What is Computer Viruses? – Computer Viruses are the oldest form of the malicious program; it was first introduced in 1970. In this section, we will discuss the virus and worms, how viruses are classified to be different from other malicious programs, how to create viruses and how does virus infect the target.
The Virus is self-replicating program; it is capable of producing multiple copies of itself by attaching with another program of any format. These viruses can be executed as soon as they are downloaded, it may wait for the host to execute them as well as be in sleep for a predetermined time. The major characterstics of viruses are:-
- Infecting other files
- Alteration of data
Stages of Computer Viruses Life
The process of developing a virus till its detection is divided into the following six stages. These stages include the creation of a virus program, its execution, detection, and anti-virus stages. The methodology of Developing a virus is classified as:-
In Designing phase, virus is created. To design a virus, the developer can create its own virus code completely from scratch using programming languages, either he can use construction kits.
In Replication phase when the virus deployed, the virus replicates for a certain time period in a target system. After the certain period. The viru will spread itself. Replication of difference viruse may differ depending upon how the developer wants to replicate them. Usually, this replication process is very fast to infect the target in short order.
Launch stage is the stage when user accidentally launches the infected program. Once this virus is launch, it starts performing the action it is designed for. ex, a virus is specially designed for destroying the data; once the virus is activated, it starts corrupting the data.
In the detection phase, the behavior of a virus is observed, and the virus is identified as a potential threat to systems. Typically, antivirus developers observe the behavior of a reported virus.
Anti-Virus Software developer after identification, detection and observing the behaviour of a virus, design a defensive code in term of anti-virus or an update to provide support to an older version of anti-viruses to detect this new type of virus.
The user, by installing the update of an anti-virus, or downloading the newer version of anti-virus capable of detecting advanced threats can eliminate the threat from its operating system.
Working of Computer Viruses
Working on Virus is a two-phase process. in which virus replicates onto an executable file and attack on a system. Different phases of virus operation are defined below:-
1, Infection Phase
During Infection phase, virus planted on a target system replicate itself onto an executable file. By replicating into a legitimate software, it can be launch when a user runs the legitimate application for its use. these Viruses spread by reproducing and infecting the programs, documents, or emails attachmets. Similarly, they can be propagated through e-mails, file sharing or downloaded files from internet. They can be entering into an operating system through CDs, DVDs, USB-drives and any other sort of digital media.
in the infection phase, the virus replicates itself and attaches to an .exe files in the system.
2. Attack Phase
In the Attack Phase, the Infected file is executed accidentally by the user, or by any other way. Viruses normally require a triggering action to infect a victim. This infection can be minimized to complete destruction and corruption of program files and data. Some virus can initiate an attack when they are executed, but they can also have configured to infect upon certain predefined conditions.
How does a Computer Get Infected by Viruses
- When a user accepts files and downloads withour checking properly for the source
- Opening infected email attachments
- Installing pirated software
- Not updating and not installing new versions of plug-ins
- Not running the lastest anti-virus application
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