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In addition to misuse of RAS connections,
another way client security can be compromised is through a computer
virus. A virus is a program that infects a computer
and makes a copy of its own self to pass on much like a virus
in the organic world. Generally, the designer goes to great lengths
to hide the virus so it may reproduce without detection. A virus
can hide in either a program (.com, .exe) or in a macro
language, such as with Word or Excel macros. The Melissa
virus is a classic example of macro virus.
Viruses do not have to become
apparent at the moment of infection. Frequently they will hide
so they may be spread without detection. The trigger to launch
the virus can be X number of boots, a specific date or other
Viruses can only impact your system by running the program (.exe or macro) to which they are attached or by booting an infected disk (floppy or hard disk).
Any boot sector virus may prevent a system from booting.
To be classified as a virus, several conditions must be met.
Several of these conditions are:
It must replicate itself.
It is dependent on a host.
Generally speaking there are three
types of viruses. They are:
- Non-destructive:. These entries represent
no serious threat, and generally exhibit themselves as messages
on the screen, usually political.
- Nuisance: These are more annoying
then non-destructive. They may demonstrate themselves by odd behavior,
such as locking up certain programs. After you re-boot, everything is
fine until another magic point.
- Destructive: These are the nastiest
viruses. Typical of these types of viruses is to infect the boot
sector destroying the allocation table that causes total
If your system begins to act up after installing a program that you downloaded from a bulletin board or the Internet, you want to run a virus-checking program.
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