When a computer is turned off, a virus’ ability to run is cut off because programs can only run if power is circulating through the computer circuit. The way a computer works can shed light on the way viruses can harm your files and programs. CPU, also known as the Central Processing Unit that does computations and executes programs. In modern computers, it is a small chipset the size of a button, one-inch square. Along with this is the RAM and Random Access Memory that holds the processed data that is being processed. The RAM which is the main memory in a modern computer consists of a certain sequence of locations. These locations are numbered and are called memory registers.
A computer holds data in these memory locations until you save the processed data in a local drive. A computer uses binary numbers to execute programs, so the machine language consists of binary numbers. Every piece of data can only be understood by the CPU if they are written in the language a computer understands. Everything in a computer is mechanical which means wires are just building blocks that are used to help it function. A computer consists of millions of switches known as transistors. These transistors are wired together such that the output of one switch will set on or off the next input depending on whether it is on or not.
The CPU acts as the brain that executes all this information without losing track of any piece of data. A computer can only execute a program that is written in a simple language using binary. The user cannot understand this language unless there is another program to translate. Compilers do translate these binary numbers into a programming language like Java or C++. The user will then only understand the compiled data by which you may also interact with the system. The binary numbers possess certain unique values called bits which are the basic building blocks. A bit can only hold one value, zero or one at any given time.
These numbers are assembled in groups of eight to form a byte that has enough information to hold an ASCII value such as “h”. With the bytes, a program can now be developed that performs certain functions. Therefore, a computer works with bytes to do computations, but a user will need a compiler to interact with the ASCII values. When a virus attacks, it attaches some additional bit values or replaces them to achieve the intended scheme. It does this by attaching new values to shortchange the program or file. When a value is changed in one byte, one of the eight values is changed or replaced by another number.
The result is a bad program that can destroy your computer. Viruses can destroy large files by doing this and cause a company to lose millions of dollars. When the power is off, no activity can go until the power is turned on again. However, if it is connected to a network and is usually turned on remotely as part of the network, the hacker may retain the IP address. Using the stolen IP address, he can turn it on again using an alternative network and cause irreparable damage to your files. Networked computers are usually vulnerable to remote attacks and should be protected with strong firewalls. Any computer that operates under ordinary conditions and is not networked can hardly suffer a virus attack when turned off.
Keeping your system free from virus attacks should be the primary objective of any individual or company. Millions of viruses are released daily in different forms that attack personal computers as well as integrated systems. Controlling such attacks can be difficult and requires expensive software, due to fake ads that often pop up in web browsers with promises of flushing out all viruses if installed. Some turn out to be actual viruses masquerading as safe applications.
Illegal files cannot be condoned at all costs because they are costly, either by individuals or companies. When you notice any strange behavior by your CPU that points to a virus attack, the first thing to do is to save your files. It is advisable to always back up your data to avoid losing important documents. Once you have backed up the important documents, you can begin to flush out those strange programs from your system.