Computer Viruses

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A computer virus is a malicious program, which embeds itself into the code of a given application. It then proceeds to execute malicious processes, which can take the whole system down. They have various entry points and can have different effects on the infected computer.

What is a Virus Exactly?

A computer virus is a program, or piece of code, which runs on an infected computer and executes a malicious payload. Viruses are not to be mistaken with other types of malware, which will include spyware, scareware, Trojan horses and much more. They are a completely separate family of threats. They can be considered the beginning of all threats spread across the world, even though they are significantly less dangerous compared to most of their counterparts. Their main job is to replicate across all the possible files on the infected computer. From then on, each virus has its own job respectively.
Computer Viruses 2

The Historical Viewpoint

The first known mention of a computer virus was made in 1949. Despite the fact that it was not called a computer virus back then, it started a significant amount of research on the topic. This helped people be prepared when the first real threat hit computers around the world. The first thing to be considered a virus, was The Creeper. It infected computers connected to the ARPANET – the predecessor today’s internet. It had no damaging output however. Its job was to replicate itself and infect as many files and computers as possible. It then displayed a message stating “I’m the Creeper, catch me if you can.” The Reaper was developed especially to put a stop to this threat once and for all, and it was successful. In the next two decades, virus programs continued to be mostly pranksters in nature. It was not until the late 80s when intervention was truly required. It was then the computer virus truly became a dangerous thing to have onboard.
Computer Viruses

The List of Computer Viruses

Since computer viruses quickly grew to become real dangers, there was a need to start cataloguing all threats. Naturally, there are very few databases, which can hold all the viruses, which were ever created in the world. This is why different organizations take care of different groups. There are certain rules, which are followed while listing computer viruses. For instance, there are cases in which one virus is discovered, but soon it is realized that it is only a variation of an already existing threat. This is when a virus which carried the name Plyah, can be renamed to Syrob.b, because it is a variation of an already existing virus called Syrob.

Apart from this, it can be said that there are given groups of viruses, which are harder to diagnose and therefore list. This applies especially to malware, which attacks Linux systems, which are severely more complex than those employing Windows or MacOS.

Essential Viruses

Here is a list of viruses, which have some vital significance to the world:

  • 1260 – the first virus to infect with polymorphic encryption.
  • 4K – the first virus to infect in a stealthy manner.
  • Acme – A virus, which after executing an infected exe, infected all other exe’s in the given directory.
  • Alcon – the first virus to start overwriting random information on the infected computer, causing real damage over time.
  • Creeper – the first real computer virus.
  • Michelangelo – a computer virus, which ran its processes only on Michelangelo’s birthday, March 6.
  • Scores – designed with the idea of infecting two specific applications, which never really saw the light of day.
  • Techno – a virus, which randomly played a tune, which was composed by its creator.
  • ZMist – the first virus to integrate code.

All of these viruses are now extinct, but they hold significance in the world of computer threats. There are thousands of viruses and other types of malware created every year.

 

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