The Threat of Computer Viruses: A Literature Review

1. Introduction

Despite the advancement in technology, computer viruses are still a huge threat to organizations and individuals. A virus is a code which has potential to copy itself and corrupt system files. They are often spread through removable media such as USB drives or email attachments. Computer viruses can cause denial of service, data loss, and elevation of privileges.

2. Literature review

According to Lakos (2018), the first computer virus was created in 1971 by Bob Thomas. The virus was called “Creeper” and it was designed to infect DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating system. The virus displayed the message “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” on the infected system’s console. In 1974, another student at Harvard, John von Neumann, wrote a paper titled “The Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata” in which he described a process for creating self-replicating code. This paper is considered to be the foundation for modern computer viruses.

According to Anderson et al. (2018), the Morris worm was created in 1988 by Robert Tappan Morris, a graduate student at Cornell University. The worm was designed to replicate itself and spread to other computers on the internet. However, due to a coding error, the worm ended up causing widespread problems and is estimated to have caused over $100 million in damages. As a result of the incident, Morris was convicted of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and was sentenced to three years of probation and 400 hours of community service.

In 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus was released and it is estimated to have infected over 50 million computers within 10 days (Anderson et al., 2018). The virus was spread through email attachments and it would display a message that said “ILOVEYOU” when opened. The message would also contain an attachment which, when opened, would install the virus on the victim’s computer. The virus would then send itself out to everyone in the victim’s address book. As a result of the ILOVEYOU virus, many organizations reported losses totaling in millions of dollars.

3. Methodology

This study will use a qualitative research methodology to analyze the case project information security issues surrounding viruses and computer systems. The study will use secondary sources such as books, journal articles, and online resources.

4. Findings
4.1 Types of Viruses
4.1. File-Infecting Viruses

File-infecting viruses are one of the most common types of viruses and they infect executable files such as.exe or.com files (Lakos, 2018). When executed, these viruses will infect other files on the same directory or folder as the original file that was infected. These viruses often go undetected because they do not make any changes to the infected file until it is run or executed by the user. Some file-infecting viruses will also infect non-executable files such as.doc or.xls files (Lakos, 2018). These types of viruses are often difficult to detect because they do not change the way the infected file looks or acts until it is opened using an application which can execute macros such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

4. 1.2 Macro Viruses

Macro viruses are a type of virus that infects files which can execute macros such as Microsoft Word or Excel files (Lakos, 2018). These viruses often go undetected because they do not make any changes to the infected file until it is opened using an application which can execute macros. When the infected file is opened, the virus will replicate itself and infect other files on the same directory or folder. Macro viruses can also spread via email attachments.

4. 1.3 Boot Sector Viruses

Boot sector viruses are a type of virus that infects the boot sector of a hard drive or floppy disk (Lakos, 2018). These viruses often go undetected because they do not make any changes to the infected file until it is executed by the user. When executed, the virus will replicate itself and infect other files on the same directory or folder. Boot sector viruses can also spread via removable media such as USB drives or floppy disks.

4. 1.4 Multi-Partite Viruses

Multi-partite viruses are a type of virus that can infect both executable files and boot sectors (Lakos, 2018). These viruses are often difficult to detect and remove because they can reside in multiple locations on a computer system. Multi-partite viruses can also spread via removable media such as USB drives or floppy disks.

5. Discussion

The findings of this study indicate that there are various types of computer viruses which pose a threat to organizations and individuals. These viruses can cause denial of service, data loss, and elevation of privileges. As such, it is important for organizations to have proper security measures in place to protect their systems from these threats.

6. Conclusion

Computer viruses are still a huge threat to organizations and individuals despite the advancement in technology. There are various types of computer viruses which pose a threat to organizations and individuals. As such, it is important for organizations to have proper security measures in place to protect their systems from these threats.

7. Recommendations:

Based on the findings and discussion, the following recommendations are made:
• Organizations should have proper security measures in place to protect their systems from computer viruses.
• Individuals should be aware of the types of computer viruses and how they can spread in order to protect themselves from infection.

FAQ

I have always been interested in computers and technology, and information security is a field that combines both of these interests. I was motivated to pursue a career in information security because I wanted to help protect people and organizations from cyber threats.

My experiences in information security have taught me the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest threats and vulnerabilities, as well as the importance of designing comprehensive security programs that address all aspects of cybersecurity.

I believe that the most important challenges facing information security professionals today are staying ahead of the constantly evolving threat landscape and ensuring that data is properly protected against increasingly sophisticated attacks.

When designing an effective information security program, I believe that the most important factor to consider is identifying the organization's critical assets and protecting them accordingly.

The benefits of pursuing a career in information security include gaining expertise in a cutting-edge field, helping to protect people and organizations from cyber threats, and earning a competitive salary.