1/8/2020 0 Comments
Computer Viruses and their Effects on the Computer In our health-conscious society, viruses of any type are an enemy. Computer viruses are especially pernicious. They can and do strike any unprotected computer system, with results that range from merely annoying to the disastrous, time-consuming and expensive loss of software and data. And with corporations increasingly using computers for enterprise-wide, business-critical computing, the costs of virus-induced down-time are growing along with the threat from viruses themselves. Concern is justified - but unbridled paranoia is not. Just as proper diet, exercise and preventative health care can add years to your life, prudent and cost-effective anti-virus strategies can minimize your exposure to computer viruses. Because Symantec is the world's largest supplier of anti-virus technology, we are uniquely able to offer comprehensive virus protection options and service plans. As an introduction, we offer this white paper series. In concise text, graphs and illustrations, we will give you a overview of: A history of computer viruses Who writes viruses - and how they can reach you The early warning symptoms of virus infection The real numbers behind the growth of viruses and their costs How viruses work - and how virus protection can stop them Anti-virus tools from Symantec for enterprise-wide, multi-platform, state-of-the-art protection What, Exactly, Is A Computer Virus? A computer virus is a program designed to replicate and spread, generally with the victim being oblivious to its existence. Computer viruses spread by attaching themselves to other programs (e.g., word processors or spreadsheets application files) or to the boot sector of a disk. When an infected file is activated - or executed - or when the computer is started from an infected disk, the virus itself is also executed. Often, it lurks in computer memory, waiting to infect the next program that is activated, or the next disk that is accessed. What makes viruses dangerous is their ability to perform an event. While some events are benign (e.g. displaying a message on a certain date) and others annoying (e.g., slowing performance or altering the screen display), some viruses can be catastrophic by damaging files, destroying data and crashing systems. How Do Infections Spread? Viruses come from a variety of sources. Because a virus is software code, it can be transmitted along with any legitimate software that enters your environment: In a 1991 study of major U.S. and Canadian computer users by the market research firm Dataquest for the National Computer Security Association, most users blamed an infected diskette (87 percent).