What is a computer virus?

A) Malicious software that can replicate itself

B) A helpful program

C) An antivirus program

D) A hardware component

Show Answer

A) Malicious software that can replicate itself

A computer virus is a type of malicious software, or malware, that is designed to replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. It is typically attached to a legitimate program or file, and when that program or file is executed, the virus becomes active and starts infecting the host computer. The virus can then copy itself to other files or programs, potentially causing damage to the infected computer or spreading to other computers when infected files are shared.

Computer viruses are often created with malicious intent, and their actions can vary widely. Some common actions that computer viruses can perform include:

  1. Data corruption or destruction: Viruses can modify, delete, or corrupt files and data on the infected computer.
  2. Unauthorized access: Some viruses are designed to gain unauthorized access to a system, enabling attackers to steal sensitive information or control the infected computer remotely.
  3. Resource consumption: Viruses can consume system resources, slowing down the infected computer’s performance.
  4. Network propagation: Some viruses are capable of spreading over computer networks, infecting multiple machines.
  5. Payload delivery: Viruses may deliver additional malware, such as ransomware or spyware, to the infected computer.

It’s important to note that viruses are just one category of malware, and there are other types, such as worms, Trojans, and ransomware, each with their own characteristics and behaviors. To protect against computer viruses and other malware, it’s essential to use antivirus software, keep operating systems and software up to date, and exercise caution when downloading or opening files from untrusted sources.

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