Computer Viruses

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."

Category: Technology