Malicious Code

Essay by kleonard5College, UndergraduateA+, April 2006

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Malicious code is just as it sounds computer codes that are created to benefit the user at the expense of others. Malicious code (also sometimes referred to as vandals) is a new type of threat that is not easy to control. Most often found throughout the internet anti-virus software alone is no longer sufficient. Malicious code can now not only enter a computer without the user's approval but also execute by itself. A few examples of common forms that malicious code can take are:

* Java Applets

* ActiveX Controls

* Scripting languages

* Browser plug-ins

* Pushed content

Immediately after the code has entered a computer or network it can enter hard drives and begin working. Malicious code actually has the potential to physically destroy hard-ware by overloading the devices. Even easier is the ability to format drives and erase entire banks of information. The worst result, however, is the stealing or rerouting of information.

If done skillfully code can intercept important information such as passwords, bank accounts information, credit-card information, etc. and then route it back to it's original destination making the only noticeable or detectable difference a slight lag in data transfer. In recent years malicious code has caused unbelievable amounts of financial loss. The following chart(Figure 1) is a worldwide view of loss through viruses(one type of malicious code) alone.

The following are the definitions of only a few types of malicious code according to Enrique de Argaez quoted in Internet World Stats. Enrique de Argaez is the webmaster of several multilingual Internet websites and author of four newsletters. He is active in Internet World Marketing, and Internet Market Research..


-Adware is advertising-supported software that displays pop-up advertisements whenever the program is running. The software is usually available via free download from the Internet, and...