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How Computer Viruses Spread and Their Effects on Computers

How Computer Viruses Spread andTheir Effects on Computers

Outline:Computer Viruses and Their Effects

i).Background of computer virus, how they are spread and their effectson computer

ii).Definition of the term virus

iii).Thesis statement: Theeffect of viruses spread faster and can cause damage to the wholesystem

  1. Ways in Which Computer Viruses Spread

i).Code travelling todisks and machines, Clicking any emails that have virus, visitinginfected websites, instant messaging, or infected networks

iii).Three broad ways throughwhich, computer viruses spread include via removable media, bydownloads off the internet and through all the attachments of e-mails

  1. Effects of Computer Viruses on Computers

  1. Ways through which computer viruses affect a computer depend on the type of virus

ii). Data theft or destruction,as well as the malicious access to the resources of the computer

iii). Slowing down the computer

iv). Malfunctioning of thecomputer

  1. Conclusion

i).Restating thesis statement: Theeffect of viruses spread faster and can cause damage to the wholesystem

ii). Importance of understandinghow computer viruses spread

iii). Recommendation for stayingsafe from computer virus

ComputerViruses and Their Effects

Computer viruses are harmful toour contemporary society. They affect the efficiency of operationsmanagement by deleting beneficial information and increasing thecosts of ensuring efficiency management in organizations. A computervirus refers to a program meant to disrupt or harm the functioning ofthe computer machines. Virus usually duplicates itself and spreadinto the computer hence causing an attack to the existing programs.Virus harms the programs by either deleting or changing them.Thevirusoften manifests itself by attaching to the host, which is the programfile, data, or any other file within the computer operating system.When a virus establishes itself on the host such as the file orprograms, it then infects the other files resulting to significantdamage on the computer programs. Computer virus may also establishitself within the memory of a computer. Some computer viruses rarelycause any harm to the programs or rather harmless. Some other virusesare so harmful to the extent of damaging all the files and programsexisting within the computer system. These viruses come in severaltypes and spread through any possible way of getting information to acomputer. Computer viruses only affect the software of a computer.Viruses do not have any harm on monitors, printers or other hardware.The effect of viruses spread faster and can cause damage to the wholesystem.

Waysin Which Computer Viruses Spread&nbsp

Viruseshave many ways of spreading into a computer system. The first means,which viruses spread, is via code travelling to disks and machines.The infected machine with a bad code start to malfunction, butcontinues to spread the viruses into the disks. The infected diskcontinues to spread the virus especially at a place where peopleshare such as a computer laboratory (Czor, 2005). Shared infectedmachines results to high spreading of viruses to the other computers.The way a computer virus infection work is comparable to the mannerin which the HIV/AIDS spread within a community. The alternativemethods, which the virus spread, are via the internet. Some files orprograms downloaded from the internet may contain virus infection.These viruses are likely to infect the other software found in thecomputer. The viruses from the internet are always dangerous. Theyspread rapidly more than how other viruses from the other sources do(Brown,2011).&nbsp

Computerviruses may spread through clicking any emails that havea virus,visiting infected websites, instant messaging, or infected networks.When viruses spread through email, they target the entire names thatexist in the infected systems address book and inbox. The virus thathas potential of harming the emails is a general virus called ane-mail borne virus. Many occurrences of virus infection that tookplace indicate that, the quicker a virus can spread the more riskyand dangerous it is to a computer system. Viruses of a computer areeverywhere, and they can cause a loss of data in the system. Someinternet downloads may harm computer programs if infected by thevirus. The viruses accompanying any downloads usually hide themselvesin illegal software, therefore,may be hard to find. The sharing ofinformation through network connections, shared folders, and sharedmedia such as flash memory, CDs and diskettes, encourages the spreadof computer viruses (National,1991). Theone to understand how viruses of computer spread is through analyzingthe method they can spread. Some viruses such as worms copythemselvesvia e-mail or networks. Worms may not necessarily harm computerprograms. Virus always replicates itself. Virus poses a significantdanger to the computer programs because it has ahigh probability ofattacking the programs. Trojans are legal computer programs designedwith intentions of making it disruptive to any computing activity(Encyclopediaof Information Technology,2007).

There are three ways throughwhich, computer viruses spread. The first way is via removable media.The second way is by downloads off the internet and finally throughall the attachments of e-mails. Internet may seem to be a threat tocomputers, but it is safer as compared to virus acquired from thepackaged software. The packaged software usually has thehighprobability of getting virus infection. They are shared information,which may come from any virus-infected source. Virus comes indifferent categories. These categories include Boot Sector Virus thatis accessed first when one turns a computer on. When the boot sectorvirus attacks a computer, the computer usually refuses to start. Theother virus is a file virus (Parsons,&amp Oja, 2010).Filevirus attacks files and the complete programs in a computer. Macrovirus isa virus found in the Microsoft word office documents. Thisvirus may attack Microsoft office application during the opening of adocument. Multipartite Virus usually causes harm to the boot sectorand files on a computer. Polymorphic viruscauses alterations on theirown code whenever they infect a different computer. This virus alterscodes, therefore, avoid any detection any detection by the anti-virusprograms. Any version Windows runs by an outdated PC and has noupdated patches updates is at high risk of getting virus attack(Hruska,1992).&nbspFilesdownloaded from the peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa Morpheus andShareaza usually have viruses. The rate at which the viruses canspread increased dramatically because of improvements ofcommunications between computers. Computer viruses do not attack acomputer without the involvement of user. The occurrence of a virusattack, therefore, is reliable on the performance by the user such asdownloading some documents, which may be virus-infected (Fites,Johnston, &amp Kratz, 1992).

