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How do Computer Viruses work?

I am in a computer class and i need to know what and how a computer viruses work.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ok here we go,

    A virus is a program written by a computer user.

    It has several elements.

    a) The method of propagation

    b) The payload

    c) Activation method

    Method of propagation:

    This is essentially how the virus spreads, some of these methods may be through:

    - Email

    - Networks

    - Security Flaws

    - USB Storage devices (thumb drives, cameras, etc...)

    The payload:

    Payloads vary, the good thing about payloads are they are not often written to do a lot of damage to the computer, because if the computer stops working all together, the virus can no longer breed and the virus is then no more.

    Some will:

    - Steal passwords

    - Show advertisements

    - Log your information

    - Stop parts of the computer working

    - Delete/infect files

    Activation Method:

    Computer viruses need a way to start once the computer is infected. Many will:

    - Add themselves to the computer startup

    - Start when you open your thumb drive

    - Activate on accessing an infected website on an unsecure internet browser

    Or a mixture of the above.

    Not to say that we are limited to these, but this is a small overview of viruses.

  • 5 years ago


    Source(s): Antivirus That Works 100% :
  • 1 decade ago

    There are three main types of virus. Boot sector, Trojan and Worm. The main purpose of a virus differs, but such such actions as corrupting data, stealing data and draining system resources are amoungst the main reasons.

    A book sector virus embeds itself in your boot loader and starts with the computer. It can corrupt the computers functions at start up and may even stop your OS from starting all together.

    A trojan is a file that hides in or pretends to be another file that is trusted by your anti virus. When you open the 'trusted' file the virus will also open. It will then continue to corrupt/ steal data.

    A worm is a type of virus that replicates itself. By doing this it takes up valuable memory and seriously drains the computers resourses. They will attach themselves to e-mails and will continueue to spread in this method.

  • 1 decade ago

    A virus is a small piece of software that piggybacks on real programs or runs independently of them pretending to be a real program. For example, a virus might attach itself to a program such as a spreadsheet program. Each time the spreadsheet program runs, the virus runs, too, and it has the chance to reproduce (by attaching to other programs) or wreak havoc.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Viruses work just like any other program. The main exception is that a virus does bad things or things you dont want done. (like hijacking your system, deleteing files and other things)

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