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Computer Virus

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Noah: Is that your answer to everything? "Upload a virus?" The world doesn't work like that, Jake.
Jake: Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool if it did?

In fiction, anyone can write a computer virus overnight. While physicists might be more skilled to do so, even journalists demonstrate the skills to write computer viruses that can wipe out a complete technologically advanced alien fleet within minutes. There's no need to find a vulnerability in the system to exploit, no need for a development environment, heck you don't even need to know if the alien computers use ones and zeros (maybe they use threes, tens and tomatoes).

Just to clear things up: Computer viruses exploit security holes/vulnerabilities specific to certain programs — preferably server programs, so you can do a remote attack. In order to discover and exploit such holes, you need to study the software in question — a pretty difficult thing to do if you don't have the source code, access to a copy of the target system allowing you to run a selection of penetration testing tools against it (doing so on the real target may well alert its owners that some dirty work is afoot), or at the very least access to the executable file. More commonly, a virus author waits until a security update by the software developer uncovers a security hole in the program. If you are fast, you can act then and write a virus. Most users are lazy with updates (or company policies might get in the way), allowing the virus to spread to versions of the program missing the security update.

But in order to write a virus, even if you know the security hole, you need advanced knowledge about programming, and that knowledge is the sole domain of computer science students and complete nerds that have been teaching themselves programming since the age of six. Writing and testing a virus so it works the way you want and doesn't get detected prematurely might take a bit longer than an overnight hacking session. (Well, there are exceptionally skilled long trained hackers who might indeed be able to do this.) In any case you definitely need the following things in order to complete this task:

  • A compiler or assembler (not needed for scripts) that generates code for the target system.
  • The software with the security hole in order to test your virus.
  • The target hardware on which the virus shall be executed.
  • Profound knowledge in computer science (being a programmer for a living).

Having said this, there are virus building kits, built by (groups of) black hat hackers as per the above description, allowing essentially anyone with nefarious purposes, capable of wielding a mouse, and only little if any knowledge of the target system (usually called "script kiddies") to whip up a virus, worm or Trojan horse in a relatively limited time. The resulting malware is generally meant to work against known security weaknesses in widely-used programs or operating systems, on the basis that someone, somewhere will not yet have his system patched, and the larger the installed base, the higher the number of unpatched systems and the higher the chance of getting a sufficiently large number of them infected (a measurement of the success of a virus). But even those kits require getting familiar with their workings, just like any other computer program, and they will certainly work no better against the command and control systems of an invading alien fleet than throwing toothpicks at them.

Furthermore, the term "virus" technically only refers to a program that infects other programs or files. If it just infects other machines without attaching itself to programs, it's a worm, and if it's a malicious program that does the damage itself without infecting files first, it's a Trojan horse. No matter what the type of malware, media will typically refer to it as a virus.

Also important to note, not all viruses are malicious, some are benign that cause your computer no damage and simply exist to spread bad jokes, messages or troll you. Even reportedly, malware actually making your system more secure and less vulnerable to flaws and back-doors, owing to the efforts of white-hats using conventional malware delivery vehicles to send out beneficial payloads.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ireul, the 11th Angel, turns out not to be a kaiju like many of his predecessors but instead a nano-entity that quickly turns into a virus infecting the MAGI supercomputer, threatening the whole place with self-destruction. The combination of the computing genius of Ritsuko Akagi and the particular conception of Casper, the third part of MAGI (conceived by Ritsuko's own mother), saves the day, by setting Ireul on a course to "evolve" into annihilating himself.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! does this early on: Seto Kaiba uses the supercomputer in his basement to whip up and send a computer virus that will weaken and destroy a hologram of his Blue Eyes White Dragon in only minutes. His method for finding a hole in Pegasus' security? Take over and literally crash a satellite into the building housing the main servers. (In the Japanese version, he just uses the satellite as a midpoint to access the servers.)
    Kaiba: Hooray for cyber-terrorism.

    Comic Books 
  • In Infinite Crisis, Batman tells Oracle to upload every computer virus on Earth to Brother Eye as a way of slowing it down. Even if Batman had Oracle so Crazy-Prepared as to have every computer virus on file and ready for launch, a) Brother Eye would be immune to most of them, as Batman created him most likely with all kinds of attacks in mind (and he was later augmented by Alexander Luthor), and b) it would be amazingly stupid to let in anything that didn't come from one of his OMACs and was of the wrong size or file type — it's not like he's torrenting on the side while he's repelling the heroes.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), when Robo-Robotnik takes back Mobotropolis, Snively, in one of his Heel–Face Turn moments, installs a computer virus that kicks in whenever Robo-Robotnik attempts to access the location of Knothole. As he does so through his robotic body, Robo-Robotnik comes down with a cold, which puts him out of commission from time to time.

