Computer Viruses and Worms

Robert Slade, Vancouver Institute for Research into User Security, Canada


History of Computer Viruses and Worms

Virus Definition

Is My Computer Infected? What Should I Do?

Trojan Horses, Viruses, Worms, RATs, and Other Beasts




Logic Bombs

Other Related Terms

First Generation Viruses

Boot Sector Viruses

File Infecting Viruses

Polymorphic Viruses

Virus Creation Kits

Macro Viruses

What Is a Macro?

Free Technology to Avoid Macro Viruses

E-Mail Viruses

The Start of E-Mail Viruses: Melissa

How to Avoid E-Mail Viruses

Worms (First and Third Generation)

Detection Techniques

String Search (Signature-Based)

Change Detection (Integrity Checking)

Real-Time Scanning

Heuristic Scanning

Permanent Protection


Activity Monitoring (Behavior-Based)

Prevention and Protection Techniques

Non-PC Platform Viruses



Cross References

Further Reading


Computer viruses are unique among the many security problems in that the fact that someone else is infected increases the risk to you. However, viruses also seem to be surrounded by myths and misunderstandings. It is hoped this chapter will help to set the record straight.

History of Computer Viruses and Worms

Many claims have been made for the existence of viruses prior to the 1980s, but, so far, these claims have not been accompanied by proof. The Core Wars programming contests did involve self-replicating code, but usually within a structured and artificial ...

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