Note. The text below is part 5 of the paper titled "Epidemiological Modeling of Computer Virus Propagation."
The computer virus has some similarities with a biological disease. The former, like the latter, is also capable of self-replication, self-construction, and self-evolution. The computer virus is viewed as a possible form of artificial life11. On its own, it attaches itself to other files and programs. As an infected program, it also runs automatically.
Biological diseases and computer virus share many characteristics. For one, both their spread depends on the frequency of contact between those infected and those susceptible. This is why biological analogies were established since the first trials on studying how to combat computer viruses12.
In combating the spread of both the biological disease and computer virus, the approach is also similar. Whereas the infected person is treated with medicines, the infected computer is treated by the curative capability of an antivirus. Whereas the uninfected person is made immune with a vaccine, the uninfected computer is protected by the immunizing capability antivirus.
These are just some of the similarities between the characteristics of the biological disease and the computer virus. Nevertheless, these justify the application of epidemiological models to the spread of computer virus.
11Yu Zhang, Tao Li, and Renchao Qin, “Computer Virus Evolution Model Inspired by Biological DNA,” College of Computer Science, Sichuan University (China, 2008), 943.
12Jose Roberto et al, “Epidemiological Models Applied to Viruses in Computer Networks,” Telecommunications and Control Engineering Department, Sao Paulo University (Brazil, 2005), 31.