    Films — Animation 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth has Nobita and the heroes saving Planet Chamocha, whose robots have enslaved humanity under the control of their robotic leader, Professor Napogistra. Their only way of defeating him is by installing a disc containing a powerful virus inside Napogistra's brain, since he's neurally linked with the robots of the planet, and they succeed thanks to Doraemon firing the disc into Napogistra's mouth.
  • These are the main 'villains' which Dual and Dorothy must 'compress and delete' in Garakowa: Restore The World. Partially subverted. Mother released updates to view fragments of programs as viruses. Deleting worlds has created more of these.
  • In Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, 4-DAC gets infected with a Trojan horse program that brings him under Zin's control. It is later used against Zin's own computer.
  • Patlabor: The Movie: The Hyper Operating System contains self-replicating sabotage code that causes computer systems infected with it to go nuts—meaning a rampaging Killer Robot in the case of Labors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cyberjack: A group of terrorists seize control of a tech company so they can steal the computer virus that they were developing, which caught their attention earlier when the virus briefly 'escaped' and caused a plane crash. Goes into full-on Hollywood Science when the main villain merges himself with the virus to become god, gaining Telepathy in the process.
  • In the film Hackers, there's a virus named Da Vinci that threatens to sink an oil tanker fleet that drives much of the plot. Near the end, hackers around the world barrage a mainframe with such viruses as "Cookie Monster", which is defeated by typing in "cookie".
  • In Independence Day a computer genius from MIT writes a computer virus overnight that wipes out the defense shield of the attacking (and technologically superior) alien fleet. A lot of people found it implausible that a human computer could interface with alien technology and that the virus just happens to be compatible with the alien system. A deleted scene would have shown the guy studying the aliens' computer system in a crashed ship. It's also implied that human technology has been largely reverse-engineered from alien tech. The aliens were also established to be using Earth's satellites to relay messages, so their systems must have been compatible to some degree.
    • He also assumes that the aliens would figure out the virus within a few minutes and counter it, which is why part of the plan involved blowing up the mothership from the inside with a nuke. Having their command center wiped out would sow huge amounts of confusion among the alien attackers, preventing them from concentrating on the virus and delaying action on their part.
  • In the Matrix sequels Reloaded and Revolutions, Agent Smith goes from being a program created to police the Matrix to being able to copy himself over other programs and even people after being killed by Neo at the end of the first movie. By the time of his Final Battle against Neo, he's taken over everything and everyone in the Matrix. It's quite ironic considering his "humans are a virus" rant to Morpheus earlier in the same film.
  • In The Net, the main character is a computer programmer who collects the viruses that she combats. In one of the opening scenes, she's fixed a virus that was afflicting Wolfenstein 3-D.
  • The Parole Officer features a caper that relies on a computer virus, uploaded from a porn site, that sets off every building alarm in Manchester.
  • Sydney White: Sydney is running for student-body president of her college. The day before the election, current president and Alpha Bitch Rachel hires a hacker to destroy Sydney's files using a virus called "The Poison Apple". Sydney is then forced to stay up all night in the library doing her work. When Sydney finishes, she falls asleep and is almost disqualified for not showing up, but Tyler wakes her with a kiss just in time.
  • Westworld: Present in Unbuilt Trope form way back in 1973—or alluded to, at least. The film never explains why the scarily realistic humanoid robots are malfunctioning, but the head programmer notes that the malfunctions are increasing in frequency and spreading throughout the three parks. After he uses the word "contagious", a more skeptical programmer shoots back "I must confess I find it difficult to believe in a disease of machinery."

