25 Interesting Facts About Computer Viruses You Really Should Know

Computer viruses were more of an urban myth than a real threat a few decades ago, but over the years, the situation has changed drastically. These days, malicious executable software programs are great menaces to anybody and anything from governments and big international corporations to small businesses and individual computer users. Created and programmed by anybody from experienced hackers to keen amateurs and even children, computer viruses are malware programs that – when executed – replicate by inserting copies of themselves into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as stealing hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user’s screen, spamming their contacts, logging their keystrokes, or even rendering the computer useless. Needless to say, computer viruses are major annoyances and can lead to some dire consequences. Protect and inform yourself about these malicious bugs with these 25 interesting facts about computer viruses. There’s not a person in this world who is not at risk from a computer virus attack (no matter how powerful your antivirus software maybe). Therefore, the more you know, the more you’ll be able to protect yourself.

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Before computer networks became widespread, most viruses spread on removable media, particularly floppy disks. In the early days of the personal computer, most users regularly exchanged information and programs on floppies.

floppy disksSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report and Consumer Reports, 40% of US household are affected by computer viruses.

computer virusSource: brandongaille.com, image: commons.wikimedia.org

Amazon.com was the most exploited target for phishing attacks, followed by Apple and eBay.

AmazonSource: visual.ly, image: flickr.com

Internationally, US is at the highest risk of being attacked by computer viruses, followed by Russia.

CapitolSource: visual.ly, image: en.wikipedia.org

Yet, computer virus writing is not considered an illegal act in US. Some other countries are beginning to draft computer crime laws that are far stricter than those in US. In Germany, for instance, mass exchange of computer viruses for any reason is restricted and Finland has recently made writing a computer virus an illegal act.

Backlit keyboardSource: encyclopedia.com, image: de.wikipedia.org

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