Effectsof Computer Viruses on Computers

Computer viruses have manyeffects on computers. The effects depend on the type of viruses. Mostcommonly known effects of the viruses on a computer include datatheft or destruction, as well as the malicious access to theresources of the computer. Many reasons underline the data theft, forexample, one may steal data for theft identity or business reasons.Inthe business field, one may use viruses to steal some significantand confidential information of a certain company for the reason ofcompetition purposes. At times, viruses may be in use with the aim ofdestroying data for malevolent reasons, or with the intention ofinterrupting a certain business (Shelly,Gunter, &amp Gunter, 2012). Anotheroption for the use of virus is for spamming within the computerresources. Viruses such as the bugs usually cause high destruction orcause the computer programs to collapse. The effects of the bug’svirus may be severe to the extent of causing the whole computermechanism to malfunction or collapse. Software viruses confuse thecomputer user or the software writer. Many viruses manifestthemselves and cause harm because they have a way of avoidingdetection. Some type of viruses makes denial of accessibility of someimportant computer programs. Some viruses may be so hazardous becausethey can alter the functioning of a computer machine. Researchconducted in USA indicated how a patient in thehospital lost lifebecause of the bug viruses controlling the codes. The viruses usuallylowers economy of the country because many millions of dollars are inuse to correct any default of the viruses (Filiol,2005).&nbsp

Computer viruses may have variousmeans of harming the computer. Most of the viruses may make thecomputer slow, inoperable, as well as crashing. Other viruses usuallydelete files and prevent the other programs such as internet anti-virus. Other malware include worms that can duplicate themselves moreand faster in networks as compared to other networks. Worms oftenaffect computers connected to a local area network such as computersconnected to modem given through one modem. Computers sharing awireless router, they have a high risk of getting the viruses exceptif they are under the protection of a good firewall (Newman,2010).Wormsdo not require any action of the user for them to establishthemselves, they can just manifest themselves through the sharednetwork such as the LAN. If one computer gets virus infection and itworks under the shared system, the other computers on the same systemwill definitely have viruses, aswell. Trojan horse may appear to be alegitimate program to win the trust from the computer user. It maylead one to download some information hoping to be the most usefuland resourceful. One may download a set program that will update theuser about some information, but at the same time, the program is setto steal the personal information of the user (Chess&amp White, 2000).The process of stealing information of the user is not an open actionthat the user can point out easily. Trojan horse can also developsome unnecessary advertisements or create pop ups that areundesirable. Trojan horse poses a risk to a computer by making iteasily open to hacking (Pfleeger,&amp Pfleeger, 2003).&nbsp

The computer viruses alter theway a computer works. The speed to which the machine usually has,changes to the lowest level. The computer shows some irresponsivespeed that appears abnormal. After the reboot of the computer, themalicious software runs it and uses the system resources. The speedof the computer machine slows down than normal because many processestake place at the same time. Alterations of files are a common resultof the computer viruses. Some viruses modify files on the hard drive.The computer will experience changes such asthe introduction of newand unknown files, folders, or applications. A modification of thesystem files causes a malfunctioning of the operating system. Anotherpossible effect caused by the viruses is the surprising behavior of acomputer. Some shocking behaviors a computer may show whenever undervirus attack include the jumping of a cursor around the screen. Thecursor may also fail to respond completely. There are graphics thatmay also appear on the screen especially on multiple windows. Suchkind ofa surprising character is distractive to the user (Horwood,&ampDuffy, 1992).


The effect of viruses spreadfaster and can cause damage to the whole system Computer viruses areharmful to acomputer although there are some reasons behind thedevelopment of every virus. The only means of understanding thecomputer virus are to have a broad knowledge on how virus spread. Itis essential to understand the effects that computer viruses have ona computer. One should be aware of the three main forms, which thecomputer viruses spread. This will enable an individual haveinformation on what to avoid when downloading any file. One must becareful also when using instant messaging or other removable mediasuch as the diskettes and the CDs. One should learn how to avoide-mail borne viruses to get rid of harmful attachments. Computerviruses havesome effects that result in thechange of computerbehaviors, introduction of new files, and appearance of abnormalgraphics. The positive results caused by the computer viruses are thedevelopment of many significant antiviruses that contribute to thesuccess of computer technology. Thecrucial way is that, one should beaware of antiviruses to prevent the computer against attack ofviruses.


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