computer virus


computer virus
virus (def. 4).
[1985-90]

* * *

Computer program designed to copy itself into other programs, with the intention of causing mischief or damage.

A virus will usually execute when it is loaded into a computer's memory. On execution, it instructs its host program to copy the viral code into any number of other programs and files stored in the computer. The corrupted programs may continue to perform their intended functions while also executing the virus's instructions, thus further propagating it. The infection may transfer itself to other computers through storage devices, computer networks, and on-line systems. A harmless virus may simply cause a cryptic message to appear when the computer is turned on; a more damaging virus can destroy valuable data. Antivirus software may be used to detect and remove viruses from a computer, but the software must be updated frequently for protection against new viruses.

* * *

      a portion of a program code that has been designed to furtively copy itself into other such codes or computer files. It is usually created by a prankster or vandal to effect a nonutilitarian result or to destroy data and program code.

      A virus consists of a set of instructions that attaches itself to other computer programs, usually in the computer's operating system, and becomes part of them. In most cases, the corrupted programs continue to perform their intended functions but surreptitiously execute the virus's instructions as well. A virus is usually designed to execute when it is loaded into a computer's memory. Upon execution, the virus instructs its host program to copy the viral code into, or “infect,” any number of other programs and files stored in the computer. The infection can then transfer itself to files and code on other computers through magnetic disks or other memory-storage devices, computer networks, or online systems. The replicating viruses often multiply until they destroy data or render other program codes meaningless. A virus may simply cause a harmless joke or cryptic message to appear on a computer user's video monitor each time he turns on his computer. A more damaging virus can wreak havoc on an extremely large computer system within a matter of minutes or hours, causing it to crash and thereby destroy valuable data.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • computer virus — Virus Vi rus, n. [L., a slimy liquid, a poisonous liquid, poison, stench; akin to Gr. ? poison, Skr. visha. Cf. {Wizen}, v. i.] 1. (Med.) Contagious or poisonous matter, as of specific ulcers, the bite of snakes, etc.; applied to organic poisons …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • computer virus — UK US noun [C] IT, INTERNET ► VIRUS(Cf. ↑virus) …   Financial and business terms

  • Computer virus — Not to be confused with Malware. A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself[1] and spread from one computer to another. The term virus is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but… …   Wikipedia

  • Computer-Virus — Ein Computervirus (von lateinisch virus für „Gift“, „Schleim“; im Singular „das Computervirus“, alltagssprachlich auch „der Computervirus“, Plural „die Computerviren“) ist ein sich selbst verbreitendes Computerprogramm, welches sich in andere… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Computer Virus — Ein Computervirus (von lateinisch virus für „Gift“, „Schleim“; im Singular „das Computervirus“, alltagssprachlich auch „der Computervirus“, Plural „die Computerviren“) ist ein sich selbst verbreitendes Computerprogramm, welches sich in andere… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • computer virus — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms computer virus : singular computer virus plural computer viruses a program that enters your computer and damages or destroys information that you have stored …   English dictionary

  • computer virus — kompiuterių virusas statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Parazitinė programa, prisijungianti prie ↑vykdomųjų failų arba failų, turinčių vykdomųjų komponentų (pvz., makroprogramų), gaminanti savo kopijas ir jomis užkrečianti kitus failus,… …   Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas

  • computer virus — computer program that “infects” other computers, destroying files and even hard drives …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • computer virus — noun a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance • Syn: ↑virus • Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Computer Virus —    These programs usually only infect executable program files (.COM, .EXE, .OVL, .DRV, .SYS and .BIN) or boot records and master boot records on disks. A virus can do many things to your computer, including: deleting files, corrupting programs,… …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.