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Computer-virus writers: a few bats in the belfry? - collateral


"Male. Obsessed with computers. Not there a girlfriend. Aged 14 to 34. Able of creating chaos worldwide. "

The above account is the profile of the arithmetic mean computer-virus writer, according to Jan Hruska, the chief executive of British-based Sophos PLC, the world's fourth-largest anti-virus solutions provider.

"They have a constant lack of girlfriends, are as a rule socially defective and are drawn instinctively to write self- replicating codes. It's a form of digital graffiti to them," Hruska added.

To construct and apply cyber infections, virus writers explore known bugs in free software, or look for vulnerabilities in new versions.

With more and more new OS (operating system) versions, there will be more new forms of viruses, as every lone software or OS will carry new features, and new executables that can be carriers of the infection.

Executables are files that launch applications in a computer's working system, and attribute more highly in new platforms like Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Windows XP than they did in the older DOS or Windows 3. 1.

Virus writers also share in rank to construct variants of the same infection, such as the Klez worm, which has been among the world's most fertile viruses.

The Klez, a mass-mailing worm that originated in November 2001, propagates via e-mail using a wide brand of communication and destroys files on local and association drives.

But the news gets worse. Contemporary procedures have naked what may be a new trend: spammers paying virus writers to construct worms that plant an open proxy, which the spammer then can use to ahead spam automatically. Many assume this occurred with the SoBig virus.

The Sobig worms, began diffusion in the early part of 2003. The curious thing about them was they limited an ending date and were given a short life cycle to see how skin worked in the wild.

Having an cessation date also makes the virus more dangerous, as most citizens would have been alerted to the new worm in a few weeks and anti-virus definitions would have been updated.

A variant of Sobig, Sobig-F was so cost-effective that just a few infected machinery could send thousands of messages. Sobig-F produced a denial-of-service bring about on some networks, as e- mail servers became bunged with copies of the worm.

According to Mikko Hypponen, administrator of anti-virus examination for Finland-based F-Secure Corp, Sobig-F sent an estimated 300 million copies of itself.

Computer Economics, Inc. states, "Nearly 63,000 viruses have rolled all the way through the Internet, causing an estimated $65 billion in damage. " But criminal prosecutions have been few, penalties light and just a handful of citizens have gone to prison for diffusion the destructive bugs.

Why is so diminutive being done? Antediluvian laws and, for many years, as crazy as it sounds, a "wink, wink" or even approving line en route for virus creators.

One character has been sent to prison in the United States and just two in Britain, powers that be say. But the low figures are "not insightful of how dangerously we take these cases, but more insightful of the fact that these are very hard cases to prosecute," said Chris Painter, the deputy chief of mainframe crimes at the U. S. Branch of Justice.

So what can you do to guard by hand aligned with cpu viruses?

Well, first and foremost, make sure you have proven anti-virus fortification like like Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee's ViruScan.

In addition, If you haven't previously done so, I decidedly advocate installing Microsoft's Benefit Pack 2. SP2 tightens your PC's confidence with a new Windows Firewall, an superior Computerized Updates feature, and a pop-up ad blocker for Internet Explorer. Plus, the newly minted Defense Axis gives you one easy-to-use border for maintenance tabs on your PC's collateral apps.

"Male. Obsessed with computers. Missing a girlfriend. Aged 14 to 34. Adept of creating chaos worldwide. "

Now, I'm no psychiatrist, but to me, the above class sounds more like a big cheese with a few "bats in the belfry!"

About The Author

Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: dean@lets-make-money. net

Visit his website at: http://www. lets-make-money. net


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