What Is A Computer Virus? Virus Protection & More

The most common way of transmission of computer viruses in boot sector is physical media. When reading the VBR of the drive, the infected floppy disk or USB flash drive connected to the computer will transfer data, and then modify or replace the existing boot code. The next time a user tries to start the desktop, the virus will immediately load and run as part of the master boot record. One of the most notable viruses that attacked hardware was the Chernobyl virus. The Chernobyl virus was first detected in 1999 and corrupted data on the hard drive and sometimes the motherboard BIOS. When a computer BIOS becomes corrupt, it causes the computer not to boot.

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USB devices are still very much part of our everyday lives at work and at home, despite the emergence of Dropbox and Google Drive. However, unless we learn to protect the information we have stored on our USB devices, we’re guilty of making things much easier for those who wish to misuse our data. If you need to transfer serious data onto a flash drive, you could opt for a flash drive with 128-bit AES hardware encryption. Hardware encryption is often considered a better option than software encryption since it doesn’t carry the same risk of getting hacked. Flash drives, such as Ironkey, will ‘self-destruct’ if the password is entered incorrectly too many times. There are also some flash drives which are configured to delete files after a certain period. For the best of both worlds, plus proactive data loss protection, and more, we invite you to look into MetaDefender Core.

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The Stuxnet worm is an example of the latter, where someone uploads malicious code onto the drive with the intention of filtering the code into the targeted network. This means that an infected flash drive plugged into an unprotected device could instantly infect it and spread the virus through any network it’s attached to. Millions of USB devices are still designed, produced and sold each year with many used at home and at work (they’re also still a very popular item during promotional giveaways). Before you diagnose your computer with a virus, make sure there aren’t other things slowing it down.

  • All 3 types of malicious code are often referred to by the generic term “computer virus” by the media.
  • The most sensitive components include the video card, CPU, RAM chips and the motherboard.
  • With malware’s offensive capabilities evident, it’s no wonder it has become a common tool in the murky world of international espionage and cyber warfare.

In most cases, ransomware programs are Trojans and they are spread through social engineering. A rootkit is a collection of malicious software allowing cybercriminals remote access to one’s computer without being detected.

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Once the computer is infected, it will proceed to make a hundred copies of itself but due to a bug in the programming, it will duplicate even more and ends up eating a lot of the system’s resources. It will then launch a denial of service attack on several IP addresses, famous among them was the attack on the White House website . It also allows backdoor access to the server, allowing for remote access to the machine. The main purpose of the Zeus virus is to access the victim’s sensitive bank account details and steal all of the victim’s funds. The virus can bypass centralized servers and create independent servers to send sensitive information and a victim cannot even trace his/her stolen data. Also in some cases, Zeus can download ransomware that encrypts your files and demand money in exchange for unlocking them. Zeus virus is part of the “Zeus” family of malware and viruses and it was first discovered in 2011.

Endpoint devices and computer users today are experiencing a higher volume error code KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE of attacks from hackers than ever before, so antivirus solutions are becoming increasingly important, especially for SMBs. It didn’t take long for more malicious hackers to see the potential in viruses. Using the Internet to spread, a well-crafted virus can infect millions of computers amazingly quickly and do a lot of damage.

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