Important Facts About Computer Viruses
In this article, we will address Important facts about computer viruses, from “ordinary” viruses to viruses that attack your computer so you can understand how they function, and ways to protect your computer.
We will cover here details like What is a Computer Virus, History of Computer Virus, types of virus, how to secure the computer from viruses and how to remove viruses from the computer.
Malignant computer programs are referred to as viruses because they share certain biological virus characteristics.
The computer virus needs a working “host machine” to replicate it, only works with the proper “host,” and passes from one device to another device as a biological virus passes from person to person.
What is a Computer virus?
A computer virus is a malicious type of code or program that alters the functionality of a computer and is designed to spread from one machine to another.
To execute its code, a virus operates by inserting or adding itself to a legit program or document.
It is because the computer virus is designed to target compromised networks that take control and steal sensitive data, cyber-criminals are successfully deceiving internet users.
The viruses in computers never occur naturally. These are still people-induced. Nevertheless, their transmission is not directly under human control until it has been created and released.
A virus binds itself to another program when it enters a device in such a way that running the host software simultaneously activates the virus operation.
This can duplicate itself, inject itself into other programs or files, and infect them.
However, not every computer virus is harmful. Nonetheless, most of them carry out unethical acts, such as data destruction.
History of Computer virus
Over the years, virus developers have added new tricks. One such trick is the ability to load viruses into memory so that they can continue to run in the background as long as the machine is still running.
It offers viruses a way to reproduce themselves even more efficiently.
Elk Cloner, invented by Richard Skrenta, 15, in 1982 as a prank, was the first true computer virus. Elk Cloner was an Apple II booting sector virus that would move from floppy to floppy on systems that had two floppy drives.
An infected game would show a poem about the infection every 50th time it began.
Some of the major viruses in history are as follows –
- Jerusalem: a computer -In the city of Jerusalem, this kind of virus was first observed. It was a DOS virus that was created on the 13th day of a Friday to delete all files on infected computers.
- Melissa – A mass mail virus in 1999 which gave the underground virus scene the mainstream. The author was jailed for 20 months.
- ILOVEYOU – This virus would delete files in the format JPEG, MP2 or MP3.
- Backoff – Malware designed to hinder POS systems for stealing credit card data.
How does the virus spread in the computer?
Early in the days before the Internet, viruses frequently spread over contaminated disks from device to device.
The SCA virus, for example, spreads to disks with pirated software by some users. It was mostly harmless, but 40% of the users were at one point infected.
Viruses are now spreading across the internet. For most cases programs infected with virus code, like all other programs, are moved from computer to computer.
Since many viruses have logic, a code that guarantees that the payload of the virus is executed only at a certain time or under certain conditions, users may not be aware that their applications are infected and can pass or install them.
The infected software may be e-mailed. Many viruses even hijack mail software from your computer to send out their copies, steal data or passwords,they may even copy it from an infected or corrupted code server.
Most email customers and webmail providers have built-in protection features that would prevent that, so there is no much fear associated with it.
How does a virus attack your computer?
If a virus has successfully attached to a program or file or text, it will remain dormant until a machine or system executes its code in certain circumstances.
To get a virus, you will have to run the infected software, which will then execute the virus code. The nature in which a virus spreads to other computers depends on the type of virus.
When one of the infected programs on a disk is given to another user, or if it is posted so that other people can access it, then other programs are infected. Therefore, the virus spreads.
Different types of computer viruses
Some of the types of computer virus are classified as below: –
- Macro virus – The software it is intended to target will trigger a macro virus when a document infected by the virus is opened. (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, are vulnerable to macro viruses.) Once a virus is active in a document, it will typically propagate to global application settings such that all documents become infected once opened. When an infected document is opened on a specific device, it will also corrupt the global software used for this program copy.
- Boot sector virus – A virus from the boot system infects disks and floppies. If a computer is restarted or power is turned on when the disk is on drive A, the virus spreads to the hard drive, even though the diskette cannot start the computer. All disks used on the device will be contaminated after the hard disk has been contaminated and will spread the infection to other computers.
- Program virus – Once a program with a virus is run, a software virus becomes active. Currently, after a software virus is triggered other programs are infected on your computer. When you switch a copy of an infected program to another machine and run it on that device, it will infect programs.
- Email virus -You can be vulnerable if you use an email with documents attached. To get the virus through email, you should either receive an email with an attachment that carries infection or receive a program. If you save the attachment from an email, and it’s a macro virus program or file, you must scan it with antivirus software before it is opened.
- Web scripting virus – This virus uses the web browser and web pages code. If you access such websites, your computer may be infected by the virus.
- Browser hijacker -This virus type ‘hijacks’ several web browser functions and you can be led automatically to an unknown website.
What are the symptoms of a virus in the computer?
An attack by a computer virus may cause several symptoms. Some of them are –
- Recurring Pop-up windows – Pop-ups might invite you to visit exceptional sites. Or you may be prompted to download antivirus programs or other applications.
- The performance of the computer slows down – A sudden change in processing speed could signal a virus on your computer.
- Crashes occur often – A virus can cause major harm to the hard drive. This can freeze or crash your computer. This can also keep your computer from returning.
- Homepage changes – For example, your usual homepage can change to another website. Plus, you may not be able to uninstall it.
- Unusual events – Activity like changing passwords could stop you from logging into your computer.
How to secure your computer from virus?
Below are some of the things you can do to help safeguard your machine:-
- Using trustworthy antivirus software, like Norton Anti-Virus Basic, and keep it updated with the latest definitions of viruses. Norton Security Premium provides even more system security, plus a backup.
- Stop clicking on any of the pop-up advertisements.
- Please check the attachments of the email until you open it.
- When you download files using file sharing, always make sure to scan the files.
- Download apps or any software only from trusted sites.
- Check the permissions of every app that you install.
- Do not click links on unfamiliar websites.
- Make sure to keep the operating system, apps and other software up to date.
- Never use USB or disks into your computer from unknown sources.
How to remove virus from the computer?
People writing computer viruses are still trying new ways of infecting computers. There are many different antivirus applications available on the market, some are free and others you need to purchase.
Bear in mind that some of the nicer features you will be missing in the free version.
Make sure to install the updated version of the antivirus. Many antivirus programs will try to uninstall malware for you.
You might need to pick a good choice and confirm that you want to tackle the malware using antivirus software. It is the safest solution for most users. it can be difficult to uninstall malware yourself.
When the antivirus program says it has successfully deleted the malware, you will have to shut down your computer, reboot and run the antivirus software once more.
Note that a strong anti-malware program is like getting a safe immune system.
As your immune system works through your body to identify, destroy and delete virus cells, anti-malware searches for non-system files (files that don’t belong to your system) and malicious code.
Avoiding viruses may sound like a lot of effort, but note that it is simpler than repairing a computer with a virus.
We hope that these important facts about computer viruses will definitely help you out to take preventive measures to secure your system from the threat of viruses.
Also, read – most common types of cyberattacks