While everyone doesn’t want to get hit by a virus, many do not look into what exactly they do. While you don’t have to study the inner workings of a virus, you should probably arm yourself with the basics before you tackle one. You don’t need to be an expert programmer to do this, and you may be saving your computer’s life, or your own identity, if you take certain precautions. So with that said, here are nine viruses you should know about.
Boot Sector Virus
A boot sector refers to the boot information, which any operating system will have. It’s also known as the master boot record, and it’s the first thing you’ll see on a storage device. These are older viruses, and they become popularized because of floppy disks, which were originally used to boot computers. These viruses are outdated because of this, and other ways of spreading viruses are more popular.
As the name implies, this virus will hijack your browser. It may do this by redirecting you to their sites when you click on a completely different link, causing their site to get more revenue. They are usually gotten through downloads, and they may contain the word “search” in their description. One example is CoolWebSearch, but there are so many others.
Direct Action Virus
This type of virus is outdated, but it should still be noted. It only activates when the virus’s file is executed. The virus will perform its action and then stop until it’s executed again. Since it’s not productive, these are typically used, and the biggest direct action threat dates back to the Vienna virus, which was in 1988.
File Infector Virus
The file infector is the most common virus you’ll encounter. What it does is goes inside a host file, and then begins working once the user executes that file. It may overwrite the file, change a few things about the file, or direct the file’s execution to the virus. Not all viruses inside files are file viruses, however. The next virus on this list is a good example. The file virus usually only applies to .exe files.
Macros are certain actions that a person can write into a file using a certain code. Many Office documents can have these, meaning that an innocent Word document could be a recipe for disaster. They vary when it comes to how harmful they are.
These viruses spread in different ways and do multiple actions. This is unlike regular viruses, which typically spread through one method and then perform one action. These do a multitude of things depending on OS and file types on the system, so they’re nasty.
Real viruses can mutate, making it more resistant and making vaccines useless. The polymorphic virus does the same thing. Every time it’s executed, it will alter its code and change its encryption. This makes it difficult for many antiviruses to notice it, and it can evade detection for quite a while.
This virus will inject into your system’s memory after the infected file it was executed, and it can perform many actions regardless of its original host file. It’s like an evil neighbor.
Web Scripting Virus
Every website has a script behind it, and each part of the script has a different purpose. From providing you with video to giving you a slideshow, it’s there to make sure that your experience with the site is a good one. However, a virus can infect the code and go into a user’s computer when they visit the site. Some sites were created with malicious intent in mind, but some sites become infected through another way, and it can damage an innocent site’s reputation if their users are infected. It can even cause search engines not to link to them.
There are more viruses out there, but these are the basic ones you should be careful about, and this does not include trojans and worms, which are different from viruses. Your best bet to tackle viruses would be a good virus scanner, some common sense, and knowing how the viruses operate. With that said, stay safe.