What is a virus?


What is a virus?

  • In computing technology, a virus is a form of malicious software, or malware, that is designed to cause damage to a computer by destroying data, corrupting files or wasting resources, while also replicating itself and spreading to other computers.

  • A virus may also be designed to gain control over a system for malicious purposes.

The headlines are full of the damages caused by computer viruses and security breaches, and anti-virus software has become a critical piece of technology for every business and consumer user. But what is a virus exactly, and how does this technology create so much damage?

Here’s a brief primer on “What is a virus?” that offers an overview of computer viruses.

What is a virus?

A virus is a type of malicious code or computer program that can infect a file, hard drive or computer system, reproducing itself and spreading to other files or devices.

What is a virus designed to do?

Different types of viruses have different purposes.

  • A standard virus is designed to corrupt files, destroy data or consume computing resources.

  • A worm virus is designed to be spread rapidly through email.

  • A Trojan virus is a program that appears to be harmless but harbors malicious intent and can cause great damage once it is executed within a computer system.

  • A zombie virus is a program that installs itself on a large number of machines and remains dormant until an external event activates it. Zombies may be designed to cause damage, steal information or create remote access portals to infected computers.

What is a virus attack?

A computer may have a virus and show no signs of infection until a virus attack begins. Once an attack has started, the virus may perform any number of actions—from stealing data to logging keystrokes, spamming email contacts or using computing resources to launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

What is a virus infection?

Viruses spread to infect other computers through a variety of means. Email is one of the most common ways that a virus can be spread, often through attachments to the email or through code within the body of the email itself. Viruses may also be spread over instant messaging, through software downloads, through file sharing services and through unpatched software vulnerabilities.

What is a virus protection solution?

Anti-virus technology is designed to scan computers, files and email for the presence of viruses, and to remove any malicious code that is detected.

What is a virus prevention suite from Spectrum Enterprise?

Spectrum Enterprise offers a network of security services that can block spam, spyware, viruses and malicious email attachments to provide enterprises with greater network security. This technology enables continuous scanning and monitoring of all hardware devices, and automatically and permanently deletes infections of existing and newly discovered threats. Spectrum’s security technology provides real-time warnings and alerts for fake and malicious URL addresses and weaponized attachments. The software also includes automatic updates to ensure that enterprises are protected against the latest known threats.