Six Computer Viruses You Should Know About
Computer viruses are designed to do as much damage to your computer as they can. However, despite similar end goals they all function in different manners. Some destroy files stored on your PC, while some trigger different software to malfunction. The more malicious viruses might aim to steal your confidential information. The more you know about viruses and how they work, the more prepared you will be should you ever be unfortunate to deal with them. Here are six common computer viruses you should know about.
- Polymorphic Virus
A polymorphic virus infects a computer and will begin to create copies of itself with every copy slightly different from one another. As a result of duplicating itself constantly, it can be difficult for antivirus programs to detect it.
- Resident Virus
A resident virus is different from a non-resident virus in the way it functions. While a non-resident virus needs to be executed first before it begins its infection, a resident virus can activate itself as soon as the operating system loads. It does this by storing and hiding within the memory of the infected computer, hence why it is difficult to get rid of such viruses.
- Boot Sector Virus
Before understanding this virus, one must understand what a boot sector is – it is a section on a computer’s hard drive or an external storage media. This section contains the information required to boot a computer. Now a boot sector virus infects part of this boot sector called the master boot record (MBR) and replaced legitimate information with its own infected version. The virus gets activated before the operating system loads, and it may make the infected computer unbootable.
- Multipartite Virus
Most viruses attack one component of a computer at a time. However, a multipartite virus does as the name suggests and attacks two. This virus can infect both the boot sector and the system or program files at the same time. This triggers infections in multiple sections in the computer. As a result of this dual infection approach, the multipartite virus can re-infect the same system over and over again until all its components are completely eradicated.
- Overwriting Virus
As the name suggests an overwriting virus destroys the file it infects by overwriting data in the system’s memory. The virus can only be removed by deleting the infected file; this could entail losing the infected programs and having to reinstall a clean version of them.
- Browser Hijacker Virus
Once it successfully infects your computer, it begins to modify the settings of the web browser (including default search engine and home page) and in most cases will take users to malicious websites. This virus is spread through malicious email attachments, free downloads or when a user visits an infected website. On top of redirecting your browser, this virus can install spyware and other ransomware on the infected system, and this may compromise the user’s private data.
Described in this article are just a few tiny aspects of what these viruses can do. Details on how viruses and malware function might not be easily comprehended by everyday users. But the main message here is that such malicious programs can turn your digital devices against you. And the only way you can defeat them is by educating yourself on cybersecurity and using a multilayered security solution that can stand between these threats and your computer.