Glossary Entry: Virus

Quick Definition

In casual usage, a virus is a malicious program that exists to spread itself and harm the computers that it runs on -- in other words, general malware*.

The strict definition of a computer virus is a malicious program that "infects" files so that accessing the corrupted file causes the malware* to run and spread itself further. Actual viruses like this are fairly rare, as most malware* is actually a form of worm* or trojan*.

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