Threats A computer virus is a computer program that invades your computer system without your knowledge and consent It hides itself while doing its work. Frequently s attachments spread viruses
Basic Characteristics It is able to duplicate itself: It could replicate or attach itself to a file which when shared will infect the next computer. It is able to hide and protect itself It must have a PAYLOAD.
Types of threats Trojan Horse Boot Sector Virus File Virus Worms Time Bombs Macro Viruses
Trojan Horse This often comes as an appealing attachment While you are busy with the game the virus infects your system. These files could lead to data theft
Boot Sector Virus The boot sector contains vital data for a computer. It is one of the first things looked at when you switch on. This virus could put the boot sector somewhere else.
File Virus This will attach itself to any program i.e. any file with the extension EXE or COM. It can be carried to another system via a USB
Worm A worm will replicate themselves until all available locations on the hard drive are full causing the system to crash.
Time bomb These programs lurk in your system, infecting all disks and other computers on a network. They wait for a specific time or event to do whatever job they have been programmed to do.
Macro Virus These viruses infect Microsoft application files. They attach themselves to a document The document enters the system as a macro. A macro is a program a collection of words, phrases or commands that can be activated by a simple action like a combination of two key presses. When the next clean document is worked with, the macro attaches itself to the new document to go and infect another computer.
Benign or malignant? Benign When activated does something harmless but irritating When it has stopped running you are given control of your computer again. Generally written as jokes Malignant Written to cause damage to files It can replicate rapidly and infect data and program files within minutes of entering your system.
Who Writes a Virus? Malicious people who have some sort of grudge. Bored students who need something to stimulate their creative powers. Pranksters who think it is amusing.
Damage Caused by a Virus It can cause damage any file on your hard drive or memory stick e.g. drivers. Businesses Clearing up is time-consuming and costly. It requires the services of a specialist in the field. Essential data could be lost Home Loss of data Inconvenience because you may have to reformat your hard drive.
Infection rate A virus can transfer copies of itself dozens of times in a matter of seconds. In the workplace, computers are usually networked. If a computer is infected every machine in the company could be infected almost instantly. If each worker takes an infected USB home, each home machine becomes infected. If each spouse takes an infected USB to work and if each child takes an infected USB to school you will have a pandemic.
Does your computer have a virus? Strange messages or graphics appear on your monitor. Sounds that are not part of your program could be played. Your hard disk could reformat itself without you having given the reformat command. Unknown files or directories are created. Files expand in size for no known reason. Files are corrupted. Your computer starts to work slowly. The computer is unable to boot up because the boot sector has been relocated. The FAT has been moved and it appears that you have no files on your disk.
Cleaning an infection Reformatting the hard drive is extreme but undesirable Use an inoculation programs. These programs find the virus and destroy or quarantine it. They may try to patch the damage They can fix a known virus they cannot fix a virus that is still to be written.
What are virus definitions? These define what a virus is and what it can do. When a company finds a new virus they get into the program code and look for the defining part of the virus. They write code to defuse or destroy the virus.
Update your virus definitions The fact that the old viruses can be treated is a stimulus to their authors. You can almost hear them saying They found that one! Lets see how long it takes them to crack this new one! and out will pop a new virus. This is then analysed by the anti virus companies until they find the program that will crack that new virus and so the vicious circle starts again!
How to Prevent Infection Only use new software bought from a reputable agent. Isolate your machine if you can! Ensure that a computer is clean before you use your USB Install a virus checker in your home computer and convince your company and friends to do the same. Update your virus checkers data base regularly. Download files from reputable sites on the Internet. Dont boot with a USB in place. Change your CMOS setting so that drive C is the first drive it examines on boot-up. Scan all disks with your virus checking software before using them. Dont open attachments from a strange source.
Hoax You will often receive an warning you not to open an with a particular subject line because it is a virus. Most of these are a hoax. Hoaxes cause panic and flood inboxes throughout the world. Before sending these warnings check on the Internet.
Spam This is unsolicited . In businesses it clutters up the inbox and uses space on the server. You can build in a filter that will delete all from a particular person as soon as it is received.
Phishing When someone wants to gain access to your private details like passwords or bank details, they will use bait in the form of an e- mail or text message hoping to catch the phish – you! They could be attractive offers (You have won £500,000 in the UK Lottery. Send us your details so that we can transfer the money to your account) or Could cause you alarm (We have noticed some unusual activity on credit card. Click here so that we can verify your details.). Keyloggers are programs that capture all keystrokes as you type in the hopes that soon a password will be entered. The Phisher has access to your computer through this program and will patiently wait until he can pick up personal details.
spoofing Most of us will open a friends . spoofing relies on this. spoofing is often used to gain access to certain details that could be used in Spam or in Phishing.
Pharming Pharming is an attempt by a hacker to block a legitimate web site. The people who type in the web address of this site will be redirected to a false web site. One of the main purposes of pharming is to assist in identity theft particularly if an on-line banking site is affected.
Some other threats TwishingPhishing using Twitter SmishingPhishing using an SMS VishingPhishing using VOIP