July 20, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Definition of a Virus

2 min read

Computer viruses are classified as programs developed to spread from computer to computer. Viruses are created in a programming languages and they don’t just pop out of thin air they are written by unscrupulous individuals. Viruses tend to have what’s called a payload which can range from a annoying popup message to completely destroying all your computer files.

Ignorantly a lot of people call malware that does not have the ability reproduce itself a virus. To be technically labeled a virus it needs to infect other files and duplicate itself on the host computer. But colloquially people generally refer to a computer virus as anything that is malicious code regardless of its replication abilities.

A virus called ‘Brain’ is considered the first ever virus and it was created by the people who ran a store called Brain Computer Services. They worked out that a floppy disk could be used to distribute a virus, they created a virus that attached itself to floppy disks and installed itself on the computer, and its payload was to change the label of any floppy disk inserted into the computer to (C)Brain.

Not all viruses are as harmless as the Brain virus some can destroy every single file on your computer. So how do you defend your computer against the nasty viruses? You get anti-virus software that has been engineered by a reliable big name company to detect and eliminate viruses. Anti-Virus software uses a database of known virus signatures that is compared to the files on the computer to hunt down the malicious code. The second methodology employed by anti-virus software to detect the malicious code is a heuristic algorithm that looks for common signs of malware behavior – this is a brilliant feature as it can stop viruses that are not even known about by the big virus companies.

In closing I recommend you keep your computer protected from viruses and malware by getting a reliable anti-virus program.

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