A Dangerous PC Threat: Virus – How Much Do You Know About It?

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What is computer virus?

Talking about virus, you may think of a biological virus – the kind that makes you sick. Similarly, a computer virus can make your computer sick. A virus is a piece of software that can replicate itself and infect a computer without the permission or knowledge of the user. Designed to relentlessly replicate, computer viruses infect your programs and files, alter the way your computer operates or stop it from working altogether. However, on its own a computer virus can’t do anything. But once it gets attached to some programs or something else, such as a document, it can wreak havoc.

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Maybe you will be confused when you see common terms of hacking during browsing online. Today, let us go to recognize some of them.

Back door: A back door, or trap door, is a hidden entry to a computing device or software that bypasses security measures, such as logins and password protections. Some have alleged that manufacturers have worked with government intelligence to build backdoors into their products. Malware is often designed to exploit back doors.

Black Hat : Just like in the old westerns, these are the bad guys. A black hat is a cracker. To add insult to injury, black hats may also share information about the “break in” with other black hat crackers so they can exploit the same vulnerabilities before the victim becomes aware and takes appropriate measures… like calling Global Digital Forensics!

Botnet: A botnet is a group of computers controlled without their owners’ knowledge and used to send spam or make denial of service attacks. Malware is used to hijack the individual computers, also known as “zombies,” and send directions through them. They are best known in terms of large spam networks, frequently based in the former Soviet Union.

Trojan: A Trojan, or Trojan Horse, is a malicious program disguised to look like a valid program, making it difficult to distinguish from programs that are supposed to be there. Once infiltrated, a Trojan can destroy files, alter information, steal passwords or other information, or fulfill any other sinister purpose it was designed to accomplish. Or it may stay dormant, waiting for a cracker to access it remotely and take control of the system. A Trojan is a lot like a virus, but without the ability to replicate.

Phishing: Tricking someone into giving you their personal information, including login information and passwords, credit card numbers, and so on by imitating legitimate companies, organizations, or people online. Phishing’s often done via fake emails or links to fraudulent websites.

Rootkit: A rootkit is a set of software programs used to gain administrator-level access to a system and set up malware, while simultaneously camouflaging the takeover.

Virus: Self-replicating malware that injects copies of itself in the infected machine. A virus can destroy a hard drive, steal information, log keystrokes, and many other malicious activities.

 


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Brief Introduction of Worm in a Computer

In a computer, worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself.  It penetrates an operating system with the intent of spreading malicious code. Worms utilize networks to send copies of the original code to other computers, causing harm by consuming bandwidth or possibly deleting files or sending documents via email. Worms can also install backdoors on computers.

It is actually different from PC virus.  The difference lies in their spear ways. Computer worms self-replicate and spread across networks, exploiting vulnerabilities, automatically; that is, they don’t need a cybercriminal’s guidance, nor do they need to latch onto another computer program.

Do you know its origin? It is reported that there is a Cornell University student called Robert Morris released an experimental self-replicating program onto the internet to find out how many computers were currently connected to it. The program spread rapidly, installing itself on an estimated 10% of the computers then connected.

Morris had no malicious intent, but a bug in his program caused many of the computers the worm landed on to crash. He was prosecuted and expelled from Cornell, but worms had come of age and have since evolved into an effective way of attacking systems connected to the internet.

If your computer has infected with a worm, it will take control of the computer,  either to steal confidential user information or to convert them into remote-controlled ‘zombies’ or ‘bots’. Besides, it can be rent out by organised crime for sending spam email or attacking business and government computer systems. It may cause the viewer program to crash, opening a door for the injection of a malicious program.

All in all, it is a nasty threat that should never be kept in any computer, otherwise, it will conduct a series of harmful activities. Once notice, you should get rid of it immediately.