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How To Identify Computer Virus Symptoms

By Expert Author: Humberto Hodges

of desktop users (over 95%), and to design choices in Windows that make it much easier for viruses to infect hosts running Windows. Also, the diversity of software systems on a network limits the destructive potential of viruses and malware. 17 Open-source operating systems such as Linux allow users to choose from a variety of desktop environments , packaging tools, etc. Which means that malicious code targeting any one of these systems will only affect a subset of all users. 4 5 6 18.

While some antivirus software employ various techniques to counter stealth mechanisms, once the infection occurs any recourse to clean the system is unreliable. In Microsoft Windows operating systems, the NTFS file system is proprietary. Direct access to files without using the Windows OS is undocumented. This leaves antivirus software little alternative more but to send a read request to Windows OS files that handle such requests. Some viruses trick antivirus software by intercepting its requests to the OS A virus can hide itself by intercepting the request to read the infected file, handling the request itself, and return an uninfected version of the file to the antivirus software. 36.

Polymorphic code was the first technique that posed a serious threat to virus scanners. Just like regular encrypted viruses, a polymorphic virus infects files with an encrypted copy of itself, which is decoded by a decryption module. In the case of polymorphic viruses, however, this decryption module is also modified on each infection. http://www.aartemiss.com/ A well-written polymorphic virus therefore has no parts which remain identical between infections, making it very difficult to detect directly using signatures. 38 39 Antivirus software can detect it by decrypting the viruses using an emulator , or by statistical pattern analysis of the encrypted virus body. 40.

Many users install antivirus software that can detect and eliminate known viruses when the computer attempts to download or run the executable (which may be distributed as an email attachment, or on USB flash drives , for example). Some antivirus software blocks known malicious web sites that attempt to install malware. Antivirus software does not change the underlying capability of hosts to transmit viruses. Users must update their software regularly to patch security vulnerabilities ("holes"). Antivirus software also needs to be regularly updated in order to recognize the latest threats The German AV-TEST Institute publishes evaluations of antivirus software for Windows 43 and Android. 44

Some viruses disable System Restore and other important Windows tools such as Task Manager and Command Prompt An example of a virus that does this is CiaDoor. Many such viruses can be removed by rebooting the computer, entering Windows safe mode with networking, and then using system tools or Microsoft Safety Scanner 58 aartemis.com Virus System Restore on Windows Me , Windows XP , Windows Vista and Windows 7 can restore the registry and critical system files to a previous checkpoint. Often a virus will cause a system to hang, and a subsequent hard reboot will render a system restore point from the same day corrupt. 59 Operating system reinstallation.

Reinstalling the operating system is another approach to virus removal. It may be possible to recover copies of essential user data by booting from a live CD , or connecting the hard drive to another computer and booting from the second computer's operating system, taking great care not to infect that computer by executing any infected programs on the original drive. The original hard drive can then be reformatted and the OS and all programs installed from original media. Once the system has been restored, precautions must be taken to avoid reinfection from any restored executable files citation needed Historical development Early academic work on self-replicating programs

Before computer networks became widespread, most viruses spread on removable media , particularly floppy disks In the early days of the personal computer , many users regularly exchanged information and programs on floppies.

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