Frequently Asked Question

Are there different types of viruses?

Plenty. Here are a few samples:

  • Trojan horses enters your system disguised as something else, like another program.
  • Worms propagate on their own by hijacking your e-mail accounts, user IDs, file transfer programs, etc.
  • Bombs are placed by a person or another program and activate with a trigger: a certain time or when you open a program or file.
  • Port scanners hide on your system and scan the surrounding environment for IP addresses and open ports. Then they make your computer “available” to other malicious code or people.

You can categorize viruses by what they do:

  • A boot virus infects the boot sector of disk storage.
  • A program virus infects executable programs.
  • A multipartite virus is a combination of boot and program viruses.
  • A stealth virus can avoid detection by removing itself from the system registry or masquerading as a system file.
  • A parasitic virus embeds itself into another file or program and leaves the original file functional.
  • A polymorphic virus changes its code structure to avoid detection and removal. Like a living virus, it mutates.
  • A macro virus exploits the macro language of a program like MS Word or Excel and does serious damage.