Understanding Viruses Washington DC

Anyone with even a small amount of computer experience has heard of computer viruses. Even with no knowledge of how a virus functions, the word strikes fear into the heart of computer owners.

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Understanding Viruses

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Anyone with even a small amount of computer experience has heard of computer viruses. Even with no knowledge of how a virus functions, the word strikes fear into the heart of computer owners. What exactly is a virus and how does it function?

What is a Virus?

A virus is a computer program designed to enter your computer and tamper with your files without your knowledge. Once the program containing the virus is open, the activated virus can not only infect other programs and documents on your computer, it can duplicate and transmit itself to other computers that are connected to yours, just like a physical virus can move from one human host to another.

Viruses began in the late 1980s as personal computers and electronic bulletin boards became more common. Back then, operating systems, word processing programs and other programs were stored on floppy disks. Hidden viruses were programmed onto these disks; as the disks were transferred from person to person, the virus spread.

Who Creates Viruses?

Where do viruses come from? Every virus is created by an author with a different motive—but all virus builders feel their actions are justified. For some, a killer virus is the ultimate technical challenge, like climbing a mountain. For others, creating viruses is a form of self-expression. Some disgruntled employees, consumers or citizens turn to virus building as revenge for perceived injustices.

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