COMPUTER VIRUSES 101
Let me start by saying “I like my computer guy, but most of the time I have no idea what he is saying”. It’s like he is talking a foreign language when he asks me about Trojans, Worms and Logic Bombs. Unfortunately, my eyes glass over, my mind starts to wonder and when I think he has paused for a breath, I jump in and say “but you’ve got it all under control don’t you?”
Yes, I am guilty sometimes of not following my own advice. When talking to clients I say you must never give full responsibility of functions of your business to someone else. If your supplier is not reputable, you won’t know and then it may be too late when you find out. Every business owner needs a level of understanding in relation to all functions of their business to ensure they are protected from fraud, negligence and misappropriation.
I was most fortunate to be at the Albany Creek Business Contact’s networking meeting this week to listen to Nathan Dobbins (Core Computers) – yep, my computer guy – speak in very lay terms about computer viruses, what they do and why it is so important to have virus protection on your computer (even if you have to pay for it). Here’s what he had to say.
Nearly one (1) million new malware threats are released every day. After we all got over the shock of this statement, he went on to explain the seven (7) major types of viruses:
- Macro Viruses
- Logic Bombs
This software is designed to steal personal information and perform some other illegal operation. In other words, it is a malicious software that causes a crime to be committed. Crimeware facilitates programs and documentation (or “kits”) that enable even non-technical people to set up their own spam, virus or phishing attacks.
This is a virus written in a macro language and placed within a document. The viruses have to be “run” in order to do things. When the host document is opened and the macro is executed, commands in the macro language do the destruction or the prank.
A Trojan is similar to a virus except that it does not replicate itself. Often sneaking in attached to a free game or other supposedly worthwhile utility, the Trojan remains in the computer doing damage or allowing someone from a remote location to take control. Trojans can be programs that look legitimate however, when run may be used to locate password information or make the system vulnerable to future entry or simply destroy the user’s stored software and data.
Worms (Write Once Read Many) are destructive programs that replicate themselves throughout a computer or across a network (both wired and wireless). Worms can do damage by sheer reproduction taking up internal disk and memory resources. They can also deposit a Trojan.
Logic Bombs are programs that destroy data when certain conditions are met. For example, a logic bomb may reformat a hard disk or insert random bits into data files on a certain date or if a particular employee records is missing from an employee database. Many viruses are logic bombs because they deliver their payload after a specific trigger event occurs.
Malware (MALicious software) is software designed to destroy data, steal information and/or aggravate the user.
A PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) is an application that is installed along with the desired application to user actually asked for. Also known as a “barnacle”, in most cases, the PUP is spyware, adware or some other unwanted software. What makes the spyware or adware a PUP and not pure Malware is the fact that the end user license agreement does inform the user that the additional program is being installed. Given that most people don’t read the license agreements, the distinction is a subtle one.
Even I can understand this information and am checking computers to ensure sufficient protection.
Albany Creek Business Contacts consists of local quality and reliable businesses who provide a wide range of services from home and residential services to B2B and commercial services. Our service areas cover primarily Albany Creek, Eatons Hill, Brendale, Aspley, Warner, Chermside, Strathpine, North Lakes. However many members will cover greater areas.
Albany Creek Business Contacts meet fortnightly on a Wednesday morning for a 7am breakfast and networking meeting.
Balanix Solutions – Accountant, Business Advisor, Bookkeeping.
Situated in Strathpine on Brisbane North, we partner with our clients to assist them in their accounting, business management and bookkeeping needs. Our clients vary in industries from professional services (such as law, vet and dentist) to the trades (mechanic, bricklaying, plasterer etc), hospitality and retail. Are clients are located in the Pine Rivers area (including Brendale, Lawnton, Albany Creek and Eatons Hill) through to Kallangur, Petrie, North Lakes and Caboolture, as well as Brisbane South, the Gold Coast and various other parts of Queensland.
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