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More Virus Info
By Bill Mills
The spread of internet worms and trojans is reaching an all time high. A form of computer virus, worms and trojans aren't illnesses or infections, they are computer programs capable of self replicating.
A typical trojan relies on the same concept used by the Greeks in their attack on the city of Troy. The attack was chronicled by the Greek author Homer, and historians place it as happening somewhere around 1500 BC to 1200 BC. In order to gain access to the walled city of Troy the Greeks built a giant horse and left it outside the city gates. The Trojans, thinking it was a gift, brought it inside. That night under the cover of darkness, Greek soldiers climbed out of a hiding place in the horse and slew the Trojans.
Like the Trojan horse, a trojan computer program is designed to make a person think is is something good and safe. This is to trick them into running it, after which it does it's dirty work.
How do they infect my computer?
Trojans typically arrive as an e-mail attachment, sometimes from someone you know. Some of the e-mails have topics or messages such as "This is a new game I have written, I want you to try it," "I send this file to you for your opinion," or the very poorly translated "We are maker of anti virus software you must run this program to protect your computer. Do not worry if your AV software cry, press continue, this because our program fool virus by acting like virus." (this last one, which I've paraphrased was written in such poor English it could have been written by the same guy that translated "All your base are belong to us.")
What do they do?
What the trojans do once you have run them varies, some of the fastest spreading trojans install themselves into your computer, and start running again every time you reboot. They then harvest e-mail addresses from your Microsoft Outlook address book, or by scanning the cache of web sites you have looked at recently. Then they will send copies of themselves to the addresses they have, and sometimes will leave your address as the return address, or forge a fake e-mail address also from the list they generate. The more destructive trojans, once they have spread copies of themselves to other computers can do more serious damage, deleting files from your hard drive, opening gateways for hackers to remotely operate your computer, or worse, e-mailing copies of private files from your computer to others.
How can I protect myself?
The easiest way to find out if you are infected, is scanning with a good up to date anti virus program. If you're infected with something that copies itself by e-mail, you may get e-mails from friend saying "why did you send this to me?"
The best way to protect yourself is
to be vigilant, check your system, and DON'T OPEN THAT ATTACHMENT by double
clicking on it - only open it in a viewer application.
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