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Word Count: 505
A VIRUS is a program that reproduces its own code by attaching itself to another program It is basically a self-replicating program written for destructive purpose It interferes with the computers operating system the basic software that runs the computer Viruses are designed to replicate and elude detection Like any other computer program a virus must be executed to function -- that is it must be loaded from the computers memory and the computer must then follow the virus instructions These instructions are called the payload of the virus The payload may disrupt or change data files display a message or cause the operating system to malfunction It is made in such a way that it enters computer without the knowledge of machine or its user The idea of virus started with the possibility of writing self-replicating software The idea was first put forward by Hungarian American mathematician John von Neumann at the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton New Jersey There are six categories of virus -- parasitic bootstrap sector multipartite companion link and data file Parasitic virus infects executable files or programs in the computer They leave the contents of the host program unchanged but append to the host in such a way that the virus code is run first Bootstrap sector virus reside on the first portion of the hard disk or floppy disk known as the boot sector and replace either the programs that store information about the disks contents or the programs that start the computer Multipartite viruses combine the abilities of the parasitic and the bootstrap sector viruses infecting either files or boot sectors A companion virus does not modify a file Instead it creates a new program with the same name as a legitimate program and tricks the operating system into running it Link viruses modify the way the operating system finds a program tricking it into first running the virus and then the desired program
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