8 Common Types of Computer Viruses

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Howard Mayo

8 Common Types of Computer Viruses
Dictionary.com defines a computer virus as “a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network (“Virus,” 2012).” The term virus has become more generic over the years and has come to represent any type of malware, or malicious software. There are many types of malware that can be classified as viruses but it is the intention of this paper to examine 8 of the most common types. These types are virus, worms, trojans, adware/pop-up ads, spyware, keyloggers, rootkits, and scareware. * Virus- as defined above, a virus is self-replicating code planted in a computer program. This malware’s sole purpose is to destroy or shut down systems and networks. (“Virus,” 2012). * Worms- These are standalone programs whose sole purpose is to replicate and spread themselves to other computers. Their main use is to search for and delete certain files from computers. * Trojans- This malware is designed to look like a useful program while giving control of the computer to another computer. It can be used for several malicious things: * As part of a botnet to use automated spamming or distribute denial-of-service attacks. * Electronic money theft

* Data theft
* Downloading or uploading of files to the computer
* Deletion or modification of files
* Crashing the computer
* Watching the viewer’s screen
* Anonymous internet viewing
* Adware/pop-up ads- “The definition of adware is a software package which displays or downloads advertisements to a computer. These ads are usually in the form of pop-ups, and the goal of adware is to generate revenue for its author. In itself, adware is harmless, however, some of it may come integrated with spyware (What is the definition of adware? 2012).” * Spyware- Malware used to collect information about a user’s browsing habits or to intercept personal data....
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