What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a malicious program that self-replicates by copying itself to another program. In other words, the computer virus spreads by itself into other executable code or documents. The purpose of creating a computer virus is to infect vulnerable systems, gain admin control and steal user sensitive data. Hackers design computer viruses with malicious intent and prey on online users by tricking them.

One of the ideal methods by which viruses spread is through emails – opening the attachment in the email, visiting an infected website, clicking on an executable file, or viewing an infected advertisement can cause the virus to spread to your system. Besides that, infections also spread while connecting with already infected removable storage devices, such as USB drives.

It is quite easy and simple for the viruses to sneak into a computer by dodging the defense systems. A successful breach can cause serious issues for the user such as infecting other resources or system software, modifying or deleting key functions or applications and copy/delete or encrypt data.

There are two types of ways in viruses operate, as soon as they land on a new device they begin replicating, while the second type plays dead until a particular trigger makes the malicious code to be executed. Thereby, it is highly important to stay protected by installing a robust antivirus program.

Presently, the sophisticated ones come with evasion capabilities that help in bypassing antivirus software and other advanced levels of defenses. Subsequently, the polymorphic malware development in the recent times enables the viruses to dynamically change its code as it spreads. This has made the virus detection and identification very challenging.

Updated: December 5, 2018 — 9:10 pm

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