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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 3404

Defining computer viruses

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In defining computer viruses Parsons and Oja wrote that the technical definition of a computer virus is a set of program instructions that attaches itself, and spreads to other files. Viruses corrupt files, destroy data, displays irritating messages, or otherwise disrupt computer operations. (185) In continuing, Parsons and Oja explained that there is a common misconception that viruses contain program codes to spread themselves from one computer to another. They do not. The reason viruses spread is because people redistribute infected files by exchanging disks and compact discs, sending e-mail attachments and downloading software from the Web. (185) For the book titled Computer Concepts, it is learned that a computer virus generally infects the files executed by your computer such as those with .exe, .com or .vbs extensions. When a computer executes an infected program, it also executes the attached virus instructions. These instructions then remain in the Random Access Memory, waiting to infect the next program that the computer runs or the next disc it accesses. (185) In addition to replicating itself, a virus might perform a trigger event, sometimes referred to as payload. The resulting effects can range from displaying an annoying message to corruption of data on the computer's hard disk. Trigger events are often keyed to a specific date. The Michelangelo virus, for example was designed to damage hard disks on March 6, the birthday of artist Michelangelo. (185) A key characteristic of viruses is their ability to lurk in a computer for days or months, quietly replicating themselves. While this is taking place, a user might not even know that his or her computer has a virus; therefore it is easy to inadvertently spread infected files to other people's computers. (185) According to CNN.com Technology, there are thousands of variations of viruses, most falls into one of the following six general categories, each of which works its magic slightly differently. ...read more.

Middle

This type of e-commerce is known as Business to Business and it account for some 80% of the total value of all e-commerce operations. However, individuals have also been drawn to the internet for commercial reasons. For example, many individuals are using the Internet to buy directly from retailers in e-commerce. Examples include amazon.com and dell.com. The reasons for the emergence of such activity include convenience, greater choice and savings. There's no doubt the adoption of Web technology provides a company with the opportunity to change its relationships with the organizations and individuals with which it does business--from trading partners to suppliers, from internal customers to end customers. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for change lies in the collaborative capabilities the Internet provides. The Internet supports the transition of transacting business through discrete, predictable, serial processes to a more cyclical, dynamic approach. The Internet provides a means to readily adapt technology that lets all parties work from the same system, using the same information, in a real-time environment. Communication is integral part of businesses. Communicating status and changes regarding product-development schedules is just one way in which the Internet is changing business relationships. The Internet has given businesses the ability to increase their communication to their internal and external customers and break down perceived barriers to management. For example, business associates can receive updates from the chairman via the Internet, as well as talk directly with him through regular Web chats. Through broadcasts over the Web, we hear the message delivered at financial-analyst meetings at the same time the analysts are receiving it. In addition, a manufacturer alerting everyone immediately of a delay and reflecting this delay on the shipment schedule in real time gives retailers, transportation companies, and importers the opportunity to take corrective measures. The Internet also permits retailers to become more customer focused and responsive. External customers now have the power to determine when they shop, what they want to shop for, and how they want to receive the goods (by mail, by truck, or for pickup at the nearest store). ...read more.

Conclusion

However it must be noted that a virus can store itself on a backup disk, therefore is necessary to run a virus check before backing up data or you may reinstall infected files. In continuation, businesses which engage in e-business may find it prudent to engage in a full time, on staff security specialist. In addition, businesses should have access to, or contact with, firms that specialise in cyber security. Cyber security requires daily attention in order to keep up with and stay ahead of the threats that emerge almost daily. In relation to e-mail viruses, users at businesses should consider deleting, unexpected or unrequested e-mail, or e-mail from someone they don't know. This is because many viruses are sent in e-mail attachments. It must be noted also, that if you receive a suspicious e-mail from someone you know, it is possible that their computer is infected with a virus. Though many view viruses negatively, there are viruses that could be considered "good." The Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) virus has the unique distinction of being a beneficial virus. The virus asks the user for permission to encrypt all the data on the user's hard disk or floppy disk once infecting a machine. If the user chooses not to accept, the virus simply deletes itself. Aside from this beneficial behavior, the virus has the same infection methods as any other virus. Currently, viruses like any other program need the intervention of a process or someone to run. Also, like any other program viruses usually contain bugs that could inactive their destructive behaviors. Viruses are limited to certain vehicles of transference like the Internet or a floppy disk. However, with improving technology, viruses can circumvent some or all of these limitations. Cellular phones, Pocket Personal Computers (PC), and other handheld devices that use wireless communication and email may become infected with a new strain. Because of the pervasiveness of technology, it encompasses much of the good -- and plenty of the bad -- of the whole wide world. ...read more.

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