Social And Ethical Implications

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's August 2001

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Social and Ethical Implications- Computers and Crime (Viruses) Introduction Increases in computer use over the past several years have resulted not only in the growth of information distribution and a change in communication methods, but have also provided the foundation for computer viruses to spread more rapidly than ever. This report will aim to provide background information on computer viruses, and develop/recommend a means of which to prevent them from occurring within the college.

What is a Computer Virus? A computer virus is a nasty, sometimes destructive program that can infect other computer programs, by modifying them to include a version of itself. It replicates itself to spread and then invade, just as one would do in humans. A virus can do very little, from putting up a silly message on the screen, causing letters to fall from the monitor, to corrupting files on your computer.

Types of Computer Viruses The majority of viruses fall into one of these categories: File Virus "" attach themselves to a file, of which usually is a program file.

An example of this is the Jerusalem virus.

Boot Sector Virus - infects the floppy and hard drives. The virus program will load first, before the operating system does, and therefore assumes total control over the system. eg. the Pakistani Brain virus and the Stoned/Marijuana virus.

Trojan Horse Virus - appears to be something other than what they are i.e. a virus disguised as a legitimate software program. Some experts do not classify these viruses as being "˜real', however, because they generally don't replicate.

Multipartite Virus - infects both the boot sector of a disk as well as application programs.

Macro Virus - attaches to word processing or spreadsheet files. Once accessed, it replaces one of the word/excel standard macros with an infect version, which...