Computer Viruses 13783 - Essay Example

Computer Viruses

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It is morning. You awaken to the sweet smell of flowers and the sound of

birds chirping. You turn on your new I B M compatible computer only to find

that every bit and byte of information has been erased. A computer virus has

struck.

Yes, these small bits of computer code have slowly overtaken the world of

computing. A computer virus is a small program that attaches itself to disks

and computer systems with instructions to do something abnormal. Sometimes the

effects of a computer virus can be harmless. Sometimes the effects of a

computer virus can be disastrous. But whichever way you look at it they still

cause problems. There are many kinds of computer viruses. Three of the most

common are the time bomb, the logic bomb and the Trojan horse. The time bomb is

a virus triggered by the computers clock reaching a certain date and time (often

Friday the thirteenth). The logic bomb is a virus triggered by a certain value

appearing a certain part of the computers memory, either relevant to the viruses

purposes or at random. The Trojan horse is an innocent seeming program

deliberately infects with a virus and circulated publicly. There is a cure for

these viruses, though. These “cures” are called vaccines. A vaccine is a

program that watches for typical things viruses do, halts them, and warns the

computer operator.

“Put a kid with the chicken pox together with a bunch of healthy kids and not

all of them will get sick.” But that is not the case with computer viruses.

You see when a computer virus passes on a virus it never fails unless the

computer is protected with a vaccine. A typical computer virus spreads faster

than the chicken pox too. Now as I said before when a computer virus attempts

to infect another computer the attack is not always successful. However that

does not mean the infected computer stops trying. An infected computer will

pass on the virus every chance it gets. Computer viruses are spread by two

methods Floppy disks and modems. A modem is a phone link connected to a

bulletin board service (B.B.S.). A B.B.S. is a lot like what it sounds, a

bulletin board. If a person calls you and you’re not home he leaves a message

so that the next time you use the B.B.S. you can see the message. However

sometimes a person can leave a virus in a B.B.S. or an unsuspecting computer

user whose computer is infected the next time you hook up to the B.B.S. you may

get infected. Once a virus reaches a B.B.S. it is virtually unstoppable unless

the corporation controlling the B.B.S. uses a vaccine to flush out the virus.

So far most virus attacks have been made on large computer networks and apple

computers. That doesn’t mean that single users or I B M owners are completely

safe either. In 1989 there were two million five thousand outbreaks of viruses.

The most computer viruses originate from Bulgaria, a country in Europe. As a

matter of fact the most deadly computer viruses originate from Bulgaria. One

virus called the Dark Avenger was created in Bulgaria then sent to the United

States of America and it started destroying military secrets. The military

knew that it had to be designed alone because if Bulgarian government made it

could just turn around like a boomerang and attack them. In Bulgaria there is

no real law against computer crime. You could do something with a computer that

could get you the death penalty here and get off with a slap on the wrist there.

One of the most famous viruses of all time was the Michelangelo virus. This

virus was created by a mad man who wanted everybody to remember the famous

painter. This virus was a time bomb virus set to go off on the artist’s

birthday march sixth 1990. This virus affected more computers than any other

virus. When this virus exploded it erased every bit of information with it.

The average price for the Michelangelo virus vaccine is about 160$.

To sum up my whole report I would think Clifford Stoll said it best when he said

“a safe computer is one that isn’t connected to the outside world.”