  • The creature mentioned in the title of It Came from the Internet is a Spyder, a wholly sentient computer virus who assumed a physical form and literally emerges from the protagonist's computer screen in the first few pages. Before trying to turn the protagonist and everyone else into Spyder viruses.
  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov's Norby and the Court Jester: The Fictional Video Game, Teenytrip, is used by the villain of the story as a vehicle for a trojan virus to be delivered to the minds of the players, as long as the game is hooked up to the Mainbrain.
  • In John Hemry's The Pillars of Reality, computers are rare, so viruses (called "contagions") are even rarer. Only a few people even know that such a thing can be done, let alone how to fix it, so when one is discovered, its very existence is perhaps more alarming than what it was actually doing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Airwolf. Dr. Moffett, the evil creator of Airwolf who gets killed in the pilot, left a virus in Airwolf's computer system that activates in "Moffett's Ghost", as payback if he didn't succeed in his plan to steal Airwolf. Exposition on what a computer virus is had to be included in the episode given that it aired in The '80s.
  • The way the Cylons disabled the Colonial Fleet in Battlestar Galactica (2003) was often described as a Virus, though in reality, it was a backdoor that the Cylons placed during the development of a navigation program that most Colonial ships (military and civilian) used.
    • An actual computer virus is, however, used in Valley of Darkness and gives the Fleet quite a lot of headaches in the following episodes before being purged.
  • The favored tactic of Christopher Pelant on Bones. He's so skilled he can even carve malware on bones that activate when image-scanned into a computer.
  • Subverted on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Giles asks if they can use a computer virus to defeat a demon uploaded onto the internet. Jenny replies that he's seen too many movies.
  • Game show Click. In the second round, stopping on the "Virus" ("Crash" in the second season) will give the opponents a chance to claim control of the board with a toss-up question.
  • In Lois And Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, a pair of "hackers" unleashed a "virus" called "The Ides of Metropolis" which was designed to destroy all "software programs" in every computer across America. In order to stop the spread of this malicious virus, Superman had to manually fly a 3.5" floppy disk with the antidote to three major backbone servers.
  • The Big Bad of Power Rangers RPM is a self-aware computer virus by the name of Venjix. Within three years of its release onto the internet it had nuked the planet, presumably by getting access to military computers. He survives the events of the series and comes back to haunt a new set of Rangers in Power Rangers: Beast Morphers as the series' Big Bad, Evox.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Contagion", the Iconian probes scan ships and try to reprogram them with Iconian software, possibly by complete accident. Unfortunately, said ships tend to get destroyed when the alien software overwrites the programs that keep things like the antimatter fuel safely contained in magnetic fields. The Enterprise's sister ship, the Yamato suffers that fate, and both the Enterprise and a Romulan warbird nearly go the same way.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode Avenger 2.0, Jay Felger and Major Carter write a computer virus that disables a DHD by scrambling its symbols and corresponding coordinates. While it is not clear whether these two studied computer science, all other work they do just concerns physics. Although Major Carter did write the dialing program which imitates a DHD for the (American) Earth gate, so it's not the first programming she has done along those lines.
  • The Big Bad of Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad is a malevolent AI named Kilokhan who colludes with a hacker to create computer viruses as the Monster of the Week.
  • Powered Dada from the Ultra Series.
    • Firstly appearing in Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, Powered Dada is a sentient virus after absorbing human life force, hijacking computers and communication systems, and using the Internet as means to hide from humans. After WINR managed to cut the power, Dada instead manifests itself in the physical world as an actual being.
    • The same alien returned in Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga, and this time it's powerful enough to hijack cellphone signals, obliterate and shut down communication systems and cripple military defenses, resulting in GUTS Select being completely helpless against it. It also displays Contagious A.I. abilities in it's return.
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Virus, Heartbreak and a World of Possibilities", Sheldon's computer gets one after Sheldon plays a bootleg copy of a video game.


  • One episode of Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully, the alien invaders' computer gets a virus - and, since the computer is sentient, and is indeed one of the series' major characters, we get to see (or hear, as this is radio) the infection from the computer's point of view.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Milton Bradley's The Omega Virus, set on a space station infected by the titular virus. Players have a set time limit to hunt down three devices and finally confront the virus to win.

