Computer Viruses

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What is a computer virus? A computer virus is a piece of malicious code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect such as corrupting a system or destroying data. Computer viruses are written with the sole intention of stealing data or crippling a system. The term computer virus is derived from and is in some sense analogous to a biological virus. The word virus itself is Latin for poison. Simplistically, biological viral infections are spread by the virus (a small shell containing genetic material) injecting its contents into a far larger organism’s cell. The cell then is infected and converted into a biological factory producing replicants of the virus. (Computer Viruses as Artificial Life, 2) A large majority of computer viruses are written by “notorious” computer hackers and they send out these viruses or just post them online. Following the first computer virus ever created codenamed “Creeper” in 1971, with the growth of information technology (IT) a lot of “script kiddies” (a person who uses existing computer scripts or code to hack into computers, lacking the expertise to write their own) and “black hats” (unethical hackers) tend to look for these viruses to “harness [the] abundance of information [to] manipulate it to their advantage” (Little Black Book, 6). There are a plethora of computer viruses out in the cyberspace world and majority of them attack personal computers (PCs). In 1997, an article published by Scientific American named “Fighting Computer Viruses” it was known that more than 10,000 viruses had appeared (by 1997 since 1971) and roughly about 6 new viruses were created per day. According to the latest virus definition file (file that keeps a record of all known/discovered ... ... middle of paper ... ...hnological Turf Wars, 164) Works Cited "Virus Definitions & Security Updates." Symantec Corp. Symantec Corp, 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. "Grappling with the ZeroAccess Botnet." Endpoint, Cloud, Mobile & Virtual Security Solutions. Symantec Corp, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. Spafford, Eugene H. "Computer Viruses as Artificial Life." MIT Press Journals. MIT, Apr. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. Kephart, Jeffrey O., Gregory B. Sorkin, David M. Chess, and Steve R. White. "Fighting Computer Viruses." Scientific American 277.5 (1997): 88-93. Print. Johnston, Jessica R. "Situated Exclusions and Reinforced Power." Technological Turf Wars: A Case Study of the Computer Antivirus Industry. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2009. 1-233. Print. Ludwig, Mark A. "Introduction." The Little Black Book of Computer Viruses. Tucson, AZ: American Eagle Publications, 1996. 1-183. Print.

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