Virus What is a Virus? The computer virus is something that has been around almost as long as the Personal Computer (PC) and certainly since the advent of the affordable home computer, but what exactly is a virus? And how does it affect your PC? Is there any way to prevent your hard drive becoming infected and just where do they come from anyway? A virus is computer program, usually a very small program, that interferes with the smooth running of a computer's operating system and hardware. Viruses are designed to copy themselves and hide within your computer to avoid detection.
In 1995 Ernst & Young released a security survey that showed that 67% of all companies had virus attacks. That was a rise from 54% in 1994. The cost of each attack was estimated at $13, 000.
The NSCA (National Computer Security Association) reported in January of 1997 that 200 macro viruses had been discovered.
Six months later the amount of macro viruses had risen by over 300%.
At this stage it is estimated that 90% of all companies have at least one macro virus resident somewhere in their computer systems.
Types of Viruses Under the main heading of viruses are three types of harmful computer programs, not all of which hide and replicate.
The first of these is the Trojan Horse programs, the name of which comes from the Greek legend that told how Greek soldiers gained entry to the city of Troy in a giant, hollow wooden horse and thus captured the city, ending the Trojan War. Though not technically a virus it is still dangerous and could cause permanent damage to your operating system. A Trojan Horse program is a program disguised as a game, a utility or an application. When run, a Trojan Horse will...