January 25th, 2002, 08:33 PM
Basic Virus Survival!
This is from the AO Newsletter and is just a peek at the type of tutorials involved.
Basic Virus Survival
I was going to put one of my old tutorials in here, but then something happened. I got a phone call a day or two ago from a good friend. He was telling me ‘Help I got a Virus or something…!’
So I went around he is running Windows ME [he is an avid gamer and mp3 lover] and points out that all his Word Documents have been overwritten to show some gibberish.
I asked him how he had come to receiving the virus and well this is the reason I am writing this tutorial. He replied 'Just opened some e-mail and next time I booted, this happened'.
He was lucky I suppose, hell viruses come in malicious forms and this was a fairly harmless virus in my opinion. I checked up his 'anti-virus’ protection, Id been advising him for weeks about the dangers of Trojans and viruses and what they can do to your system. Of course he simply ignored me.
First thing I checked up was backup, this as anyone knows is very important, little did I know he had shunned the idea and he simply shrugged. Lets just say Rescue Disk, AntiVirus Software, were not on his agenda!. He had not bothered to protect himself in any way but I assumed this little shock would wake him up. It did.
So now I want to focus on a security issue which is widespread but can be prevented with a little common sense. Firstly we must define the Virus and take a peek at what kind of malicious code there is.
Ok a virus is an executable program; it can affect the following areas of computer:
System Sectors, files, Batch Files, Source Code…
…And more, they can be described in many ways, from what size they are, stealth, their methods, polymorphic and well the list goes on, it’s impossible to define them all with new virus’ coming out daily.
Now lets just clear up some myths about viruses, you can infect yourself from a: executing the program [e-mail attachments are a very common method of spreading virus'] b: booting from an infected floppy or hard disk. Now remember it must be executed so be skeptic about what you open, many virus send you e-mails from trusting friends who unwillingly have passed you on a virus.
So how do you know you have been infected, well unexplained growth of .exe or .com files is a dead giveaway. Your computer may run slower, system resources depleted and unusual behavior from your box are major signs.
Well what happens when the damage is done and it’s all too late. Lets not think about that and look at prevention to cure the virus attack. As you should know being cautious is a great advantage, i.e. making sure attachments are not viruses and don’t just click on anything that arrives in your mailbox [your hand is the enemy!].
Get yourself good antivirus software, which should be updated, as often as possible, set your antivirus to scan mail attachments. This will rapidly reduce the chances of infecting yourself.
Back up, back up, back up! I cannot stress this enough, imagine losing all your important data through your own laziness. People who assume it wont happen to them are taking major risks, who knows what may happen in the future. Create a rescue disk which programs such as Norton Utilities will allow you to.
Now remember not all unusual activity on your computer is virus activity, it is common for people to assume when they are having problems that they have a virus or Trojan! Also keep regular scans of your computer but don’t overly trust your AV software, use your own iniative to keep a virus free system.
You could get yourself a copy of a Linux distro which means less chance of virus attacks, there are Linux viruses but they dwindle when compared to the huge amount of Windows viruses.
Anyway Good Luck!