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This research paper targets to find the factors which leads the virus attacks among personal computer users. Today’s society has seen a dramatic increase in the use of computers. As a result users of personal computer today need to have comprehensive virus protection mechanisms to face the growing threats of computer viruses. Virus attack son computer are more harmful that shows up more damage to the computer. It is important to analyze the actions that a virus performs in one’s system and also the activities that are possible to occur over time. This helps in protecting our PC with needful security mechanisms to safeguard the secure information. The purpose of this research paper is to introduce to threader the threats that the computer viruses can create and provide guidelines on how individuals can protect themselves against these viruses. Nowadays many computer viruses are designed to self-replicate and self-install over a very short period of time. They come encoded with specific instructions to destroy and advance through its host computer, and can affect multitude of programs and applications very quickly.Recognizing the symptoms of a computer virus can help to successfully remove it from the infected computer as quickly as possible; the sooner this is completed, the easier it will be to recover any documents or programs that may be damaged, and prevent the virus from further spreading. After identification of typical factors which leads to computer virus attacks the possible solutions are put forwarded to PC users to surmount this virus attacks and for their future improvement in computer usage.Types and Ways of Computer Virus Attacks Boot Sector Virus: These types of viruses effect on the disk and the hard drive that holds small section referred as the sectors. Once the boot sector is attacked they become infected when you reboot the system with the infected diskette it spreads through the hard drive. Multi partitive viruses: It is a form of hybrid boot sector program virus that affects the programming files.While the infected program is activated it hits the boot record. When the system is restarted it subsequently passes on the infection to other local drive in to computer scattering on the virus to the other programming files instantly.Macro viruses: infects a Microsoft Word or similar application and causes a sequence of actions to be A. Ilmudeen (1)The Impact of Computer Virus Attacks and Its Preventive Mechanisms among Personal Computer (PC) Users(1) MIS Unit, Department of Accountancy & Finance, Faculty of Management and Commerce,South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil, Sri Lanka.( of the Third International Symposium,

SEUSL: 6-7 July 2013, Oluvil, Sri Lanka
performed automatically when the application is started or something else triggers it. A typical effect is the undesired insertion of some comic text at certain points when writing a line.Stealth viruses: Have the characteristic of hiding and usually changes file sizes to escape detection. A virus with stealth attributes tends to be found in a boot sector or a program file. Stealth viruses cover their trails by two techniques. The first is to redirect disk reads to other locations and the second technique is making a change in boot tables.Program Virus: The program virus is kept hidden in the files or documents, once they are activated or called they start infecting the system by copying the virus to other files and replicating to the system.Polymorphic Virus: The Polymorphic virus behaves like a chameleon that changes its virus signature frequently once they get multiplied and ready to affect the next new-fangled file. It is also referred to as binary pattern.FAT virus : It is a computer virus which attacks the file allocation table (FAT), a system used in Microsoft products and some other types of computer systems to access the information stored on a computer.Literature Review A virus is by definition a computer program that spreads or replicates by copying itself (F-Secure Corporation 2001). Computer virus attacks have become serious worldwide issue and can quickly spread through the Internet, causing even more damages (Joseph Wen 1998). Unlike other threats computer viruses able to infect from program to program, file to file and computer to computer very rapidly without direct human intervention. (JosephWen 1998) mentioned in his research that a computer virus can cause the loss or alteration of programs or data, and can compromise their confidentiality. (JosephWen 1998) stated that the vital part of a virus is a set of instructions that when executed spreads itself too the unaffected programs or files. Based on the intention of the virus developer these instructions can do any harmful activities like displaying a message,erasing files or altering stored data, replicating itself and taking up system resources such as disk space ,memory, Central Processing Unit (CPU) time and network connections. (Joseph Wen 1998). In general most of the viruses are stay active in memory until we shut down our computer system. But when we turn off the computer we just temporarily remove the virus from memory, but not permanently remove from the file or disk it has infected. The next time when we use the computer system the virus program is activated and starts its vandal activities continuously. Typically there are many well-known techniques can be used byviruses to destruct the computer system. Basically atypical virus make two functions thus first it copies itself into uninfected programs or