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What is a virus?

A virus is a piece of programming code usually disguised as something else that causes some unexpected and usually undesirable event. A virus is often designed so that it is automatically spread to other computer users. Viruses can be transmitted as attachments to an e-mail note, as downloads, or be present on a diskette or CD. The source of the e-mail note, downloaded file, or diskette you've received is often unaware of the virus. Some viruses wreak their effect as soon as their code is executed; other viruses lie dormant until circumstances cause their code to be executed by the computer. Some viruses are playful in intent and effect ("Happy Birthday, Ludwig!") and some can be quite harmful, erasing data or causing your hard disk to require reformatting (

What classes of viruses?

File infectors. Some file infector viruses attach themselves to program files, usually selected .COM or .EXE files. Some can infect any program for which execution is requested, including .SYS, .OVL, .PRG, and .MNU files. When the program is loaded, the virus is loaded as well. Other file infector viruses arrive as wholly-contained programs or scripts sent as an attachment to an e-mail note.

System or boot-record infectors. These viruses infect executable code found in certain system areas on a disk. They attach to the DOS boot sector on diskettes or the Master Boot Record on hard disks. A typical scenario (familiar to the author) is to receive a diskette from an innocent source that contains a boot disk virus. When your operating system is running, files on the diskette can be read without triggering the boot disk virus. However, if you leave the diskette in the drive, and then turn the computer off or reload the operating system, the computer will look first in your A drive, find the diskette with its boot disk virus, load it, and make it temporarily impossible to use your hard disk. (Allow several days for recovery.) This is why you should make sure you have a bootable floppy.

Macro viruses. These are among the most common viruses, and they tend to do the least damage. Macro viruses infect your Microsoft Word application and typically insert unwanted words or phrases.

The best protection against a virus is to know the origin of each program or file you load into your computer or open from your e-mail program. Since this is difficult, you can buy anti-virus software that can screen e-mail attachments and also check all of your files periodically and remove any viruses that are found. From time to time, you may get an e-mail message warning of a new virus. Unless the warning is from a source you recognize, chances are good that the warning is a virus hoax.

What can a virus do to my computer?

There are many things from wiping out your entire hard drive(all information on your computer) to annoying you while word-processing by bold-facing or italicizing lines at random to causing trouble when trying to print. The list is almost endless.

Why should I be concerned about viruses?

Because they do damage to your files and you can spread them to other computers which will then be damaged.

How do email attachments relate to viruses?

Email attachments are currently the most common way in which viruses are transmitted. If you receive an email attachment who's name ends with .(exe|hta|pif|vbs|vbe|jse|cmd|vxd|scr|lnk|chm|shm|||doc.bat|xls.bat|exe.pif| etc, beware of it. It may be harmful. Always check with the person who sent it before opening it and if you are not 110% sure, never open any attachment.

How do I know if my computer is infected with a virus?

You will see symptoms such as frequent crashing, programs that worked that now do not, files becoming damaged or disappearing. If you use MS-Word, you can see things happening like sections of text being bold-faced or italicized at random, a window that pops up calling you rude names, printing doesn't seem to work quite right. All of these are symptoms. There are others. In general, look for something that seems to be highly irregular.

How do I get rid of a virus if I am infected?

You will need to have a virus scanner installed on your computer in order to remove viruses. Many of you already have such a scanner on your computer. You will need to keep it updated as much as possible.

What can I do to keep from getting infected?

Use a scanner such as McAfee or Norton which comes equipped with a Virus Shield. This software device will detect viruses as they try to get into your system and alert you.

Where can I find information on the latest viruses?

Try any of the following web sites:

Why there is no senders' email address in notification message?

In notification message I received:

Please contact [BLANK] to resend the new virus-free e-mail.

Why there is no email address to contact to?

This is happen because the virus using empty-from sender with <> or null-reverse-path.
Mostly this is sent by a faker virus such as VBS.Redlof