The digital age has revolutionized how we work, communicate, and access information. However, along with these advancements, the risk of computer viruses has also increased. This article will explore the common viruses that can infect computers (Common Viruses in Computer), their impact, and how to protect yourself from them.
Every user of the computer or pc has heard about the term virus in the computer terminology. The virus is nothing but a malicious file that affected the regular operations of the computer and slows down.
Computer working speed and its performance duplicates the files and also carries malicious activities that were unhealthy to the computer’s health.
As technology has become an integral part of our lives, threats to our digital security have also emerged. Computer viruses are malicious software programs that can infect and damage computers. They are designed to replicate themselves and spread from one computer to another, causing various issues ranging from minor annoyances to severe system crashes.
What is a computer virus?
A computer virus is a type of malware specifically designed to replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. It attaches itself to legitimate programs or files and can execute malicious actions when these files are opened or run. Computer viruses are often created by hackers with malicious intent, such as stealing personal information, damaging data, or gaining unauthorized access to systems.
How do computer viruses spread?
Computer viruses can spread through various means, including:
- Email attachments: Viruses can be disguised as innocent-looking email attachments. When a user opens the attachment, the virus gets activated.
- Infected files: Sharing infected files via external storage devices like USB drives can spread viruses to other computers.
- Downloads: Downloading files or software from untrusted sources can expose your computer to viruses.
- Network vulnerabilities: Weak network security can provide an entry point for viruses to infect multiple computers within a network.
Types of computer viruses
Several types of computer viruses can cause different types of damage. Understanding these viruses can help you recognize and protect against them. Here are some common types:
a. Boot sector viruses
Boot sector viruses infect the master boot record of a computer’s hard drive. They can spread through infected storage devices and cause issues during the boot process.
b. File infector viruses
File infector viruses attach themselves to executable files. When an infected file is run, the virus activates and can infect other files on the system.
c. Macro viruses
Macro viruses infect files created using programs that support macros, like Microsoft Word or Excel. They can spread through documents and cause damage to the files they infect.
d. Polymorphic viruses
Polymorphic viruses can change their code, making it difficult for antivirus software to detect and remove them. They can mutate and create new variants to avoid detection.
Worms are self-replicating programs that can spread independently across networks, often exploiting security vulnerabilities. They can consume network bandwidth and slow down computer systems.
f. Trojan horses
Trojan horses are malicious programs disguised as legitimate software. They trick users into executing them, providing unauthorized access to the attacker, or causing damage to the system.
List of Common viruses in computer
1. I love you
I love you was one of the most affected viruses in computer history. It affects more than 1 billion computers not only personal computers. This virus affected government computers and other confidential computers used by government officials.
It comes with an email named subject as I LOVE YOU and have an attachment with the name of LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.VBS
After click on the file was downloaded and it was installed in the background. The file runs in the background and sends your personal data to all contacts in your windows address book and duplicates your files randomly. Finally, it corrupts your computer along with data.
The virus was originated in pentagon which was situated in Manila of the Philippines on 5th May 2000. From there onwards it moves first towards hong kong and by there move to Europe and finally reached to united states.
The virus damaged approximately 5-9 billion us dollars worthy data in the official computers.
With the effect of this virus, the Pentagon and British parliament and CIA completely shut down their email systems until the problem was resolved.
So don’t open the email if you received by the name ILOVEYOU and with the attachment of the LOVE LETTER.txt.vbs.
If you open this email, your personal files will be in trouble and you have to forget about it and buy a new pc.
2. Code red
This was another type of virus that affects the computer and do a lot of damage at once upon a time in the global arena. The name of the virus also has a story.
It was exposed by the two eye digital security employees. It was named as code red because at the time of that virus discovery. They were drinking code red mountain dew.
What is Code Red?
Code Red was a computer worm observed on the Internet on July 15, 2001. It attacked computers running Microsoft’s IIS web server. The Code Redworm was first discovered and researched by eEye Digital Security employees Marc Maiffret and Ryan Permeh when it exploited a vulnerability discovered by Riley Hassell.
The size of that virus was just 3569 bytes only. But once it was infected then it starts their work and duplicates files in your PC drives itself.
It fills the entire hard disk with the duplicated files and also opens the backdoor to the server. It can be accessed by the Hacker from the backdoor of the infected PC.
Finally, it leads to the disrupt the functions of the pc and collapses the PC.
This Virus causes approximately 2 Billion dollars loss and approximately 1-2 million servers were affected by this virus.
How did the Code Red virus spread? It leaves the message with the CONTENT HACKED BY CHINESE after seeing this message you just have to forget about your data and just have to reset it.
It was named after a dancer from Florida. It was created by David l Smith in 1999. It was an infected word document posted on the alt.sex net group.
In the 1990s, the Melissa virus, also known as Kwyjibo or Kwejeebo, infected 20% of the world’s computers.
It said that the list of passwords for pornographic sites. This makes the users enthusiastic and downloaded it.
When documents infected with the Melissa virus were opened, embedded macros would automatically send the same document to the first 50 contacts in the victim’s address book.
This will increase the mail trafficking and sometimes it will corrupt the infected pc. Mostly it interrupts the functions of the pc and damages the pc working.
