Marauders at the Silicon Gates:
Viruses and Worms

Much like human viruses, computer viruses come in many different forms and run the gamut from mildly annoying to extremely destructive.  They are usually small software programs that are designed to interfere with computer operation by corrupting or deleting data, or spreading themselves to other computers throughout the Internet.

According to the FBI Computer Crime survey, approximately two-thirds of all the companies polled suffered at least one security related incident, while over half suffered from four or more.  What is disquieting is that the threat volume is escalating at an alarming pace.   In the first half of 2005, over 10,800 new viruses and worms that attacked the Windows platform were identified.  This represented about a 50% increase over the prior six month period.  What is even more alarming is how quickly these viruses propagate.  The Code Red worm (2001) had an infection doubling rate of 37 minutes, while the Sapphire/SQL Slammer worm (2003) doubled itself every 8.5 seconds.

By using multiple exploit mechanisms, payloads, and propagation techniques, viruses and worms are becoming harder to detect. 

Some indicators that your computer might be infected are: