A History Of Computer Viruses Essay Research

8 August 2017

A History Of Computer Viruses Essay, Research Paper


In the undermentioned study, computing machine viruses will be explained in item. A drawn-out and enlightening description of the development and history on personal computer viruses will be given, to give you a background of their beginning for some apprehension of how they came to be.

The following section in the study is on how to battle computing machine viruses with the development of anti-virus applications.

The current position of personal computer viruses will besides be discussed, calling the most common types of viruses and the most harmful type at this present point in clip.

Detailss of the most recent eruptions of computing machine viruses, such as the Melissa, I Love You and the most recent Anna Kournikova viruses will be explained, and why they are so harmful.

I will besides give you my recommendations on how to battle this menace of computing machine viruses, what Anti-virus Applications that I believe should be used, and why updating your virus definitions for these plans on a regular footing is so critical and of import in your pursuit to hold a happy and clean computing machine.

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A History Of Computer Viruses

The term Virus was non used to depict a self-replicating computing machine plan until the American electrical applied scientist named Fred Cohen associated the term with it in 1983.

In the 1950 s at Bell Laboratories, John von Neumann s theory in which he made in 1949 was put to the trial. His theory stated that it was ( MS Encarta 98, Virus [ computing machine ] , History ) Theoretically possible for a computing machine plan to retroflex. His theory was tested after a game called Core Wars was developed whereby ( MS Encarta 98, Virus [ computing machine ] , History ) Players created bantam computing machine plans that attacked, erased, and tried to propagate on an opposition s system.

In the late 1960 s through to the early 1970 s, the plan called The Rabbit was invariably looking on the mainframes at the clip. Kaspersky ( www.avp.ch ) These plans cloned themselves, occupied system resources, therefore take downing the productiveness of the system. These viruses were merely localized, as they did non distribute from one system to another and are thought to hold merely been buffooneries or errors by coders.

The Univac 1108 and IBM 360/370 systems were infected with one of the first known computing machine viruses, Permeating Animal. This virus attached itself to feasible files, which damaged the infected file.

In 1986 the first stealing virus hit IBM Compatible Personal computer s, called the BRAIN virus. The fact that it was Stealth meant that it was undetectable, and Kaspersky ( www.avp.ch ) if there was an effort to read the septic sector, the virus substituted it with a clean original 1. It originated in Pakistan and was made by two brothers Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi who were package sellers. The intent of their virus was to happen out the extent of buccaneering in their state, and it left a text message with their name, reference and telephone figure. This virus was spread by septic 360kb floppies, and had infected IBM PC s worldwide by 1987.

The viruses Stone and Internet Worm ( MORRIS ) appeared in 1988. Rock was the first bootstrap-sector virus that infects the boot sector of a floppy disc. If the septic diskette was used as a boot disc, it so infected the maestro boot record. This meant that even if the whole hard-drive were formatted, it would still be infected. To acquire rid of the virus the maestro boot record had to be erased by utilizing the public-service corporation called FDISK and lading the bid FDISK /MBR. The Internet Worm Morris infected over six thousand computing machines in the USA entirely, which infected institutes such as NASA. The virus was spread by doing limitless transcripts of itself and infecting computing machines over a big web.

In 1989 Russia was hit by an epidemic of viruses. First of wholly, there were two versions of the virus Cascade, followed by the Vacsina and Yankee viruses, so Vienna, Eddie, and so PingPong.

The first Polymorphic viruses appeared in 1990 Chameleon. The Chameleon Family of viruses are encoded, utilizing two algorithms. The first algorithm contains the existent virus discrepancies, and the 2nd is the algorithm that complicates the viruses following.

The first Macro linguistic communication viruses appeared sometime in 1995. ( MS Encarta 98, Virus [ computing machine ] , History ) A macro linguistic communication virus controls the maps of a legitimate plan. It can infect any computing machine or operating system that can run the plan.

The Development of Anti-virus Applications

About ten old ages ago, long after the debut of the computing machine virus, certain companies started to do plans to battle the computing machine virus epidemic. These plans are called Antiviral Software. Antiviral package is used to scan system memory, the maestro boot record, and each and every file on a Personal computer for the features of a virus s codification. Because the plan knows what codification it is looking for, septic files can normally be disinfected and return to, or every bit close to its original province. Antiviral package can merely be effectual if the virus definitions are updated on a regular basis, as 100s of new viruses are written every twenty-four hours. Antiviral package is non wholly fool cogent evidence, as non all viruses are known of. As of 1995 when the first Macro viruses were introduced, coders had to alter the manner their companies anti-virus plans scanned for viruses as a new technique had to

be used to happen these viruses, otherwise the viruses would travel undetected.

