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Chapter 35. Recovering from Crashes and ... > Protection Against Viruses and Other...

Protection Against Viruses and Other Malicious Code

Malicious code is any program written to disrupt, rather than assist. Perhaps the most familiar kind of malicious code is the computer virus. Without getting overly technical, a computer virus is a chunk of code that attaches itself to a document or program and is passed passively from computer to computer. Viruses are often transferred via infected email attachments and Internet downloads. After an infected file is opened, the virus is set in motion. Some viruses are written to destroy files and cause damage to the hard drives of infected computers.

Another type of malicious code are worms, which differ from viruses in that they can transmit themselves across networks rather than waiting to hitch a ride on another program. Worms have been used to instruct infected computers to contact a specific website at a given time to overwhelm the site and take it offline.


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