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Terminology of Virus Programs


What is a Virus?
A piece of malicious program code designed to harm computer system, it include hardware or software damage.
Its basic property is:
•    Self replicating
•    Self hiding
•    Immune from delete
•    But require some medium to propagate or spread (e.g. - file, folder or email etc).

Over 70,000 computer viruses are in existence, with around 400-500 new viruses being discovered every month.

What is a Worm?
A worm is same as virus with add property of self propagating. Means it require no user interaction (such as opening an email or running a program) to spread.
Worms are designed to exploit vulnerabilities or security ‘holes’ in software applications or operating systems.

What is a Trojan?
Unlike a virus, a Trojan is not a self replicating program.
•    It hides itself by masquerading as something useful or desirable. It works different than what it looks that is why it called Trojan Horse Virus.
•    Its name is derived from Greek mythology - Greek soldiers hide inside a wooden horse, which due to its desirability is brought into the city of Troy. Once inside, behind the defences, the Greek soldiers attack the previously impenetrable city. A Trojan Virus uses the same principle.

What is Malware?
Malware is a general term for a range of malicious software including viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware.

What is Adware?
Adware is a type of advertising display software whose primary purpose is to deliver advertising content in a manner or context that may be unexpected and unwanted by users.
•    Adware programs can force pop-up adverts or reconfigure your internet browser home page, often to gambling or pornographic web sites.
•    It can cause your computer to run slowly, cause your browser to hang or your computer to crash.

What is Spyware?
Spyware is a term used to describe a broad set of applications that send information from a computer to a third party without the user's permission or knowledge.
•    Spyware programs are designed to snoop on your internet surfing behaviour.
•    It can track keystrokes, passwords, banking or credit card details and send information to a pre determined add.
•     Spyware Trojans and spyware worms exhibit behaviour attributed to spyware.

Safeguard from Virus and Spyware programs
•    There are many paid and free Antivirus programs available in market. A good Antivirus can take care of Virus, Worm and Trojans.
•    A program called spybot can take care of Adware and Spyware.
Spybot home page : http://www.safer-networking.org/en/home/index.html

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