The Current Status Of Microcomputer Viruses

The chief types Boot, Program and Multi-partite ( a combination of both boot and plan ) viruses are all still a menace to anyone who portions files from other computing machines, or who is connected to the Internet or a web. The major menace to computing machine users these yearss nevertheless, and since there debut in 1995 is the household of Macro viruses. A macro is a set of key strokes and instructions that can be saved in a individual short key codification ( MS Encarta 98, Virus [ computing machine ] , History ) . It is written in assembly linguistic communication and can be used in legitimate plans such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, Lotus WordPro, Microsoft Outlook Express etc, merely to call a few. These key strokes and instructions are used to do a figure of boring and time-consuming operations in to one simple key stroke.

Evil and conniving coders have found another usage for the macro, and that is to turn it into a Virus by doing a figure of operations that can Reich havoc on your computing machine. This type of Virus can do loss of your informations, or even working your privateness in plans such as Microsoft Outlook by stealing watchwords or recognition card Numberss from your computing machine and giving them to the individual that launched the virus. In Microsoft Outlook Express it normally makes a transcript of all the people listed in your reference book, and it so sends those people the virus as a papers fond regard in the electronic mail. This pyramid of references from peoples address books is the ground why macro viruses made for legitimate e-mail plans such as Microsoft Outlook Express spread to so many computing machines and so rapidly in merely a short period of clip. Major eruptions in this type of virus have been the Melissa, I Love You and the Anna Kournikova viruses.

Detailss Of Recent Virus Outbreaks

The most recent and most major virus eruptions of late, have all been from the Macro household of viruses. In 1999 the Melissa virus was in the wild and replicated under MS Office 97 and MS Office 2000, utilizing the e-mail plan MS Outlook to distribute. Kaspersky ( www.avp.ch ) The virus besides has trigger everyday, changes the system register, disables Word macro-virus protection. This virus infects Word paperss by altering the informations format, and if the virus is run under MS Office 2000, it has an excess action that disables MS Office 2000 anti-virus security, which can do it travel undetected.

The I love You Bug, besides known as I-Worm.LoveLetter is the following most recent major eruption which was starting its ugly head up all over computing machines worldwide in the beginning of May 2000. Kaspersky ( www.avp.ch ) The worm spreads via E-mail by directing septic messages from affected computing machines. Once once more, this is another virus that uses MS Outlook to steal contacts from your reference book, and direct everyone listed there the virus. This virus merely works on systems that have Windows Scripting Host installed, but unluckily Windows 98 and Windows 2000 have it installed by default.

The most recent eruption was in February 2001, the Anna Kournikova virus, which is another virus sent as an fond regard via the electronic mail in MS Outlook. The file name for the fond regard is AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs, along with a message that entices the reader to open the file, claiming it to be an expressed image of the celebrated Tennis Star Anna Kournikova. The virus infected computing machines worldwide, but it is said to hold hit Australia the hardest with an estimated 100,000 computing machines infected by the electronic mail ( CNN.COM, 2001 ) .

My Recommendations For Basic And Feasible Anti-Virus Measures

To be protected from the bulk of harmful computing machine viruses, you need an Anti-virus Application of some description, with its virus definitions updated on a regular basis for the best protection. I use a plan called Antiviral Toolkit Pro, and I personally believe it to be the most affectional. It s virus definitions are updated day-to-day, and a full working version with a 30 twenty-four hours rating licence can be downloaded from www.avp.ch. I besides recommend that you should put in more than one anti-viral application, as I have noticed that sometimes one plan may observe a virus that the other may non, or even, one may make a better occupation disinfecting the septic files.

Other respectable anti-virus applications include Norton Anti-virus 2001, in which an rating demo can be downloaded from www.symantec.com, and McAfee Anti-virus which can be downloaded from www.mcafee.com. All full versions of these can be bought from respectable retail merchants such as Harvey Norman etc.


In decision Macro viruses are the latest and greatest menace, so ever be careful when opening up e-mail fond regards. In this twenty-four hours and age, an anti-virus plan of some description is a must hold, as some protection is better than no protection at all. To hold the most affectional protection possible, a well-known and well-accredited anti-virus plan is a demand, non a privation. This has to come with on a regular basis updated virus definitions that can be downloaded from the Internet. If updated virus definitions can non be updated on a regular basis, so the anti-virus plan should be rendered useless, as it can non and will non protect you from the latest and meanest viruses. Although these plans can non protect you one hundred per centum from the 1000s of new viruses that are written mundane, it will protect you from the chief menaces. Unfortunately viruses are here to remain!

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