS INFECTION

1. Most of the viruses try to find MS Windows security holes and spread via these breaches to the system. There is a large part of viruses that find security vulnerabilities in firewalls and spread by themselves through these holes into the system. This is one of the most dangerous types of viruses if you do not have a proper, up to date firewall installed.

2. Some viruses get into your system is to spread via instant messengers such as AIM, MSN messenger or ICQ. Viral parasites that replicate through peer-to-peer networks such as KaZaa and LimeWire, also fall into this group. Usually, these viruses come as meaningful messages, names or message attachments, so that a user would execute them thinking there is no risk involved. Once opened, they infect the system for good.

3. Another way for a viral parasite to infect your computer is to spread through email. Such malicious software usually comes as an email file attachment or within an infected email message. Once opened, it installs itself into a user’s computer silently, in the background. Such replication is nearly impossible to notice without any real-time antivirus protection, as no install wizards, warnings or dialogs are being displayed on your screen

4. Macro viruses spread via infected MS Office documents and spreadsheets, after the user has opened the infected file.

DESTRUCTIVE COMPUTER VIRUS PAYLOAD

Although most of the viruses are not controlled directly from the creator’s remote server, they are programmed to automatically deal damage to a computer and may send vital information and commands to the intruder by themselves. Viruses can:

  • Take COMPLETE control over the victim’s system, manipulate files and hardware devices, execute various commands, change any system settings, and edit Windows registry; install arbitrary software or parasites.
  •   Take screenshots of victim’s activity, logging details of various accounts, login names, credit card numbers, login passwords, outgoing and incoming email messages and other similar data, causing serious private data theft
  •   Corrupt various system files, especially executables, and cause damage to the entire system.
  •   Replicate or create a backdoor to other computer parasites, such as Trojans, backdoors and keyloggers.
  •   Damage your internet connection, thus degrading system performance and stability by excessively and needlessly using computer resources.
  •   Use your entire system resources to spread to other computers in your local area network and/or through your internet connection.

VIRUS REMOVAL: HOW TO?

Naturally, viruses are best removed with the help of anti-virus software. Most of the respectable anti-virus program packages remove most of the viruses very easily, especially if the viral parasite is noticed instantly. However, even quality anti-virus software can sometimes fail to rid your system from a new and advanced virus. In such a case, use our manual removal instructions to remove the virus.

 

25 April, 2007
 

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