    Video Games 
  • The backstory of the .hack games involves a powerful virus called "Pluto's Kiss" being released on the web on Christmas' eve of 2005. It caused every computer and system connected to the Internet to crash simultaneously, causing a previously unseen amount of damage around the globe. The web itself was destroyed in the attack and all the info within was lost forever. In the aftermath, the Internet went back to the ARPANET days and it took years to become available to the public again. During the investigation, it was discovered that one Operative System was immune to not only Pluto's Kiss but to all other known virus. Once the web became public again, said OS developed by ALTIMIT Company became by law the default OS in an all-new computer in order to prevent another Pluto's Kiss. Then CC Corp launched "The World", the first MMORPG available post-crash, triggering the events of the franchise.
  • Biomechanical Toy has a living, sentient computer virus as a boss, who literally crawls out of a computer to attack you. It's one of the harder, freakier-looking bosses in the game, and literally blows up into a series of 0's and 1's after being defeated.
  • Code 7 is named after the computer virus developed by the evil A.I. called S.O.L.I. He plans to use it to convert other Artificial Intelligences and robots to his side, so he can Kill All Humans. Because of this, one of your main goals in the game is to learn what Code 7 actually is and try to stop it.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair features the Junko Enoshima AI, which operates as one and causes the entire plot, which all takes place inside a Matrix-like setting called the Neo World Program. She was installed into it by the protagonist's other self, Izuru Kamukura, and corrupted what was supposed to be a peaceful simulation designed to undo the cast's despair brainwashing by the original Junko Enoshima prior to The Tragedy. She further plans to use Brain Uploading to steal everyone's bodies and reincarnate into the organic world. For no real reason, she also plans to do this to the rest of the remainder of humanity despite the fact this would only intensify her boredom when her entire reason for everything she did beforehand, including causing the death of millions, was to not be bored.
  • In Double Homework, Dennis writes a spyware program to collect the information on Dr. Mosely’s computer, and then blackmails the protagonist into uploading it.
  • Electronic Popple is set inside a CPU where you are a pair of andromorphic Anti-Virus programs, fighting against hordes and hordes of sentient computer viruses as enemies.
  • Most of Galerians is spent looking for a Lilia, a Living MacGuffin with a computer virus stored in her head. Known simply as the Virus Program, it was created as a failsafe against an A.I. that was starting to go off the rails. The protagonist, Rion, has a complementary activator program stored in his head, so Lilia and Rion must be united in order to destroy the A.I. after it develops delusions of godhood.
  • Hypnospace Outlaw, being an early internet simulator, has a fair amount of viruses that you can contract through your in-game browser. And then there's Mindcrash, which ends up actually killing HypnOS users.
  • In Kingdom Hearts coded, System Sector floors are occasionally infected with a generic virus that increases enemy strength and forces you to bet 100% of your SP on the Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • Mega Man:
    • The Maverick virus in Mega Man X is a nasty example, as it seems to quickly degrade reploid thought patterns and make them increasingly volatile and violent, especially towards humans.
    • Mega Man Battle Network takes place in a cyberworld fully populated with advanced electronics, many of them with embedded systems that can be accessed via the Internet. Naturally, a large portion of your enemies are viruses, or malicious program-entities that could spawn viruses and Eldritch Abominations referred to as Bugs.
    • The plot of Mega Man 10 revolves around Roboenza, which is a virus that causes infected robots to become sick with flu-like symptoms. Like with the Maverick virus above, it also causes various robots to go insane and start causing mass destruction.
  • NeonXSZ involves a computer virus running throughout a computer system, this time with Viruses and Malware separated into two factions. However, the player can choose to side with them.
  • In an episode of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney titled "Recipe for Turnabout", a computer virus called "MC Bomber" is used in a trial on the death of Glen Elg. It was originally thought to be a music CD.
  • The main plot point of Prismata's story mode is a virus going out of control.
  • In Retrovirus, the whole point of the game is to clear a computer system from a virus found in a spam email.
  • In TRON: Evolution and TRON 2.0, virus-infected Programs are major enemies, and the source of the virus comprises one of the major boss battles. Of course, with the universe in question, computer viruses are treated as a de facto Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Depending on your choices in Uplink, you will be tasked with either spreading a computer virus intended to destroy the Internet, or spreading the antivirus meant specifically to stop it. You can also run the virus on your own gateway computer, but it's not recommended.
  • The titular setting of Robot City is built from a substance that can build and reshape into anything, when programmed by the central computer. When the game starts, however, you're accused by the robots for murdering another visitor, Dr. David Poole, and the city is rapidly changing as you move around looking for clues. Poole's scattered journal reveals that he coded a virus that was meant to destabilize the city's materials, and after you clear your name, you have to upload the virus' data to the computer so that it can write a working antivirus.
  • The main antagonist of WarioWare: Get It Together! infects Wario's game. Localised, however, since it did not get to spread to any other in-universe medium. It is not known how these virī made their way into the game, but it happened after Wario programmed his game, and when he found out, he was scared.
  • The main villain of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Z, turns out to be a living computer virus that has infected a reality-warping computer, known as Origin, that was intended to preserve and rebuild the worlds of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2. Z in fact combines this trope with The Heartless, as he was formed out of the fear of the unknown and twisted desire for order from the masses of souls contained in Origin.

