Glossary

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virus

A program that is designed to spread from computer to computer on its own, potentially damaging the system software by corrupting or erasing data, using available memory, or by annoying the user by altering data. A virus is designed to replicate. Generally, it is spread by infecting other files.

A program or code that replicates. That is, it infects another program, boot sector, partition sector, or document that supports macros, by inserting itself or attaching itself to that medium.

A piece of programming code inserted into other programming to cause some unexpected and, for the victim, usually undesirable event. Viruses can be transmitted by downloading programming from other sites or be present on a diskette. The source of the file you are downloading or of a diskette you have received is often unaware of the virus. The virus lies dormant until circumstances cause the computer to execute its code. Some viruses are playful in intent and effect, but some can be harmful, erasing data or causing your hard disk to require reformatting. See also threats.

A type of malicious code that purposely replicates a possibly evolved copy of itself by modifying a host executable or the system environment such that an attempt to call the executable results in the execution of the malicious code.

A computer virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. A computer virus attaches itself to a program or file so it can spread from one computer to another. Viruses leave infections as they travel. Most viruses are attached to executable files. The virus may exist on a computer, but it cannot infect a computer unless you the program is run. A virus cannot spread without a human action (such as running an infected program).

A small program that is written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. A computer virus attaches itself to a program or file so it can spread from one computer to another. Viruses leave infections as they travel. Most viruses are attached to executable files. The virus may exist on a computer but it cannot infect a computer unless you run the program. A virus cannot spread without a human action, such as running an infected program.