Truth and Lies about the Computer Virus

Essay by Lane RobinsonUniversity, Ph.D.A, December 1996

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This is a basic viral information paper She doesn't ever read the papers

Truth and Lies About the Computer Virus

Walk into any computer store today and there will be at least twenty or thirty computer virus programs. From the looks of it computer viruses have gotten out of hand and so has the business of stopping it. The computer user must cut through the media hype of apocoliptic viruses and shareware programs and discover the real facts.

Before we even start the journey of exploring the computer virus we must first eliminate all the 'fluff.' The computer user needs to understand how information about viruses reaches the public. Someone creates the virus and then infects at least one computer. The virus crashes or ruins the infected computer. A anti-virus company obtains a copy of the virus and studies it. The anti-virus company makes an 'unbiased' decision about the virus and then disclose their findings to the public.

The problem with the current system is that there are no checks and balances. If the anti-virus company wants to make viruses seem worse all they have to do is distort the truth. There is no organization that certifies wheather or not a virus is real. Even more potentially harmful is that the anti-virus companies could write viruses in order to sell their programs.

Software companies have and do distort the truth about viruses.

'Antivirus firms tend to count even the most insignificant variations of viruses for advertising purposes. When the Marijuana virus first appeared, for example, it contained the word 'legalise,' but a miscreant later modified it to read 'legalize.' Any program which detects the original virus can detect the version with one letter changed -- but antivirus companies often count them as 'two' viruses. These obscure differentiations quickly add up.'...