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What is a computer virus?

There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the word “virus” on the internet, so let’s clear things up and describe it once and for all: a computer virus is a self-replicating, destructive software or piece of code that infiltrates your system without your knowledge or consent.

What is the mechanism of computer viruses?

The word “computer virus” covers a broad variety of virus types, delivery methods, and effects. We may divide computer viruses into two groups when describing how they work: those that start infecting and replicating as soon as they land on your computer, and those that lie dormant, waiting for you to release them, i.e., waiting for you to accidentally execute their code.

Viruses have four stages, and are based on the classification of an actual virus’s life cycle by biologists.

Dormant phase: This is where the virus remains dormant on your computer, waiting to infect you.

Replication phase: Now that the virus has gone viral, it replicates itself by storing copies of itself in directories, applications, and other parts of the hard drive. The clones may be subtly altered in order to prevent detection, and they may also self-replicate, resulting in more clones that duplicate themselves, and so on.

Triggering phase: To initiate or unlock the virus, a special action is normally necessary. This may be a user behavior such as selecting an icon or launching an app.

Execution phase: This is where the “magic” starts. The virus sends out its payload, which is malicious code that does damage to your computer.

What are the ways in which computer viruses spread?
On the internet, computer viruses can propagate across a number of infection mechanisms. Viruses will infect your machine in the following ways:

Downloads: Malware can be concealed in applications, documents sent over file-sharing systems, plug-ins, and virtually every other location where files can be accessed.

Viruses can be transmitted via SMS messages or messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Malicious connections, links, and executable files are used in the same way as they are in email.

Old software: If you haven’t changed your applications or operating system in a while, you’re almost definitely vulnerable to viruses from cybercriminals.

Viruses may be concealed in web advertising such as banner ads, which is known as malvertising.
Malvertising is so sneaky that hackers can mask their malicious code even on reputable, well-known websites like The New York Times and the BBC, all of which have been attacked.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to protect yourself from all of these attack mechanisms, which we’ll discuss later.

Is it possible for viruses to infect all devices?

To answer this question, we must first identify the difference between viruses and malware: note that a virus is just one form of malware. There are a number of other computer bugs that can affect your system, steal your records, or cause other problems.

Malware can infect any smartphone, including Macs, iOS, and Android devices.

In reality, malware can infect any computer that can connect to the internet, even smart devices like coffee makers!

There are some dangerous types of malware to look out for on all your computers, from ransomware to spyware to Trojans.

Types of Computer Virus

There are many different kinds of computer viruses, even though we’re only concerned about viruses as opposed to other types of malware that don’t self-replicate.
Here are few examples of application software viruses that are now circulating on the internet:

Direct action virus: The most popular and simplest to develop virus, direct action viruses infiltrate your computer, wreak havoc by connecting themselves to a large number of COM or EXE files, and then erase themselves. The Vienna virus was the first virus ever to be killed by an antivirus program in 1987, and it looked for COM files to corrupt and/or kill them.

Boot sector virus: As the name means, boot sector viruses infect your memory by creeping into the boot sector, which is responsible for loading the computer’s operating system upon startup. This types of viruses have historically been transmitted by computers, such as floppy disks, USB drives, and CDs.

A resident virus is a type of memory-infecting virus that establishes itself in your RAM short-term memory. Since the virus is resident in your RAM, it will survive even though the initial infector is removed. The Magistr virus, for example, spreads to all of your contacts by spamming your whole email contact list. It also deletes a vast amount of files, corrupts the memory on your computer’s motherboard, and sends you abusive notes.

Multipartite viruses are a nasty virus that increases its strength by infecting both your files and your boot space. They’re difficult to delete because they can conceal portions of themselves in files or the boot field. One such example was the Invader virus, which started overwriting your hard drive as soon as you attempted to delete it by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

Polymorphic virus: Polymorphic viruses disguise themselves by altering form. Their clones are all subtly different as they reproduce, which makes them escape detection. The VirLock virus, for example, changes form while also adding a ransomware component that locks your files and demands payment.

Macroviruses are viruses that are designed to hide within word document files such as DOC or DOCX. When you download the file, you will be asked to unlock the macros—and you will release the virus as soon as you do. Infected macros, including the locky strain that targets health care facilities, have also been used in ransomware to encrypt their files and demand payment for their decryption.

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Signs your device may be infected

After entering their execution phase and releasing their payload, a computer virus will start attacking and you will begin to experience negative impacts on your device. Since viruses use your system’s code and resources to replicate, you can experience problems at this stage.

  1. • Slow output
  2. • Missing or deleted files
  3. • Constant pop-ups
  4. • Constant spinning of the hard drive
  5. • Programs or the operating system freezing and/or crashing
  6. • Things that come out of nowhere, such as applications opening on their own or new files emerging at random

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If you experience any of the above indications or performance problems, it’s time to mobilize your safeguards and eradicate the virus.

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