Types of Computer Viruses and their Effects

Nuelson Penuel Sunday, December 18, 2022 Technology


types of computer virus
Computer viruses are of different types depending on the purpose it is designed for. The level of damage that a virus can cause to a computer system depends on how sophisticated the codes used for developing the virus are. The following are some of the different computer viruses and their effects that are in existence: 1. Boot Sector Virus This type of virus is very difficult to remove without a complete disk wiping. As the name suggested, this virus targets the boot sector of a computer system and try as much as possible to replace the boot sector codes with its own code in order to achieve its motive. Once its attack on the boot sector is successful, the system finds it difficult to boot to the desktop in most cases. This type of virus can be spread via USB devices, email attachments. However, recently the improvements on BIOS architecture have reduce the spread of this virus. 2. Direct Action Virus This is a file infector virus also known as non-resident virus that attached itself to EXE or COM files waiting to be executed in order to activate its action. It doesn't install itself or remain hidden in the computer system and it also has less impact on the system files as it doesn't temper with the system performance except making some files become inaccessible to the victim. 3. Resident Virus Unlike the direction action virus, this type of virus install themselves in the victim's computer system. Resident virus is a file infector virus that tries to replicate itself as much as possible so that even when the main source of virus is caught and removed, the replicates will still be able to perform their mission. They are therefore said to be far dangerous than non-resident viruses.

Types of Resident Virus

Resident virus is categorized into: i. Fast infectors: This type of resident virus try to infect as much files as possible and quick it can making effects of damage easily noticeable. This makes it to be easily detectable by antivirus. i. Slow infectors: Slow infectors virus as the name implies infect files very slowly making it difficult to be detected. 4. Multipartite Virus This is a type of virus that wants it all. It spread rapidly through infection of executable files, program files, boot sector and any possible means to reproduce itself. Once it has find its way into a computer system, the next thing it does is to take as many actions as it can. Because it spread via many ways, it is difficult to remove from the infected system. This is one of the most stubborn viruses out there. If it infects program files and you managed to detect and removed it, it must have another copy either in any .exe file or boot sector through which he we immediately reproduce itself. 5. Polymorphic Virus Polymorphic virus is one of the most hard to detect viruses out there. As the name suggested, it changes its signature whenever it is duplicating itself to prevent it being detected by anti-virus programs. It attached itself to program files in order to be able to replicate itself. It try to cause as many harm that it can to an infected computer system. According to Symantec, polymorphic viruses are one of the most difficult to detect/remove for an anti-virus program. It claims anti-virus firms need to "spend days or months creating the detection routines needed to catch a single polymorphic". 6. Overwrite Virus This type of virus spread via email and therefore making it difficult for unskilled PC user to detect. As the name implies, once it infects a file, it tries all it could to overwrite the content of the infected file and the only way to override this virus is by deleting the infected file making the user to lose the file completely. 7. Spacefiller Virus Spacefiller virus also known as cavity virus is a hard to detect virus due to its mode of operation. It does not increase the size of the infected file but look for unused space in the infected then filled it up as much as it can. Its first occurrence was detected in 1998 and infected many Windows versions such as ME and 95,98. The most popular example of this virus is Lehigh. It can infect devices with malicious code, overwrite stored data on infected device as well as tampering with the BIOS of the device.

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