A Conversation for Computer Viruses

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 1


How else not to get Infected

1) Know the difference between the types of files that can contain computer instructions and hence viruses (boot-sectors, programs (including AciveX DLLs), script files, batch files, MS-Word documents) and those that can't (most of the rest)

2) Be wary of those that can.

Other Buzz-Words for thought, in order of annoyance...

Virus Author: Usually spotty usually fourteen year old oik with nothing better to do. (If you are one: get out, meet girls)

Loveletter worm: In case you dont read/watch the news, was the most expensive virus to date, see 'Worm' and 'Macro'

Macro: Many thanks to Microsoft for a devising a programming language powerfull enough to wipe the entire contents of your computer that's included in a memo from your boss complaining about the rate of teabag consumption.

Worm: Malicious code that actively seeks out forwards itself on to your friends and relations rather than waiting for you to inadvertantly do this yourself.

eMail: Usual target for worms and best way to transmit most other viruses. Does for computer viruses what air travel does for regular ones. Infected files can be sent as mail attachments, while mail messages themselves can't be infected.

Spoof Virus Warning: 'Joke' mail message that plays on paranoia to get itself sent on to lots of people. I'm STILL being sent the "Beware messages with the subject 'Good Times'" one.

Boot-sector: the bit of a Disc that is read before anything else when you turn the computer on and which contains code to tell the computer how to behave. - important

Boot-sector viruses: Virus that infects boot sectors. Spread by leaving an infected floppy in your computer when you turn it on. To protect against it, Set the "Boot Sequence" to "c\:-A:\" in your "BIOS" to stop yourself getting them

EXE or COM infector: Like it says, infects executables (programs).

Mutating Viruses: Viruses that rearange themselve to try and fool the Anti-Virus wallas into not recognising them

Multipartite viruses: Viruses that can infect different kinds of files in the hope of getting passed on more often.

Payload: The nasty thing that a virus does to your computer to show how jolly clever the author really was.

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 2


If you change the boot sequence to c:\-a:\ you will not be able to use your computer at all if you happen to get a virus which, for example, wipes your hard drive or at least your OS. Unless, of course, you physically disconnect the hard drive. For this reason, it is better to leave a: before c: in the boot sequence.

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 3


Erm No..
Boot sequence is handled by the BIOS which is available well before such mundane actions as loading the OS occur.
Changing the sequence back to A-C and then booting off a floppy should allways me possible if the worst does happen.

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 4


Assuming you've not got a virus that has overwritten the BIOS. That's now a problem with BIOS that's in flash ram and can be writen to.

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 5


Please beware of another virus that's been going around... I think its called Windows. it usually tends to use large amounts of HD space, and slows the computer down. Other side effects include blue screens, and random noises from the floppy drive.

Computer Virus Glossary

Post 6

Athon Solo

Any file that contains executable code can contain a virus. These include HTML and HTM files (these can contain VB & JavaScripts).

Another way to avoid virii (I have been invloved in many a long discussion on what the plural of virus is, I don't want to get into another one - I just use virii (FULL STOP)) is to turn on file extensions in Windoze, since if they are off a file called something.jpg.exe will appear as something.jpg, which could confuse you. There are some virii which use this flaw, so be aware!

Also, if you use any email program which has a 'preview' pane such as Outlook Express, turn it off. This is because, despite its name, a HTML email appearing in that frame will be loaded as HTML. Now if you have a virus sent to you by email, which is activated by viewing the email (this CAN be done!), even if you're just trying to delte the email you will activate the virus. I recommend always viewing emails as plain text. It doesn't always look as nice, but its safer.

Oh yeah! That description of a virus author is likely to be wrong. A lot of the net community have a suspicion that the typical virus author works for companies like AVERT Labs, Symantec (make Norton Anti-Virus), McAfee, etc. And I reckon they're probably right!

Athon Solo

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more