Viruses, Worms & Other Malodorous Creations
Viruses and worms are computer programs that spreads from computer to computer, network to network by replicating. Microsoft software (especially networking software such as Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer) are especially vulnerable to the spread of viruses. Microsoft software is targeted by virus writers and is often criticized for including many errors and holes for virus writers to exploit. The harmful effects of viruses go from offensive or irritating messages to data-theft or allowing outside access/control over your computer.
The good news is - virus programs have to be run before they can infect a computer. The bad news is - viruses can attach themselves to other programs or
be hidden in code that's automatically run when certain types of files are opened or executed. Like Helen of Troy, they can seek up on you, copy themselves and make changes on your computer without you being aware - until it's too late. (These types of viruses are often called "Trojan horses". Like Helen, they act like the real-deal, but they are deceivers - carrying out hidden functions.
Unlike viruses, worms do not need to attach themselves to a program or document. Worms are designed to create exact copies of themselves and then, spread between computers connected or communicating with one another.
So what the harm with a little creative pranksterment? Well, viruses and worms can be just annoying or deadly - the effects range from being embarrassed when your name shows up on a porn site to damaging your reputation, and costing big bucks. How, by . . .
Playing annoying pranks like popping up messages or playing sounds.
Enable the virus writer to connect to your computer and use it for anyway they want
Use many other's computers to bombard selected servers or websites - so much that that companies system breaks down - called a denial of service attack
Stop or slow down email. So much email traffic can be generated that servers slow down or crash.
Record what you type - including passwords
Change, corrupt or delete data
Disable computer hardware.
For more information, check out these resources from Wikipedia:
List of computer virus hoaxes
List of trojan horses
Timeline of notable computer viruses and worms
Resources & Information
W32.Mydoom.A@mm: from Symantec is Also Known As:
- W32/Mydoom@MM [McAfee]
- WORM_MIMAIL.R [Trend]
- Win32.Mydoom.A [Computer Associates]
- W32/Mydoom-A [Sophos]
- I-Worm.Novarg [Kaspersky]
Infection Length: 22,528 bytes, variable file size for a .zip attachment
Systems Affected: Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP
Systems Not Affected: DOS, Linux, Macintosh, OS/2, UNIX, Windows 3.x
REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS (from Symantec): Symantec Security Response has developed removal instructions