Talk:Computer virus

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Note: revisions of this article between June 28 and September 11, 2002 are at Virus (computing).


BRAIN Virus[edit]

Second reference for BRAIN Virus. This video is in English.

Recent change to intro/definition[edit]

This describes only one type of virus, the file infecter. Many viruses don't infect files at all. Some of the most successful of the early viruses were those that infected the boot sectors of floppy disks, or the boot or partition sectors of hard disks. Others seemed to infect files, but made no change to the file at all, instead spoofing the filing system to load the virus code from another location before running the intended executable file. The previous definition was carefully crafted to include all the types of virus. The current one is just wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheNameWithNoMan (talkcontribs) 23:14, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

So my edit to include non-file programs has been reverted by Mesoderm. Would he care to explain which file is infected by Brain, one of the very first computer viruses and the first to be widespread in the real world? Or Michelangelo, another famous early virus? TheNameWithNoMan (talk) 19:12, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Category deletions[edit]

Please delete pig Malware. pig Computer viruses is already a subcat of Malware and having both the article and the subcat there is redundant clutter. Please delete cat Internet security. Everyone likes to be associated with the internet, but this article is general, not internet specific, and will be found in the appropriate categories by those interested. thanks, (talk) 00:52, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Mac virus found in the wild[edit]

This sentence is no longer accurate and should be deleted or changed.

"There are no known viruses that have spread "in the wild" for Mac OS X."

[1] ABC report on the Flashback virus


"The vast majority of viruses (over 99%) target systems running Microsoft Windows, "[edit]

I have read the 3 references cited for this claim and can't find a statistic for 99% of viruses being Windows, let alone a reliable one. Can someone please double check this for me? If it's not there then we can remove it. Yes, Most viruses are Windows, but having a statistic with no fact behind it is no good way of getting this point across. (talk) 16:31, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the statistic. Two of the sources seem not to have it. There's one I can't check but it's too old to be reliable. --Lo2u (TC) 08:52, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Article has biases/lacks essential information[edit]

While reading this article, I couldn't help but think that the contributors were mainly Linux/Mac users because of the blatant disregard for impartiality.

Although it is true that Windows machines are most infected, that does not mean this is solely because of design flaws as the reader of this article would conclude.

There has to be an emphasis on the massive number of persons using Windows clients and how this plays a factor in viruses being made to affect most users. Furthermore, there was no mention in this article as to how to evade viruses and use safe practices to avoid infection. As I read this article, it came across that the contributors were insinuating that if one were to use a Windows machine, it is guaranteed one would be prone to getting a virus.

Instead of focusing on loyalties to operating systems, and preferences, this article should focus on the facts. Facts such as that if one uses a Windows PC with a bit of common sense and employs safe practices (e.g., not opening files from unknown senders, not swapping flash drives from machine to machine, keeping the machine updated, avoiding sketchy sites, avoiding "free" downloads, not installing pirated software, etc.) it is actually very uncommon to get a virus.

The tidbit on Apple using "the fact that Windows machines get more viruses" as a ploy for advertising should be removed as many of Apple's advertising techniques play on misconceptions and untruths.

Lastly, a section or a redirect on how to avoid virus infection should be added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Polancox (talkcontribs) 18:34, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

I completely agree. The citation for the statement "Theoretically, other operating systems are also susceptible to viruses, but in practice these are extremely rare or non-existent, due to much more robust security architectures in Unix-like systems (including Linux and Mac OS X)..." says absolutely nothing of the sort. It doesn't even Imply that. Nor, for that matter, would the writer of said Forbes Magazine article be considered an authority on the subject. Conversely, not too long ago, Eugene Kaspersky - one of the foremost authorities on the subject - notably claimed that the Mac operating system was a decade behind Windows. What's worse, the paragraph directly preceding that statement says that "The vast majority of viruses target systems running Microsoft Windows. This is due to Microsoft's large market share of desktop users." which is a far more accurately analyses of the same matter. I see no reason to keep a contradictory account. And say that other operating systems are "theoretically susceptible" is simply factually innaccurate. They are susceptible to viruses. This very article lists examples of them. Rarity of infection in no way makes infection "theoretical." — Preceding unsigned comment added by WraithTDK (talkcontribs) 21:02, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Bad Picture[edit]

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it's possible for a computer virus to make a hand come out of the computer screen and start pressing buttons on the keyboard. Ok, they can enable remote access from another computer via the internet, but they can't make a hand come through the computer screen. The picture is terrible. If other users agree with me, I think it should be removed. Ezza1995 (talk) 23:45, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

I completely agree with you. That image is too metaphorical. (talk) 04:15, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Also agree. It looks like an image you'd see over the shoulder of an evening news anchor during a "will hackers steal your life???" segment. A virus doesn't necessarily allow someone to access your computer and isn't at all like a hand coming out of the screen. It doesn't describe a virus in any meaningful encyclopedic way, so I removed it. --— Rhododendrites talk |  03:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yup. Creative photo, but it does nothing to promote an encyclopedic understanding of the subject. For reference, the image discussed is File:Virus.jpg. Incidentally, the image is probably a copyvio as well - the person who uploaded it claims ownership as of 2013, but it was published on the internet as early as 2011, ie [1]. VQuakr (talk) 03:52, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Probability of self modifying code[edit]

Self modifiing code is not as rare as stated in the article, in fact it is very common, thought most programmers don't see it. Types of self modifing code are :

  • Self decompressing Executable (very common)
  • Hardware adaption of libraries (common,for example the Floating point emulator of Turbo C overwrites its calls with actual floating point instrucutions if an FPU is found)
  • Self decryption for copyright issues (the video-game Obitus for example does this to avoid cracking or disassembling)
  • Explicitly written for performance (rare, and only "true programmers" are capable to do this)

So, self modifying code alone is no way to find a virus, as were are many false postives. -- (talk) 19:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)