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Computer viruses are much the same as biological viruses – they attach themselves to hosts and replicate themselves repeatedly, however the hosts take the form of diskettes or files rather than living organisms. Some viruses attach themselves to files and execute themselves when the file is executed, others may just sit in the computer’s RAM and infect other files as the user opens, modifies or creates them. Most viruses do need to be initialised by the user, however this need only be clicking on an icon or previewing an email in an email program. Some will be completely harmless, and just do something like display a message, whereas others can potentially wipe your computer. There are thousands of different viruses, targeting all the popular operating systems of recent years, however they may be grouped into broad categories as follows: Boot sector viruses =================== The Boot Sector is an area of the first track of a floppy disk or other drive that contains the boot record. Boot sector usually refers to this sector on a floppy disk, whereas Master Boot Sector refers to the corresponding section of a hard disk. A boot sector virus places its code in the boot sector, and gets read into memory when the computer boots up. Once in memory, the virus can gain control over basic computer operations, and can spread to other drives on the system. File viruses ============ These viruses usually attach themselves to .com or .exe files, however they may also infect .drv, .bin, .sys, .ovl and .ovy file types. File viruses can be either resident or non-resident, with the most common being resident or terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) viruses. Worm viruses ============ Worms are parasitic computer programs that replicate but do not infect other computer program files. They can create copies on the same computer, or they can spread to other computers over a network. Worms are o
e page is opened by a browser. Virus hoaxes ============ These are not actually viruses, but are rather deliberate messages warning the recipients about non-existent virus threats. These cause trouble by clogging email servers and panicking people, however they may also lead to computer damage. An example of this is a hoax I recently received from a former colleague, warning of the sulfnbk.exe virus. This could be ‘cured’ by simply deleting the file, which my friend had done, however this file is actually a Windows system file that is used to restore long file names, and is supposed to be on the computer. Virus hoax emails tend to display similar characteristics. They first of all warn about a new virus that has (often implausibly) serious effects on systems it infects. They often give a techno-babble explanation of how the virus works, and provide comments from Microsoft, or CNN, or someone in authority about the danger of the virus. This is often about how it is undetected by virus scanners. Finally, the message advises recipients to send it on to everyone they know. If in doubt, check on a website before you forward it on to everyone you know! The page I use is http://www.icsalabs.com/html/communities/antivirus/hoaxes.shtml. How to avoid viruses ==================== As with avoiding hackers (could be a whole new op!), the best way of avoiding virus infection is to never expose your computer to any media from the outside world, however this is almost completely impractical in today’s computer society. The most important thing to do is to install a decent virus scanner. I use InoculateIT from Computer Associates, but I don’t think you can get the software anymore, just updates. Ask me nicely and I might consider emailing it to people! Over 500 new viruses are identified each month, so it is important that anti-virus software is also updated regularly. It is also a good idea to ch
eck regularly for operating system patches and updates that may rectify potential security issues. Otherwise, exercising common sense is the best protection. You should not open email file attachments unless you know what the file is, even if it is sent from a friend, as viruses often replicate by sending themselves to a users email contacts. Attachments and downloads should always be scanned with a virus-scanner before opening – most anti-virus software packages offer real-time protection that should do this automatically. Junk emails and chain emails should be deleted, and not forwarded or replied to, and any email warning of a virus should be checked out before being sent on. In case of disaster, you should regularly back up your important files so that they can be replaced if necessary. These backups should be stored in a separate location to the originals, preferably not on the same computer. When in doubt, you should always stay on the side of caution when dealing with file attachments or downloads, and should not execute suspicious files without checking them thoroughly first. What to do if you get a virus ============================= Unfortunately, sometimes even the best protection can fail, and you may end up getting a virus. Don’t panic! If your virus checker has picked it up, it should be able to sort it out. If not, update you virus scanner’s virus database and try again. Otherwise, assuming you know the name of the virus, search for it on the Internet – you should be able to find instructions on removing it. If all else fails, you made those backups for a reason, right? Hope it’s something you never need to worry about…
Having received a Virus yesterday I sure do need an Apirin or two to-day I am one of those people that tells everyone to watch out for Virus's and what do I do? Yep you guessed it! opened an attachment that I though was from a friend The Virus is the Badtrans_B and it went wild on the 24th Nov I think that the reason that the virus has gained so rapidly is that it uses a known vulnerability of Internet Explorer which allows the AUTOMATIC download of an attachment merely by looking at the e-mail. Whilst this virus does not destroy data on your PC or render it useless it places a ‘Trojan Horse’ on it which would enable someone to track your keyboard entries and even passwords. The Trojan Horse file is called KDLL.DLL and it resides in the Windows/System folder. So a quick Start/Search for this file will tell you whether you are infected. Another file keeps a log of your activities and this is called CP_25389.NLS. Quote "The way to remove the virus is to delete these. Unfortunately they are protected against deletion whilst Windows is running, so it is not possible to use Windows Explorer to delete. The method I used was (with Win 95 and 98) to restart the computer in DOS mode. This will show you a blank screen with C:\windows displayed. To change to the System directory (folder) use the entry CD System. There is a space between CD and the word System. The screen should now displace C:\windows\System. If it does not then try again. Once in the System directory you need to delete the two files. Enter the text Del KDLL.DLL and press the Enter key. Do the same for the other file. There is a third file called PE.EXE and you can try to delete that also but it is likely to say ‘File Not Found’ as the Virus program normally covers its tracks by deleting it. There is another place where an alteration is made to your computer but that is less critical You can and should now restart your computer
by pressing the button on the PC. Do an occasional search for KDLL.DLL to see if it has returned" Well I have done all of the above and still no wiser It has not shown up on my computer and I will just have to keep on with it! It makes me wonder what kind of person takes delight in causing so much trouble? and of course there is the Fraud aspect to it too. If they can gain access to your pass words and gain access to your credit cards then they have struck it rich. But it is not just the rich they are taking from (and I am in no way condoning them taking from the rich) but us ordinary mortals too! But Most of all it is the sheer hassel of trying to sort out the computer and informing everyone of it that is the most annoying part to all this. So now that I have vent my anger, someone please pass me those aspirins!!