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-By Rashmi Ravi

Roll no.66 S.Y.BCom B

What is Computer Virus? History of Computer Virus Types of Computer Virus How it effects on the computer? The methods to eliminate the virus References

What is computer virus?

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. A true virus can spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer

A virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your e-mail program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.
Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in e-mail messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open e-mail attachments unless you know who it's from and you are expecting it.

History of Computer Virus

The first academic work on the theory of computer viruses was done by John von Neumann in 1949 who held lectures at the University of Illinois about the "Theory and Organization of Complicated Automata". In 1972 Veith Risak published his article "Selbstreproduzierende Automaten mit minimaler Informationsbertragung" (Self-reproducing automata with minimal information exchange).

The article describes a fully functional virus written in assembler language for a SIEMENS 4004/35 computer system.

In 1980 Jrgen Kraus wrote his diplom thesis "Selbstreproduktion bei Programmen" (Self-reproduction of programs) at the University of Dortmund. In his work Kraus postulated that computer programs can behave in a way similar to biological viruses.
In 1984 Fred Cohen from the University of Southern California wrote his paper "Computer Viruses - Theory and Experiments". It was the first paper to explicitly call a self-reproducing program a "virus"; a term introduced by his mentor Leonard Adleman.

Resident Viruses:This type of virus is a permanent which dwells in the RAM memory. From there it can overcome and interrupt all of the operations executed by the system: corrupting files and programs that are opened, closed, copied, renamed etc. Examples include: Randex, CMJ, Meve, and MrKlunky.

Direct Action Viruses:The main purpose of this virus is to replicate and take action when it is executed. When a specific condition is met, the virus will go into action and infect files in the directory or folder that it is in and in directories that are specified in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file PATH.

Overwrite Viruses:-

Virus of this kind is characterized by the fact that it deletes the information contained in the files that it infects, rendering them partially or totally useless once they have been infected. Examples of this virus include: Way, Trj.Reboot, Trivial.88.D.

Boot Viruses:-

This type of virus affects the boot sector of a floppy or

hard disk. This is a crucial part of a disk, in which information on the disk itself is stored together with a program that makes it possible to boot (start) the computer from the disk. Examples of boot viruses include: Polyboot.B, AntiEXE.

Macro Viruses:-

Macro viruses infect files that are created using certain applications or programs that contain macros.Example:- Relax, Melissa.A, Bablas, O97M/Y2K.

Directory Viruses:-

Directory viruses

change the paths that indicate the location of a file. By executing a program (file with the extension .EXE or .COM) which has been infected by a virus, you are unknowingly running the virus program, while the original file and program have been previously moved by the virus.

Polymorphic Viruses:-

Polymorphic viruses encrypt or encode themselves in a different way (using different algorithms and encryption keys) every time they infect a system. Examples include: Elkern, Marburg, Satan Bug, and Tuareg.

File Infectors Viruses:

This type of virus infects programs or executable files (files with an .EXE or .COM extension). When one of these programs is run, directly or indirectly, the virus is activated, producing the damaging effects it is programmed to carry out.

Companion Viruses:-

Companion viruses can be considered file infector viruses like resident or direct action types. They are known as companion viruses because once they get into the system they "accompany" the other files that already exist.

FAT Viruses:-

This type of virus attack can be especially dangerous, by preventing access to certain sections of the disk where important files are stored.


A worm is a program very similar to a virus; it has the ability to self-replicate, and can lead to negative effects on your system and most importantly they are detected and eliminated by antiviruses.

Trojans or Trojan Horses:-

Another unsavory breed of malicious code are Trojans or

Trojan horses, which unlike viruses do not reproduce by infecting other files, nor do they self-replicate like worms.

Logic Bombs:-

Their objective is to destroy data on the computer once

certain conditions have been met. Logic bombs go undetected until launched, and the results can be destructive.

How it Effects on the computer?

The effects a virus can have on your computer depends on how its been programmed to spread. When a virus begins to spread many program files become unstable and display warnings. The Operating System may not launch properly, and the computer user may need to reboot and restart the computer frequently to ensure all programs are starting and working fine.

Critical files may get deleted automatically, and this can happen periodically or all at once.
Error messages may become prevalent, it may become difficult to save documents, and the computer maybe running slowly than usual.

Methods to eliminate the virus

Install an antivirus software in the computer it helps in protecting the computer from viruses that can enter our computer from e-mails as well as while we surf on internet.

Scan the computer at regular interval to check if there are any viruses or not. Download any files or data from the trusted sites.
Do not open any document or e-mails which you find suspicious.