There are three different kind of anti-viral packages: activity monitors, authentication or change- detection software, and scanners. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Commercial anti-viral programs have a combination of the above mentioned functions.
There are over ten good anti-viral programs. Most known programs are Data Fellows F- Prot, EliaShim ViruSafe, ESaSS ThunderBYTE, IBM AntiVirus, McAfee Scan, Microsoft Anti- Virus, Symantec Norton AntiVirus and S&S Dr Solomon's AVTK.
On a day-to-day basis, the average corporation should be very interested in the scan time; these impact strongly the users, who should be scanning hard drives and disks on a daily basis. If a product takes too long to carry out these basic tasks, users will be unwilling to wait, and will stop using it. This is clearly undesirable - the perfect anti-virus product would be one which takes no time to run and rinds all viruses.
5. Computer viruses in Finland
5.1 A questionnaire in b inland about viruses
Government organizations than in local government or in firms" writes Marko Helenius in his Computer viruses in Finland report. He did a large scale questionnaire survey in Finland in the summer 1993. There were not macro viruses at that time yet, so today the virus situation is a bit different, but some results were pretty interesting.
The knowledge of viruses was quite poor in all sectors: government, local authorities and companies. Respondents' knowledge of viruses was best in government organizations. How important is virus prevention? The most positive attitude to virus prevention was in government organizations.
90% of the government organizations used some kind of anti-virus program, the same in local authority organizations was about 55 % and in companies it was over 60 %.
5.2 It is going to be a criminal act to make viruses in Finland
There is a new government bill about writing and spreading viruses. If the bill goes through, it is going to be a criminal act to make and spread viruses in Finland and one could get two years in prison or a fine, if one spread or write viruses. If a person make a virus it would be same thing in court than a person were planning to bum something. It is criminal to make viruses in England, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Russia.
It is not punished to make or spread viruses in Finland, according today's penal code. If viruses make harm to somebody that could be punished. Nobody has been punished for that in Finland, even though some Finns has made viruses, for example Finnish Spryer. That virus formatted about 600 hard disks and did lots of damage. They say that it was made in Espoo, but they never got the persons that made that virus.
Virus business in Finland is pretty big. Businesses that have specialized in viruses have about 100 million in sales together. It costs money to stop working and clean up the viruses. Computer viruses put in danger general safety, says Pihlajamaki from Ministry of Justice. It is dangerous if viruses get to programs that control trains or airplanes.
Computer viruses can also be used as a weapon. It is sad that America used computer viruses to slay and to make Iraq's computers non-functional.
6. How computer viruses have spread out around the world
Computer viruses are a problem all over the world. The following picture tells us how many times people have accessed Data Fellows, a company that makes anti-virus program F-Prot, more than 1,672,846 per month. It means that people are interesting in virus information. One reason is that people have to deal with viruses. Viruses in not only a problem in Finland and USA, it is a problem around the world.
Today's most common virus is the macro virus. Cap virus is one of the macro viruses. Last month there were 3100 Cap macro virus accesses during the last 30 days in Data Fellows. Next common virus was Join the Crew with 1171 accesses and third common was Pen pal Greetings with 895 accesses.
7. Computer viruses and network security
Computer viruses are one network security problem. A few people when asked if computer viruses can cause network security problems answered as follows.
"The only information that is leaked is the thing you should be worried about, your password! The trojan sends an E-mail to the hackers fake name and then he has your account at his hands," wrote CJ from American Online.
"Rarely, a Word macro virus may accidentally pick up some user information and carry it along; we know of one case where a macro virus "snatched" an innocent user macro that contained a password, and spread it far outside the company where that happened. In the future, however, it is entirely possible that more network-aware viruses will cause significant network security problems," wrote David Chess from IBM.
Marko Helenius wrote from Virus Research Unit, that there has been some cases when hackers have used trojan horses to gain information. There is one example in one finnish corporation where some money were transferred illegally a year ago. There has been a trojan in the University of Tampere too where the trojan pretend to be a host transfer program. The trojan saved users login name and password to hard disk.
There are lots of viruses in the world and new viruses are coming up every day. There are new anti-virus programs and techniques developed too. It is good to be aware of viruses and other malware and it is cheaper to protect you environment from them rather then being sorry.
There might be a virus in your computer if it starts acting differently. There is no reason to panic if the computer virus is found.
It is good to be a little suspicious of malware when you surf in the Internet and download files. Some files that look interesting might hide a malware.
A computer virus is a program that reproduces itself and its mission is to spread out. Most viruses are harmless and some viruses might cause random damage to data files.
A trojan horse is not a virus because it doesn't reproduce. The trojan horses are usually masked so that they look interesting. There are trojan horses that steal passwords and formats hard disks. Marco viruses spread from applications which use macros. Macro viruses spreads fast because people share so much data, email documents and use the Internet to get documents. Macros are also very easy to write.
Some people want to experiment how to write viruses and test their programming talent. At the same time they do not understand about the consequences for other people or they simply do not care.
Viruses mission is to hop from program to other and this can happen via floppy disks, Internet FTP sites, newsgroups and via email attachments. Viruses are mostly written for PC-computers and DOS environments.
Viruses are not any more something that just programmers and computer specialist have to deal with. Today everyday users have to deal with viruses.