Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Epidemiological Modeling of Computer Virus Propagation

Note. The text below is part of the introduction of the paper titled "Epidemiological Modeling of Computer Virus Propagation." The paper was written and submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of the Mapua Institute of Technology in compliance with the requirements of the subject Advanced Engineering Mathematics.

This paper begins by describing what a computer virus is and what it can do. The computer virus is a hidden and malicious code that is attached to a program or a file which is released when the program is executed or when the file is opened. Then, it looks for clean files and tries to attach itself to them too1. The virus spreads when an infected file in one computer is copied to and executed in another unprotected or unsecured computer.

The computer virus is malicious as it usually prevents the infected computer from being operated normally2. For one, the computer is rendered unusable as the virus keeps the processor component busy. In other instances, the virus deleted or corrupted some files needed to run computer programs3. The virus can also prevent the computer from accessing such external networks as the Internet, and intra- and extranets. There are, however, instances where the infected computer seems to operate normally but unknown to the user, the computer virus is browsing the computer’s memory looking for private information such credit card passwords4. These are just some of the consequences of computer viral attacks.
1Ida M. Flynn and Ann McIver McHoes, Understanding Operating Systems 4th Edition (Singapore: Thomson Learning Asia, 2007), 351.
2A. Martin del Rey, “A Computer Virus Spread Model Based on Cellular Automata on Graphs,” Distributed Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Soft Computing, and Ambient Assisted Living, (Salamanca Spain, 2009), 506.
3Ida M. Flynn and Ann McIver McHoes, 352..
4Yu Zhang, Tao Li, and Renchao Qin, “Computer Virus Evolution Model Inspired by Biological DNA,” College of Computer Science, Sichuan University (China, 2008) , 943.

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