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Most of us swap disks with friends and browse the Net looking for downloads Rarely do we ever consider that we are also exchanging files with anyone and everyone who has ever handled them in the past If that sounds like a warning about social diseases it might as well be Computer viruses are every bit as destructive and come in a vast variety of strains A computer virus tears up your hard drive and brings down your network However computer viruses are almost always curable diagnosed and cures for new strains are usually just a matter of days not months or years Virus a program that infects computer files usually other executable programs by inserting in those files copies itself This is usually done in such a manner that the copies will be executed when the file is loaded into memory allowing them to infect still other files and so on Viruses often have damaging side effects sometimes intentionally sometimes not Most viruses are created out of curiosity Viruses have always been viewed as a well written creative product of software engineering I admit there are many out there who create them out of malice but far more people are just meeting a challenge in software design The people who make anti-virus software have much more to benefit from the creation of new virii This is not a slam just an observation A common type of virus would be a Trojan Horse or a destructive program disguised as a game a utility or an application When run a Trojan Horse does something devious to the computer system while appearing to do something useful A Worm is also a popular type of virus A worm is a program that spreads itself across computers usually by spawning copies of itself in each computers memory A worm might duplicate itself in one computer so often that it causes the computer to crash Sometimes written in
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