Malicious Code, Viruses and Worms

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Malicious Code, Viruses and Worms:

Malicious Code: Malicious code include a series of programmed computer security threats that compromise various network, operating system, software, and physical security vulnerabilities to disburse malicious payloads to computer systems. This is any programmed code specifically designed to inflict, damage, penetrate, or break a system, and includes viruses, worms, Trojans horses, denial-of-service tools, logic bombs, and back doors.

Harmful code such as viruses and Trojan horses, cycle through unsuspecting users who unknowingly spread from system to system, while others, such as worms, spread quickly through vulnerable systems without requiring any user interaction.

Viruses: Viruses are one of the earliest forms of malicious code to attack information systems and are pervasive with major outbreaks occurring regularly. Viruses harbor malicious payloads, some of which can cause the complete ruination of data stored on the local hard drive. It is estimated that there were approximately 65,000 strains of viruses on the Internet in early 2004.

Viruses have two main purposes: propagation and destruction. The propagation function defines how the viruses move from system to system, while the virus’s payload executes the malicious and often catastrophic activity designed by the writer of the virus. Viruses fall into three broad categories based on their propagation methods: boot sector viruses, file viruses and macro viruses.

Details and definitions below: 

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