What Is A Computer Virus ? Causes of Computer Virus ? Types of Computer Virus

What Is A Computer Virus?

A Computer Virus is a malicious software program “Malware” that can infect a computer by modifying or deleting data files, boot sector of a hard disk drive or causes a software program to work in an unexpected manner”.

A computer virus resides on a host computer and can replicate itself when executed. Virus can steal user data, delete or modify files & documents, records keystrokes & web sessions of a user. It can also steal or damage hard disk space, it can slowdown CPU processing.

Activation of Virus

When the computer virus starts working, it is called the activation of virus. A virus normally runs all the time in the computer. Different viruses are activated in different ways. Many viruses are activated on a certain data. For example, a popular virus “Friday, the 13th is activated only if the date is 13 and the day is Friday.

According to Wikipedia “Computer viruses cause billions of dollars’ worth of economic damage each year, due to causing systems failure, wasting computer resources, corrupting data, increasing maintenance costs, etc”.

Causes of Computer Virus

The following are the main causes of a Computer Virus.

Infected Flash Drives or Disks

Flash drives and disks are the main cause of spreading viruses. Flash drives and disks are used to transfer data from one computer to other. A virus can also be copied from one computer to other when the user copies infected files using flash drives and disks.

Email Attachments

Most of the viruses spread through emails. Email attachment is a file that is sent along with an email. An email may contain an infected file attachment. Virus can spread if the users opens and downloads an email attachment. It may harm the computer when it is activated. It may destroy files on the hard disk or may send the virus automatically to all email addresses saved in the address book.

Infected / Pornography websites

Thousands of insecure websites can infect computer with viruses. Most of the websites with pornographic materials are infected, so by visiting these websites the user’s computer also gets infected by virus. These websites are developed to spread viruses or other unethical material. The virus is transferred to the user’s computer when this material is downloaded. These websites may access the computer automatically when the users visit them.

Networks

Virus can spread if an infected computer is connected to a network. The internet is an example of such network. When a user downloads a file infected with virus from the internet, the virus is copied to the computer. It may infect the files stored on the computer.

Pirated Software

An illegal copy of software is called pirated software. Virus can spread if user installs pirated software that contains a virus. A variety of pirated software is available in CDs and from the internet. Some companies intentionally add virus in the software. The virus is automatically activated if the user uses the software without purchasing license.

Types of Computer Virus

The following are some well-known viruses.

CodeRed  

It is a worm that infects a computer running Microsoft IIS server. This virus launched DOS attack on White House’s website. It allows the hacker to access the infected computer remotely.

Nimba

It is a worm that spreads itself using different methods. IT damages computer in different ways. It modified files, alters security settings and degrades performance.

SirCam

It is distributed as an email attachment. It may delete files, degrade performance and send the files to anyone.

Melisa

It is a virus that is distributed as an email attachment. IT disables different safeguards in MS Word. It sends itself to 50 people if Microsoft Outlook is installed..

Ripper

It corrupts data from the hard disk.

MDMA

It is transferred from one MS Word file to other if both files are in memory.

Concept

It is also transferred as an email attachment. It saves the file in template directory instead of its original location.

One_Half

It encrypts hard disk so only the virus may read the data. It displays One_Half on the screen when the encryption is half completed.

What Is Ransomware? How Does Ransomware Work?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a malicious software that carries out the cryptoviral extortion attack from cryptovirology that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid and displays a message requesting payment to unlock it.
What Is Ransomware
Simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse. More advanced malware encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. The ransomware may also encrypt the computer’s Master File Table (MFT) or the entire hard drive. Thus, ransomware is a denial-of-access attack that prevents computer users from accessing files since it is intractable to decrypt the files without the decryption key. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan that has a payload disguised as a legitimate file.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware gains access to a computer the same way as any kind of virus or computer worm – either through getting the user to open an infected email, navigate to a compromised website or install an infected program.
Once inside a computer it can work in a several different ways. One of these is to bombard users with adverts, indecent images or bogus warnings until they pay to have them removed.
Alternatively, it can lock users out of one or more parts of their PC until they pay to have access restored. Sometimes it does this by mimicking an official warning from a government agency or police force.
Finally, there is the method mentioned above – where personal or important files are removed from the host PC, encrypted and threatened with deletion.

What can be done to prevent this?

The best way to protect your computer is to create regular backups of your files. The malware only affects files that exist in the computer. If you have created a thorough backup and your machine is infected with ransomware, you can reset your machine to begin on a clean slate, reinstall the software and restore your files from the backup. According to Microsoft’s Malware Protection Centre, other precautions include regularly updating your anti-virus program; enabling pop-up blockers; updating all software periodically; ensure the smart screen (in Internet Explorer) is turned on, which helps identify reported phishing and malware websites; avoid opening attachments that may appear suspicious.

Top Ransomware

  • Ransom:HTML/Tescrypt.E
  • Ransom:HTML/Tescrypt.D
  • Ransom:HTML/Locky.A
  • Ransom:Win32/Locky
  • Ransom:HTML/Crowti.A
  • Ransom:HTML/Exxroute.A
  • Ransom:Win32/Cerber.A
  • Ransom:JS/FakeBsod.A
  • Ransom:HTML/Cerber.A
  • Ransom:JS/Brolo.C

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