Computer Virus

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Introduction to Computer Viruses

It's Saturday morning. You boot up your Windows 98 computer and lo and behold, the graphics on the desktop are a mirror image of what they should be. Congratulations, you have a computer virus!

According to "Virus Bulletin," the Oxfordshire, England-based technical journal that tracks viruses, this new virus flips any uncompressed bitmaps horizontally, but only on Saturdays. This bulletin credits GriYo of the 29A virus-writing group as the author of this 32-bit polymorphic Windows virus now known as HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome).

Panda Software of Spain has announced that it has the antidote to HPS. Meanwhile, other antivirus companies scramble to code a cure for this Windows 98 desktop graphics virus.

So far HPS appears, like many viruses, to be harmless and humorous. According to the book "Computer Viruses" by Robert Slade (Springer, 1996), "The truth is that relatively few viral programs perform any overt damage to a system." However, no matter how harmless any virus may appear to be, people worry that it might do something else, perhaps on some Friday the 13th or maybe, who knows Jan. 1, the year 2000. Even if GriYo had the best of intentions, people worry that a mistake buried somewhere in his HPS code might accidentally cause harm.

Let's face it. Turn a computer virus loose and you can become mighty unpopular -- regardless of how harmless, funny, or even beneficial you believe your virus might be. People don't like to have programs running on their computers unless they make the decision to put them there.

In this Guide you will learn:
Part One:
* What is a computer virus?
* Types of computer viruses
* Why study and create viruses?
* How to catch them
* How to fight them

One of the nice things about the recent escalation in computer crime is that the media doesn't make such a big fuss over viruses any more. Sure, they (viruses and the media both) can be a pain. However, with all those antivirus

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