Smith was caught by the FBI while tracing the document and Smith was cooperated with the FBI and helped them to capture the other virus creators like this.
He was put behind bars for only 20 months and paid fine of 5000 dollars as a penalty and it causes approximately 80 million dollars damage.
Sasser is another type of virus that affects computers. This windows worm was first discovered in 2004.
It was created by the science student steven Jascha. It slows down the working speed of the computer and also affects the functions of the computer.
It will also spread itself to another computer through the internet.
An update was released to patch this bug. Even though an update was released, Thousands of computers did not update.
The final result is the virus infected millions of computers like airline news agencies, public transport, hospitals. The estimated damage is nearly 18 billion dollars.
It was a trojan horse. It will infect the windows computers. The main theme of this virus code is to steal the credentials like login id and passwords of large multinational corporations like Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, a bank of America, etc.
It affects more than 25% of the united state’s computers. It estimates that more than 1 million computers were infected and more than 70 million data were stolen.
More than 100 people were arrested who were involved in this operation.
Once this Trojan was entered into the pc, then all your login credentials (Usernames and Passwords) were going into the third parties. They can steal all your data and money from your account.
Another name for this virus was down up. It was developed by using the loopholes in the computer’s Operating system to create a botnet.
What is BotNet?
Botnet is a software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.It may allow an attacker to access user’s personal information such as banking information, passwords, or personal identity.It can infect other devices connected to the network.
This virus infects more than 9 millions of computers all over the world.
The main target of this virus is to hack government computers and business people’s pics.
It was one of the biggest worm infections. It has done more than 9 billion us dollars damage.
It automatically allows the installation of the virus automatically without admin permission.
Signs of a computer virus infection
Detecting a computer virus infection is essential for timely action. Here are some signs that may indicate your computer is infected:
- Slow performance: If your computer suddenly becomes slower than usual, it may be a sign of a virus.
- Unexpected crashes: Frequent system crashes or program freezes could be a symptom of a virus infection.
- Pop-up ads: An increase in unwanted pop-up ads, even when you’re not browsing the internet, can be a sign of adware or malware.
- Missing or modified files: If files or folders suddenly disappear or their content has changed unexpectedly, it may indicate a virus infection.
- Unusual network activity: Excessive data usage or network traffic when you’re not actively using the internet could indicate a virus.
Consequences of a computer virus infection
Computer virus infections can have severe consequences, including:
- Data loss: Viruses can delete or corrupt files, leading to irreversible data loss.
- Identity theft: Some viruses are designed to steal personal information, such as credit card details, passwords, or social security numbers.
- System instability: Viruses can disrupt system operations, leading to crashes, freezes, or the inability to start the computer.
- Unauthorized access: Certain viruses provide hackers with remote access to infected computers, enabling them to control or use the system for malicious activities.
Preventing computer virus infections
Taking preventive measures is crucial to protect your computer from viruses. Here are some best practices:
a. Install antivirus software
Use reputable antivirus software and keep it updated to detect and remove viruses effectively.
b. Keep your operating system up to date
Regularly update your operating system to ensure it has the latest security patches, as these patches often address vulnerabilities that viruses exploit.
c. Be cautious of email attachments and downloads.
Avoid opening email attachments from unknown sources or downloading files from untrusted websites. Scan all downloads with antivirus software before opening them.
d. Use strong and unique passwords
Choose strong passwords for your accounts and avoid reusing them across different platforms. Strong passwords make it difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access.
e. Enable a firewall
Enable a firewall on your computer to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, providing an additional layer of security.
How to remove computer viruses
If you suspect your computer is infected with a virus, take the following steps to remove it:
- Run a full scan with your antivirus software to detect and remove the virus.
- Disconnect from the internet to prevent further damage or unauthorized access.
- If your antivirus software cannot remove the virus, seek professional help or use specialized virus removal tools.
- Once the virus is removed, update your operating system and all software to the latest versions to patch vulnerabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a virus and malware?
While a virus is a type of malware, malware refers to a broader category of malicious software, including viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and more.
Can I get a virus from visiting a website?
Yes, visiting malicious websites or clicking on suspicious links can expose your computer to viruses. Having updated antivirus software and exercising caution while browsing the internet is essential.
Can antivirus software remove all viruses?
Antivirus software can detect and remove many viruses, but it may not be able to detect or remove all types of viruses. It is important to keep your antivirus software updated and use additional security measures.
What should I do if my computer gets infected by a virus?
If a virus infects your computer, isolate it from the network, run a full antivirus scan, and follow the recommended steps for virus removal provided by your antivirus software. Seek professional help if needed.
Are Mac computers immune to viruses?
While Mac computers are generally less targeted by viruses than Windows computers, they are not immune to viruses. It is still essential to use antivirus software and follow security best practices.
Computer viruses pose a significant threat to individuals and organizations, causing various issues ranging from inconvenience to severe data breaches.
You can protect your computer and personal information from these malicious programs by understanding the types of viruses, signs of infection, and preventive measures.
You should check the software terms and conditions before installing them on the PC. The common viruses on computers in 2023 is very dangerous.
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Do not worry, they are fully cleaned from the hacker’s database. But the data stealers are using these viruses to attack official’s computers.