Facts about Viruses

Discussion in 'Tech & Support' started by Malice, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    I thought I would throw some information I have learned thru long and hard experience as a Security Administrator for a large company.

    Note information here

    Viruses
    In computer security technology, a virus is a self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents. Thus, a computer virus behaves in a way similar to a biological virus, which spreads by inserting itself into living cells. Extending the analogy, the insertion of the virus into a program is termed infection, and the infected file (or executable code that is not part of a file) is called a host.

    Now that you have heard a technical definition, I will explain what this means.
    A virus simply is a small program that when executed, follows its own programming to replicate itself over and over in some fashion.

    There are many different types of viruses exist. I will really only describe two.
    The Worm and the Resident Virus since those tend to be the most prevalent in the wild of the Internet.

    The Worm
    The worm is a virus that is network aware. This means when a worm infects a computer it then engrains itself in the Operating System and then starts looking for other computers on a network to infect. Most worms actually dont cause many problems on the actualy computer, but they create nightmares for the actual Network that the computer sits on. This computer, starts sending THOUSANDS of requests from the infected computer looking for other computers to infect. This causes the network to become completely bogged down. Imagine a network of thousands of computers on it, all infected. This would basicaly take and any network and for the most part, cease it from functioning.

    The Resident Virus
    This virus usually is not network aware like the worm. When the resident virus infects a file, it integrates itself in the file waiting to be run. When then you run the file, in the background, the virus simply executes its payload. It infect other files and then runs in the background without your knowledge. It can then infect every file you run, thus spreading itself thru your actions.

    How do I protect myself from viruses?
    First, you MUST have an antivirus program. There are MANY out there you can purchase and there are a number that you can download for free.
    I would reccommend one of the following:

    AntiVirus Software you can Purchase

    AntiVirus Software you can Download for Free

    No matter what, download and install an Antivirus product. Protect yourself and protect others by having one.


    Second, make sure you consistantly update your antivirus programs definitions Definitions are additions to your program that help identify existing viruses and possibly help block ones that have yet to be identified. Most programs can be setup to downoad its updates automatically. But I reccommend running it by hand at least once a week to make sure you know its getting updated.

    Third, do not open any email in which you do not know who its from. Simply delete it. Most viruse epidemics are started by people who are unaware and simply open programs, attachments to emails and emails they know nothing about. On your home computer, question everything everyone sends you.

    Fourth, if you suspect you do have a virus I would suggest do the folowing.
    1) Update your AntiVirus software immediately.
    2) Scan your complete computer with your AntiVirus program you have installed.
    3) Then go to Trend Micro's HouseCall website and have their free online scanner scan your pc as well.

    This will then help your figure out if you have been infected.
     
  2. Steelsheen

    Steelsheen Head Geek of Nerdtopia

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    couldnt have said it better myself Malice :up:

    can you do a write up about Spyware? its almost as bad as getting a Virus (if not worse).
     
  3. The Black Mask

    The Black Mask Registered

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    ......
     
    #3 The Black Mask, Oct 26, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  4. capnkirk_1701

    capnkirk_1701 Registered

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    i just scanned for spyware and i have about 5000 :eek:
     
  5. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    I was going to put spyware in the above...but ran out of time, so I will make a separate one for Spyware...

    Are you guys installing AV products on your computers now?
     
  6. Holly Goodhead

    Holly Goodhead Registered

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    Thanks Malice, youre my hero.
     
  7. The Joker™

    The Joker™ Registered

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    one of my friends said that Kapersky Anti-Virus is the best i don't have it though.

    is it true?
     
  8. Super Kal

    Super Kal Proud Conservative

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    I'm glad there is someone out there who cares about this kind of problem. It would also help about posting the dangers of viruses through peer to peer programs...



    I lost my computer 4 times to that, and I had 5 different anti virus programs running as well as 3 different firewalls...
     
  9. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    Each AV product is different, there are goods and bads about each...I cant say which is better than the other
     
  10. Steelsheen

    Steelsheen Head Geek of Nerdtopia

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    were your AV and FW all software-based? if they were, you didnt have trouble getting your computer to run or connecting to the net? because different software AVs and FWs all running at the same time causes all sorts of issues.
     
