Computer Viruses vs. Biological Viruses

Topics: Computer virus, Virus, Infection Pages: 2 (442 words) Published: November 1, 2008
Although computer viruses and biological viruses are not related in any way, they are very similar in many aspects. Both viruses need a host to replicate for a means of survival. Similarly, both enter their hosts passively. Biological hosts are infected by breathing, ingestion, or direct contact while infected software, email attachments and transfers infect the cyber host. Another notable similarity is the fact that both computer and biological viruses need the proper host as well as software and tissue specificity to reproduce efficiently. Computer viruses spread by inserting copies of itself in executable code and documents. Computer viruses can reduce the rate of computer performance, make files inaccessible, or completely wipes out the computer. In comparison, biological viruses replicate at the cost of the host by inserting itself into their cells which can result in pain, fever, and in the worse case, death. Computer viruses parallel many facets of microbial infection. Unlike biological viruses, computer viruses can be thought of as a virus, worm, or Trojan infection. Computer viruses are programs that infect a computer and modify itself which permits it to spread throughout the computer’s software and hardware. Worms are programs that spread between computers through networking while a Trojan horse infection can make a computer available to non-authorized uses without knowledge from owner. Resembling biological viruses, computer viruses can be latent such as a herpes virus or HIV. Both have evolved to produce numerous variants and modified copies to ensure survival against their host’s means of evolving to protect against the infection. But what makes them different other than the obvious fact that computers viruses are “virtual” and biological are molecular based. Unlike a biological virus, a computer virus is a small program written by human to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. As stated previously,...
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