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Types of Computer Viruses and Other Online Threats

The term computer virus represents a computer program which can replicate itself once installed on a computer. Most people will use the term “Virus” for most types of malware found on a computer. Some of these other types of software are called adware and spyware. Typically these are not viruses as they do not replicate themselves.

Possible Virus Types


Trojan Horse:
A trojan horse program gets its name from the old Trojan Horse of Troy story. A Trojan Horse of wood is made for the Trojans as a gift. But inside held men that were to open the gates from within the walls of Tryo. Most trojans will appear to have a useful function. While it may advertise what the program is doind during its launch, this information is typically not apparent to the user beforehand. Secretly the program will perform other undesired functions. A Trojan Horse neither replicates nor copies itself, but can cause damage to a computer. Or compromises the security of the computer. The malicious functionality of a Trojan Horse may be anything undesirable for a computer user, including data destruction or compromising a system by providing a means for another computer to gain access, thus bypassing normal access controls.


Macro Virus:
Macro viruses are viruses that will use a program’s macro programming language to help distribute themselves. Typical things that will get infected by a macro virus are MS Word and MS Excel documents, which will they spread to other similar documents.


Rootkit Virus:
The term rootkit comes from the linux administrator root user. These viruses are usually installed by trojans and are normally disguised as operating system files. A rootkit virus is extremely difficult to detecte. They will typically attempt to allow someone to gain control of a computer system.  


Logic Bombs/Time Bombs:
These are viruses which are programmed to initiate at a specific date or when a specific event occurs. Some viruses attack their host systems on specific dates, such as Friday the 13th or April Fool’s Day. Trojans that activate on certain dates are often called “time bombs“.

Polymorphic Viruses:
A polymorphic virus not only replicates itself by creating multiple files of itself, but it also changes it’s digital signature every time it replicates. Thus making it more difficult for less sophisticated antivirus software to detect.

Memory Resident Viruses:
Memory Resident Viruses reside in a computers volitale memory (RAM). They are initiated from a virus which runs on the computer and they stay in memory after it’s initiating program closes.

Bootsector Virus:
Normally spread by floppy disks a bootsector virus will attach itself to the first part of the hard disk that is read by the computer upon bootup.


A worm is a program that makes and facilitates the distribution of copies of itself; for example, from one disk drive to another, or by copying itself using email or another transport mechanism. The worm may do damage and compromise the security of the computer. It may arrive via exploitation of a system vulnerability or by clicking on an infected e-mail.


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Similar Topics:


Adware – Wikipedia
Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically renders advertisements. These advertisements can be in the form of a pop-up. They may also be in the user interface of the software or on a screen presented to the user during the installation process.


Spyware – Wikipedia
Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spywareis typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect.


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