    Web Animation 
  • In various GoAnimate videos, there's the "Barney Error", which traps a person's computer on a screen mentioning how Barney was killed by a random person and had a bomb placed in their lair. They are told not to touch their computer for 24 hours lest the bomb goes off. Attempts to circumvent this tend to lead to the countdown speeding up quickly to the final ten seconds, where they must put in a code or they lose everything. It depends on the creator on how successful the infected is on stopping it.
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad receives a virus email in "Virus" which looks like text gibberish. Strong Bad then runs his virus scanner to find that he in fact has over 400,000 viruses on his computer, enough to cause the rest of the Homestar universe to glitch until Bubs shoots the computer with a shotgun.
  • Viciously parodied in Red vs. Blue. When Simmons is attempting to gain control of an enemy computer system and explaining the complications of doing so, Griff says "try uploading a virus into the mainframe, I find one with a laughing skull works the best."
  • In RWBY Volume 2, Cinder is able to infect Beacon with a trojan horse, which allows her inside access to everything within the school. This gets passed further in Volume 3 when Ironwood places his Scroll on Ozpin's desk, causing it to be infected and giving her access to Atlesian information like who Penny really is.
  • Played for Laughs in RWBY Chibi where Winter, Ozpin, Ooblek and Port are confused as to why their computers are infected when they have some of the best defenses. Then, Penny walks by and sneezes, causing Winter to gawk in utter confusion.
  • In The Trash Pack webseries, computer viruses are treated like actual viruses to Scummy Screen, being a living computer himself. Of course, Trash-A-Pillar gives him one thanks to a link that said to click on it to download a virus and get one million dollars. Hey, it seems like a good deal at the time to both of them.


    Web Videos 
  • Vinesauce streamer Joel is fond of intentionally downloading and executing these in his "Windows Destruction" streams, where he loads up Windows on a virtual machine and attempts to cripple it as much as possible. Some of his favorites include .exe files disguised as .mp3 or .avi files (this is why just about every Windows technician strongly encourages users to disable the "Hide extensions for known file types" toggle; with it enabled, "filename.mp3.exe" will simply appear as "filename.mp3") and ransomware that prevents the infected system from booting into any OS unless they obtain an unlock code from the author (which usually entails paying said author, hence the term).

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: "A Glitch is a Glitch" has Ice King upload a virus to the Universal Source Code of Ooo, deleting everything so that he and Princess Bubblegum are the last two people in the universe. The virus looks like a glitchy Ice King head with cursor arrows for eyebrows, and it physically eats bits of code. Finn and Jake defeat it by grossing it out and causing it to throw up the code.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Virus", an actual virus seeks revenge on Gumball for destroying the former's army by simply washing his hands. In the second half of the episode, it evolves and gains the ability to take control of electronic devices, making it both types of virus.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: In "Hard Drive Courage", the Computer Virus is the Monster of the Week, causing the Computer to spark up in smokes, kidnapping Muriel into the Computer's hard drive, and attacking Courage when he enters the hard drive as well to save her. They feed it Muriel's special gelatin, causing its illness to go away and make it leave.
  • Regular Show gave us the Doomageddon virus, disguised as Error 220. The only way it could get destroyed was to smash the computer with a hammer. In its physical form, it resembled a bacteriophage.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Karen's Virus", as its title suggests, involves Plankton's computer wife Karen getting a virus from a friend of hers that is treated like a human illness and makes her delirious. Plankton seeks SpongeBob's help to expel the virus before it eats her entire hard drive.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "No Small Parts", Rutherford has Badgey whip up a computer virus to disable the Pakled ship, after Boimler realizes that they must have next to no security protocols in order to keep their mismatched tech functioning in unison. Badgey complies, but sets it up so Rutherford will be killed with the Pakleds.
  • Trapped In Hyperspace: Swayzak infects the Absolution and other ships in the area For the Evulz. At the end, he infects TOM.
  • Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production: "Computer Bugs" has Bugs entering his computer to stop a virus from eating all of his files.
  • We Bare Bears: A segment of the second Halloween Episode combined this with Digital Piracy Is Evil when an attempt to watch a new movie for free unleashes a Reality Warping virus on the bears' cave.

