A day in the life of a computer virusOne fine sunny day, sat quietly in an e-mail in box, somewhere on planet earth amongst the once in a lifetime special offers, cheap Prozac and Viagra, and the odd smutty adult advert, sat a worm, attached to an e mail which suggested a loan application had been made and rejected. The reasons being an unacceptable credit rating, the report was included in the attachment.
The recipient, now concerned that not only had someone made an application for a loan in his name, but he had something on his credit score that would prevent him from getting finance, clicked to open the attachment.
From that instant, the worm was free. It wandered around the computer, snooping and probing every possible file and folder. He was searching for something.
His exhaustive search took no more than a few seconds, and he found exactly what he was looking for. An anti virus-scanner, anti-spyware and a firewall. He first visited the anti virus software, which he entered and disabled the update capabilities, knowing that the user could perform a scan without any chance of the scanner looking for him.
Next he dropped by to see the firewall and disabled its ability to detect both incoming and outgoing connections.
He was now beginning to feel a little down, he was lonely, it was after all the first time he had spent more than a millisecond away from his creator. His bad mood was evident when he bumped into the anti-spyware file, he deleted it altogether.
His next task was to put an entry into the computers registry, he can only be active whist ever the computer is on, so he wanted to make sure he was woke up on every boot up.
That done, he looked to his programme for further instructions, He was to find the address book, and send out a copy of itself to every e-mail address it found. He was allowed to send his clone in a wide variety of disguises, from a long list he was given, some simply said hi, whilst others offered an animated picture, but what ever form he chose, it was likely it would be opened, they were his friends and family after all.
Feeling a little tired, there was quite a lot of addresses, he decided to rest. He did have a little time to kill, his next instruction was to open a port in the computer, but he was not allowed to do this until a pre-programmed time and date, so were all his clones. The effects are potentially devastating as all his clones will send out more clones, and they the same, and their clones. Millions of worms, sat quietly, undetected, waiting for zero hour.
He does get a little bored, so he tinkers around with the odd programme, and uses up a lot of the computers processor, making it take longer to perform tasks.
He was just getting used to tinkering, and he found hearing the user swear regularly quite amusing, when the alarm went. He stood to attention, bound to perform his duty, or die trying.
He began to march, knowing full well his clones, which he hoped by now numbered millions, were doing exactly the same.
He began his search, he was looking for a port, not any port, just one, called 1752. His orders were to open the port, to allow incoming and outgoing traffic.
The port found and opened, without any enemy resistance, he had nothing more to do, he had performed his duty in full, his creator would have been so proud.
He returned to tinkering, fully aware that now the enemy would soon be aware of his existence, and eventually fix would be downloaded to deal with him.
He still felt smug though, as he was also programmed to remove some of the computer operating system as the last act of a dying virus.
He could not help wondering why he was instructed to open port 1752, and it was not long before he found out. Into the computer, through port 1752, came company, he presumed it was another virus, but not like himself, he was intrigued.
So over a quick 'byte' to eat, they had a chat. He found out he was indeed a virus, he had been scouring the internet looking for computers with port 1752 open, the worm proudly announced he had opened the port with his own bare claws. This new virus was a Trojan, programmed to copy the key strokes off the keyboard and send them, along with the address of the web sites the user was on whilst typing, back to their master and creator. This excited the worm as even he could work out that the keystrokes would contain passwords, even account numbers.
The two viruses felt a little sad at having to go their own ways, but the Trojan had work to do, duties to perform, he also had to search for files containing anything like account numbers and await further downloads from his creator. They wished each other well whilst saluting, the Trojan then disappeared into the computers hard drive.
So the worm just sat there, doing the odd bit of tinkering, wondering how long it would be before the user realised he was infected. He presumed his most likely end would be the user doing an on-line scan, which would by now programmed to look for him.
There really was no point in him hiding anymore, so he amused himself by causing the computer to crash at the most inopportune moments, and occasionally taking over what the computer did for a few seconds.
When the end did come, it was fast and painless, for him at least. The programme sent in to destroy him was much bigger and more powerful than he was, he did not even get chance to take out bit of the operating system, the fix was even programmed to smother them. but he had certainly left his mark, the user will remember him, and the countless hours it took to reinstall all the programmes he had caused irreparable damage to.
For his creator, his death was not in vain.
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