A type of malware that passes itself around, including on the internet
- Developer: Over 9000
- Release Date: Unknown
- Twitter: Unknown
- Known For:
A computer virus is a kind of malware that copies itself and can spread over several mediums, depending on the type. Many modern viruses have spread themselves over the internet. They are distinct from computer worms in that they need to attach themselves to some form of executable code (such as a .COM file, a .EXE file, Word macros, etc.) in order to function. Computer viruses can spread through files, floppy disk boot sectors and hard disk master boot records, document macros, and other means.
Many file and macro viruses have been posted with infected files on bulletin boards and websites. Some multi-partite viruses (viruses that spread using more than one manner) such as Melissa have e-mailed themselves to other people. However boot sector viruses and companion viruses have not spread on the internet.
Many of these virus writers did it for the lulz; they wanted to see how far the program would spread, or they wanted to see how many computers to fubar and b& from the internets (by having their hard drives erased, of course :) ).
The first virus for PC systems was Brain, a boot sector virus written in Pakistan.
Still going on.
- File viruses infect particular files (such as .EXE or .COM files) - It can infect strategic files to keep itself active every time the computer is turned on (i.e. Command.com on an MS-DOS computer).
- A boot sector virus typically infects boot sectors of floppy disks and the master boot record (partition sector) of hard drives. I.E. if you leave a floppy in a computer when you turn it on, whatever boot sector virus on the floppy will transfer itself to the MBR.
- Macro viruses infect Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. macros used in template files.
- A companion virus, instead of directly infecting a file, disguises itself as a file. I.E. when a user runs "program" DOS chooses the first extension as "program" - A virus would call itself "program.com" and run when the user believes he/she is selecting "program.exe" - The virus then turns command to "program.exe" so the user doesn't suspect anything fishy.
- A multipartite virus is a virus that can spread using multiple methods - i.e. Melissa mass e-mailed itself, but it also spread using Microsoft Word macros.