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Virus and Antivirus Issues

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

A virus is a computer program that infects other programs with copies of itself. It clones itself from disk to disk or from one system to another over computer networks. A virus executes and does its damage when the program it has infected executes. Besides viruses, your systems are also vulnerable to other types of destructive programs that are not classified as viruses. These include worms, Trojan horses, and logic bombs.

The damage caused by viruses may be harmless, such as displaying a happy birthday message for the creator on the appropriate day. Alternatively, the virus may do considerable damage by destroying boot records, file tables, and valuable data on disk. To maintain a protective stance against virus threats, you must back up constantly and stay in contact with the organizations and vendors listed on the related entries page. Most of the Web sites have extensive information on viruses, including databases, recent activities, and even virus hoaxes.

Some interesting (and historical) Internet documents related to security and viruses are listed here:

  • RFC 1135 (The Helminthiasis of the Internet, December 1989)

  • RFC 2196 (Site Security Handbook, September 1997)

  • RFC 2504 (Users' Security Handbook, February 1999)

  • RFC 2828 (Internet Security Glossary, May 2000)

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
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