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Different types of virus and how they work
Post: 06/02/2014

Different types of virus and how they work

A virus is a piece of computer code that embeds itself into a program and affects its performance. The name “Virus” was given to them because they are quite similar to and spread like biological virus. Just like living virus, it also needs a host to live on. Another similarity between the two viruses is their being small in comparison to their hosts. Web browsers are a piece of software which gets most commonly infected. If this happens, every time you launch it the virus also starts running and starts infecting the system. The aim of a virus is to spread to as many computers as quick as possible. Once the virus infects many computers, whole security system fails and any hacker can make his move.

Another type of virus is known as worm which takes advantage of security loopholes in software or operating system. Once one system is infected, it scans the whole network for other hosts who also have security flaws and then replicates itself in them. This type of viruses spread very quickly. Its ability to replicate quickly makes it very destructive and it can bring the whole network to a stop- so it works quite similar to living worms.

One of the most common viruses nowadays is known as Trojan horse. This virus got its name from the famous story of the Trojan War. The Greeks pretended to sail away and hid inside a huge wooden horse outside Troy. The Trojans dragged this wooden horse into the city as a symbol of victory allowing the Greeks to enter the city and eventually taking over the whole city of Troy. A computer Trojan horse acts similarly and hides and disguises itself to trick a computer user to enter his system. It may hide in a media file or a small game downloaded from web, or it may disguise itself as a software file in school or work system. Once it is transferred or downloaded to your system and you run it, the virus becomes free to start destruction.

Another important virus present in the computer world is the email virus which easily spreads via small infected emails. This virus hides itself in an email and when the recipient of that email opens it, the virus infects their whole system and then automatically resends itself to other people present in the contacts or the mail box. In this way these virus start a chain process and spread themselves rapidly to coax someone to open the infected emails.

There are a few ways in which we can prevent our systems from getting infected. You can follow the guidelines mentioned below to keep your computers safe.

The primary step and the most important form of defense is it to keep your system up to date. Many of the updates in software fix the security issues so they should not be ignored. The longer you take to update your software, more time you give a virus to infect your system.

Antivirus programs and software are also very effective in protecting systems. These programs are dedicated to protect user's computer and data. Some of these programs are free and some charge activation and usage fees. There are many powerful antivirus programs available in the market. It is very important to have an antivirus in your system.

Always stay on the safe side; if something looks very attractive and too good to be true it most probably is infected. Don't open such links or emails. Finally, read articles and stay updated on the subject of computer systems. Doing this ensures that you know how to keep your computer and data safe.

Shane Khan