  11. Super Kal

    Super Kal Proud Conservative

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    I really cant remember... all I thought was I was protcected with some fine teeth, and I lost my coputer 4 times to a boot-record virus


    no more P2P for me... ever.
     
  12. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    Personally, I hate Software Firewalls...I leave my Router to handle firewall issues...so my PC does not have to deal with it.

    I have not had a virus in about 6 years...
     
  13. Steelsheen

    Steelsheen Head Geek of Nerdtopia

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    oh well no wonder :D

    also, if you opened up ports on your modem or router, that defeats the purpose of having a FW. and once the bots are in, there's only so much that an AV or an AS can do before the pests start taking over your pc.
     
  14. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    If you do use a P2P service....make sure scan your downloads/uploads folder FREQUENTLY and always scan it before executing a file.
     
  15. POWdER-man

    POWdER-man Ancient but wise

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    I use Norton Antivirus, have a router, use Spybot and Adaware se to protect my computer.....I can't even remember when the last time I had a virus....:up: Of course not getting any notice, always makes me anxious....:(
     
  16. Equinox

    Equinox Nerazzurri

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    My computer is pretty well protected.. I have symantec Antivirus and antispy and all the latest windows updates and the firewalls are always on :O
     
  17. guitarsingerguy

    guitarsingerguy Who am I?

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    I have a question. I was told that virus software will drastically slow down your computer. Is this true?
     
  18. Malice

    Malice BMFH

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    Yes, its very true
     
  19. Steelsheen

    Steelsheen Head Geek of Nerdtopia

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    a virus or an antivirus software?

    a virus will wreck havoc on your pc (read Malice's first post on the thread).

    an antivirus software is supposed to help you prevent viruses from doing any/ further damage, but sometimes its a problem all on its own (causes system crashes, messes with net connection and all that fun stuff)

    the golden rule is to never have 2 anti-virus software on the PC at the same time to avoid conflicts and instability.
     
  20. guitarsingerguy

    guitarsingerguy Who am I?

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    I'm sorry. I meant anit virus software. I got a free copy of symanatec, and so far I haven't noticed any slow down problems. But if it is gonna slow down my performance, then I don't know if it's something I'm interested in having. There are always options if I accidentally get a virus to get rid of it.
     
  21. guitarsingerguy

    guitarsingerguy Who am I?

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    Sorry Malice, I meant anit-virse software if that changes the outcome at all.
     
  22. Steelsheen

    Steelsheen Head Geek of Nerdtopia

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    well count yourself lucky then. so far the issues with Norton (Symantec) Anti Virus seems to have died down, but now most of the problems i encounter with Symantec has something to do with the product Norton Internet Security, which is supposed to be the all-in-one protection suite (antivirus, firewall, antispyware). for the most part it works like a charm, but when it throws a fit, it can get pretty ugly.
     
  23. guitarsingerguy

    guitarsingerguy Who am I?

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    I believe I had the option to download that as well, but I didn't. I wasn't exactly sure what it was.
     
  24. jaguarr

    jaguarr Be Your Own Hero

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    I'll add another fact to the mix, here: There are NO known viruses, malware or spyware in the wild for Mac OS X. There has been one known proof of concept piece malware constructed in a laboratory setting, but due to the security structure of Mac OS X, malevolent software can't install itself onto a Mac without root user password authorization. Like most UNIX/Linux variants, couple this with the way the kernel is constructed in Mac OS X, which is a FreeBSD variant, and it's very difficult to construct virii or other malicious code which will propagate itself across multiple systems for that operating system. It's not to say that it's impossible, but it's much more difficult and has not been done to date. I'm sure someone will figure out a way to do it someday, and when that day comes there will then be 1 known virus for Mac OS X in comparison to the nearly 100,000 known virii that are in the wild for the Windows operating system. I'll also bet that security hole gets closed extremely fast, due to the open source community associated with FreeBSD's typically fast response to identified OS security holes and bugs.

    Understand I am NOT bashing Windows, here. It has it's place in the computing world and I'm not here to debate that. But there are other operating systems out there besides Windows and they deserve mention when talking about malicious code, virii, malware and spyware.

    Cheers,
    jag
     
  25. guitarsingerguy

    guitarsingerguy Who am I?

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    I just bought an ibook for school use. I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I don't know if it'll convert me to macs completely, but it definitely has its place in my household.
     

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