    Real Life 
  • Virtumonde has become the overnight virus of choice and, due to its effectiveness and the ease with which it can be put together, dozens of variants exist and, combined with variants of the My Web Search infection, make up the majority of viruses professionally cleaned from computers. Catching it can mean a 3-figure trip to the computer guys or a hard drive wipe for most people.
  • The Storm Worm Trojan horse, a professionally-produced virus, can show how scary one of these things can be. Collectively, the computers it has infected form a botnet that was once of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Some people even thought it was a fetal AI.
    • The Storm botnet fell into decline, only to be replaced by more of the things. In no particular order:
    • Conficker: Updated itself automatically and killed off Anti-malware programs. Exactly what the botnet was going to be used for after it was assembled is unknown.
    • Srizbi: Outputed several times more spam than Storm, and was capable of creating its own command-and-control servers.
      • TDL-4: Deletes all other viruses to keep them from attracting attention, and has so far proven to be indestructible for Kaspersky and Symantec. It is removable with tools such as Kaspersky's TDSS Killer.
  • Stuxnet - a worm supposedly developed to hamper and/or ruin Iran's nuclear facilities. Essentially, a weaponized computer virus. Thankfully, its highly specialized nature made it harmless to most other kinds of computers...but that hasn't stopped more well-rounded descendants like "Flame" and "Duqu" from popping up.
  • CIH, a computer virus from 1998 which has obtained legendary status for just how much damage it could deal. An extremely cleverly-programmed virus that was able to evade detection by inserting its code into unused and empty space in pocket executable files (earning its first alternate name, Spacefiller), CIH was coded by its Taiwanese creator Chen Ing-hau as a means to challenge the claims popular antivirus packages had made. CIH can not only erase data on hard drives, but on compatible hardware, it will attack the computer's BIOS, overwriting it with gibberish and preventing the computer from even turning on! CIH is sometimes known as the 'Chernobyl' virus, as its payload activation date of April 26, 1999 is exactly 13 years to the day the Chernobyl disaster took place, but this happens to be a coincidence, as this date is also exactly one year after the virus was coded.
  • Floppy disc-transmitted viruses used to be a major feature on the computing landscape, before technology marched on and they were replaced by malware that leveraged the Autorun feature for plug-n-play software in optical discs and USB flash drives. One of the most notable and infamous viruses that spread in this way was the legendary Friday the 13th Virus, also known as the Jerusalem Virus.
  • One type of malware derived from the concept of viruses is the E-mail delivered worm. One of the more infamous worms that stalked the Internet lured schmucks into opening the infected payload by pretending to contain pictures of Anna Kournikova. Other variants are inventive enough to exploit Visual Basic Script (VBS), Javascript (JS), and Microsoft Office Macros (hidden inside Excel spreadsheets or Powerpoint slideshows) to conceal nasty Trojan payloads, and then use e-mail attachments as the delivery system to palm these nasty scripts off to unwary users.
  • Rogue "anti-virus" programs pass themselves off as legitimate anti-virus programs when they force themselves onto your computer. Then they begin to tell you that your computer is chock-full of viruses and registry errors, and try to coerce you into buying a license for the program by compromising your computer under the guise of the viruses that they claim to protect from. These range from subtle, like Winfixer, to cartoonishly evil, like Nava Shield.
  • MEMZ is a trojan that, unlike many kinds of viruses, was not created with malicious intent and was instead intended to be shown off on YouTube. The effects it can have on the computer when launched, however, are still very devastating: over the next several minutes, it will cause the cursor to move on its own, open various Google searches, play error messages, taunt the user, and eventually cause the screen to flash before creating a collapsing tunnel effect. Attempting to halt the program once it is activated will cause it to bluescreen the computer. Furthermore, once the program is activated, it will automatically overwrite the computer's boot sector: even if the trojan's other payloads can be stopped, the computer will be rendered completely unusable upon being rebooted, with only a looping image of "Nyan Cat" playing on start-up.
  • Lose/Lose is a "game" trojan that looks and plays like an old space-shooter like Galaga, but with one key difference: every enemy killed in the game will delete a file on your computer. Depending on how far into the game the players progress and how high they score, it's even possible to delete system files and render the computer unusable.
  • Wifatch is a benign virus example of malware closing loopholes and fixing bugs on routers it infects. Symantec has monitored the network of "vaccinated" devices but, so far, has not seen it put to malicious use. It even leaves a message on the router telling its owner to change the default passwords and update the firmware that controls the device.


Video Example(s):



It was a normal day with the animator, Alan, and his stick figure friend, The Second Coming, doing their usual activities until an unknown and mysterious virus called ViraBot shows up...

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Main / ComputerVirus

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