Computer viruses were first observed during the late 1980s. This was around the time computers became popular in homes and businesses. This made it easier for hackers to attack computers as computers were only used by the ‘experts’ prior to this time.
Computer viruses are written by humans. Their reasons for doing this vary. Some people do it for the thrill of watching things being blown up; others do it so that they can brag about it. There are people who do it for the money they can make by stealing personal information.
The most common electronic bugs are:
This is a piece of software that rides on authentic programs. It may be attached to a program such as a word processing program. Whenever this program is used, the virus is activated. This gives it the opportunity to multiply and attach itself to other programs, eventually causing havoc.
E-mail viruses are distributed as attachments to e-mail messages. It multiplies by the automatic mailing of itself to contacts in the victim’s address book. Some of these viruses do not require a click on a specific part of the message; it merely needs a preview of the message for it to become active.
Trojan horses are normally computer programs. It claims to offer a certain type of service, such as a game, but attacks your hard disk once the program is run. Trojan horse viruses do not multiply.
Worms are pieces of software that make use of networks and gaps in computer security to multiply. The worm scans a network for an alternate computer that may have a security hole and copies itself to that machine via the hole.
Denial of Service
Denial of service attacks normally occur on computer networks. DoS attacks flood the service with useless traffic, thereby preventing it from working efficiently.
To protect your computer from attack, you should install trusted virus protection software. You should not open messages that contain executable files. To get rid of the viruses may require expert intervention or wiping your hard disk.