files, second it executes other malicious instructions the virus developer included in it. (Babak Bashari Rad et al,2011) mentioned in their research that, there is a great fight between virus developer and anti-virus experts and it is becoming more difficult issue in day by day and in future too. (Essam Al Daoud et al, 2008)mentioned that anti-virus software are advancing their methods and techniques to detect viruses, on the other hand the virus developers are looking for new tactics to break them. Specially computer virus developers apply many strategies to escape from the detection such as space filling, compressing and encryption. On the other hand the antivirus software are trying to detect the viruses by using alternative static and dynamic methods. In general PC users today need to have a fully-fledged virus protection mechanisms to face the growing threat of virus attacks.Some of the Warnings of Virus Infected Computer The virus infected computer shows the followings symptoms such as computer performance slowed down and it takes a long time to start, it gets restarted frequently on itself, it displays more prompt messages with unusual errors and collapse of operations and strange sounds or music plays from speakers unexpectedly, failure in application functionality to meet up to the mark, crushed data that are change in format and difficult to reopen, files and documents do not get opened at times with error or unknown file formats, email account automatically send messages with the virus to our contacts, the command CTRL+ALT+DEL no longer works, antivirus no longer update, receives an e-mail message that has a strange attachment, an anti-virus program is disabled for no reason and it cannot be restarted, the computer may not allow re-installation of the anti-virus, new icons that you did not place on the desktop appears, a program disappears from the computer without uninstallation, operating system does not start because certain critical system files are missing, receive error messages listing those files, programs that used to run now stop responding frequently, and a partition completely disappears….etc Statement of the Problem & Research  Question Researcher conducted an preliminary interview among the Personal Computer (PC) users with regard to their computer usage and its interruption. People are using computers for several purposes like internet surfing, social media, e-commerce, e-learning,preparing documents, entertainment…etc. It is notable that most of the personal computer users are using internet based activities and it has high possibility to virus infection from the internet. Researcher’s interview revealed that computer virus attacks are occur in numerous ways due to the user’s lack of knowledge about virus infection, unprotected system,antivirus not installed …etc. Research question is raised as “what are the reasons for computer virus attacks and what possible preventive mechanisms to safeguard the personal computer user’s system.Objectives of the Research As people increasingly use Internet technology as a way to connect with globe the possibility of acquiring computer virus is greater. Computer viruses have become an ongoing worldwide problem and can travel quickly through the Internet and causing even more destruction. Individuals today need to have a comprehensive virus protection policy to face the growing threat of these old and new viruses. Objectives of this research are:• Identify the reasons which cause virus attacks among the personal computer users.• Suggest the possible preventive mechanism to safeguard their computer resources from virus attacks. Methodology Data Collection The researcher used questionnaire as a research tool to collect data. 110 questionnaires were issued among university undergraduates, professionals and PC users to collect the data. Among the respondent only 100 respondent’s data were considered for the analysis purpose. This sample has been taken from University, professionals and PC users on the basis of convenient sampling method. Researcher had the access for collecting data easily from these categories.The questionnaire composed by the researcher by focusing many aspect of computer virus like reasons for virus attack, virus infection damages in PC,possible symptoms in an infected PC, type of antivirus production, preventive mechanism for virus infection….etc.Data presentation and analysis The collected data were entered to the SPSS 16.0 and researcher conducted the relevant descriptive analysis. This was made using SPSS. Results and Discussion Majority of the respondents replied that viruses have high impact on personal computer usage. From the collected data 68 respondents revealed that their PC infected by virus attack more than 6 times within last three months. From this research the respondents reveal the reasons for PC’s virus infections are with respect to using pen drives(43%), not having antivirus(29%), visiting harmful sites(12%), free from antivirus updates(11%), does not have licence version of software(5%) and too much of internet surfing(9%).Program file infection has been recognized as a serious issue by the PC users and it affected the PC severely. Further hard disk infection, system file infection and boot sector infections also highlighted by the respondents. All respondents indicated that Internet browsing has virus attack and majority of them using the trial version (70%) of antivirus software as a protection mechanism. Among the licence version of antivirus users approximately AVG and Kaspersky.

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