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1. A computer virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user.
2. It must execute itself. It will often place its own code in the path of execution of another program. It must replicate itself. For example, it may replace other executable files with a copy of the virus infected file. Viruses can infect desktop computers and network servers alike.
3. File Infctor Viruses, Boot Sector Viruses, Master Boot Record Viruses, Multi-Partite Viruses, and Macro Viruses.
4. Trojan Horses are impostors--files that claim to be something desirable but, in fact, are malicious. A very important distinction between Trojan horse programs and true viruses is that they do not replicate themselves. Trojans contain malicious code that when triggered cause loss, or even theft, of data. For a Trojan horse to spread, you must, invite these programs onto your computers.
5. Worms are programs that replicate themselves from system to system without the use of a host file. This is in contrast to viruses, which requires the spreading of an infected host file. Although worms generally exist inside of other files, often Word or Excel documents, there is a difference between how worms and viruses use the host file. Usually the worm will release a document that already has the "worm" macro inside the document.
6. Hardware problems. There are no viruses that can physically damage computer hardware, such as chips, boards, and monitors. The computer beeps at startup with no screen display. This is usually caused by a hardware problem during the boot process. Consult your computer documentation for the meaning of the beep codes. The computer does not register 640 K of conventional memory. This can be a sign of a virus, but it is not conclusive. Some hardware drivers such as those for the monitor or SCSI card can use some of this memory. Consult with your computer manufacturer or hardware vendor to determine if this is the case. You have two antivirus programs installed and one of them reports a virus. While this could be a virus, it can also be caused by one antivirus program detect the other program's signatures in memory. You are using Microsoft Word and Word warns you that a document contains a macro. This does not mean that the macro is a virus.