Overview The Internet has
revolutionized the way most people use computers. E-mail, Web surfing, and
the ability to quickly and easily download files and information has
increased productivity and enhanced communication for both personal and
business tasks. However, the same technology that allows these advances
also allows the easy creation and distribution of harmful viruses and
worms. Follow the links below to learn more about the most common computer
General Information Many of the most
common viruses are spread via e-mail attachments. This
page has general information about viruses and how you can protect your
computer from virus infestation. This
page has a list of some of the more common viruses currently roaming the
Internet. Symantec Inc. has long been one of the leaders in virus
detection and prevention. The company hosts this
site that lists the latest virus threats, security advisories, and related
information. You can also read descriptions of just about any virus ever
Another site that contains both descriptions and infestation charts
and charts is found at www.f-secure.com/virus-info/statistics.
Specific Viruses Follow the links
below to read descriptions of some of the most common and destructive
- The W32.Mydoom.M@mm worm is a
mass-mailing worm that drops and executes a backdoor, detected as
Backdoor.Zincite.A, that listens on TCP port 1034. The worm uses its
own SMTP engine to send itself to email addresses it finds on the
infected computer. Read about it here.
- The klez worm is spread via e-mail and
is one of the most difficult viruses to remove from a computer. Read
about it here.
- In 1999, the Melissa virus caused
massive slowdowns, circling the world in less than 16 hours. This
page has details.
- The Code Red virus exploited a loophole
in Windows servers. This
page lists details.
- W32.Netsky.P@mm is a mass-mailing worm
that uses its own SMTP engine to send itself to the email addresses it
finds when scanning the hard drives and mapped drives. You can read
about this virus at this
- Bugbear, a virus spread via mass mailing
and open network shares, is smart enough to try to shut down virus
protection applications. It not only affects computers, but can also
flood printers and cause them to print large amounts of
"garbage". Read about it here.
History As early as 1991,
IBM's Antivirus Research Center was studying and modeling the growth and
spread of computer viruses. Read about the first paper to adapt the
mathematical methods used in infectious disease studies to the new problem
of computer viruses in the article "Directed-Graph
Epidemiological Models of Computer Viruses," by Jeffrey O.
Kephart and Steve R. White. You can see a timeline of virus history here
and an article about the history of viruses called "Brief
History: A virus timeline" here.