What Are the Different Types of Computer Viruses?

Since the first of their variety acquired out in 1971, viruses have been prevalent. Although the point out of the phrase virus is sufficient to instill worry in a PC proprietor, it’s noteworthy that they arrive in a number of differing kinds, various closely of their malfunctioning capability. Naturally, the query is, what are these differing kinds of laptop viruses?

Quick Answer

Computer viruses are categorized into a number of varieties relying on the injury they trigger, the part of your PC or cellphone they goal, and the technique they use. Some of the common ones on this regard are boot sector virus, macro virus, polymorphic virus, resident virus, overwrite virus, browser hijacker, and so on.

In this text, I’ll cowl intimately the common varieties of completely different laptop viruses and discuss their peculiarities.

Table of Contents

  1. Boot Sector Virus
  2. Polymorphic Virus
  3. File-Infecting Virus
  4. Multipartite Virus
  5. Macro Virus
  6. Resident Virus
  7. Stealth Virus 
  8. Cavity Virus
  9. Browser Hijacker
  10. Conclusion

Boot Sector Virus

The phrase boot in the virus’s identify is suggestive of its focused laptop part. Not fond of rambling round your PC, these viruses assault the core of your laptop, which makes boot processes perform.

Back in the 90s, after they was once a giant factor, they used to unfold via floppy disks. In trendy occasions, they both journey by way of e mail or slip in by way of USBs. If your PC get affected by them, your solely hope of getting your system again is a full reformat by an skilled. 

Polymorphic Virus

A phenomenon of the twenty first century, polymorphic viruses are dynamic malware succesful of evolving as a result of of the variable filename fluxes, encryption, and compressions. Being self-encrypted, they have an effect on capabilities and datatypes in the host system, resultantly modifying themselves and producing barely completely different copies.

The hazard posed by polymorphic viruses is on the rise. Because they’re evolving, they’re tough for antiviruses to gauge and curb.

File-Infecting Virus

Generally, residing in the reminiscence, file-infecting viruses – as the identify suggests – connect themselves to executable recordsdata, both overwriting or fully reformating them. Such viruses often assault (copy their code to) .exe or.com recordsdata.

Recorded as one of the hottest viruses in 2011 and 2012, they will have an effect on your PC by making particular apps or elements of your reminiscence unusable to fully reformating the onerous drive. They are often unfold by way of e mail attachments or browser downloads

The finest solution to keep away from them could be to scan any recordsdata you obtain from the web with antivirus software program earlier than putting in them.

Multipartite Virus

Taking inspiration each from the boot sector and file-infecting viruses, multipartite applies a cumulative technique to have an effect on the boot sector and, in return, different recordsdata of your PC. 

Foremost, it is going to overwrite or append to program recordsdata. Once they’re executed, the boot sector can be affected by them. When you boot your PC the subsequent time, the virus will unfold round the PC affecting different recordsdata.

Multipartite viruses generally unfold via .exe recordsdata. So they will give you new purposes. If your laptop has a suspiciously low digital reminiscence and has slowed down not too long ago, a multipartite virus has probably gotten into your system.

Macro Virus

Macro viruses infect the macro language of the Microsoft purposes in your PC. Macros are sequences of automated instructions that will help you automate duties on Microsoft purposes resembling MS Word, Excel, and so on. Since they don’t infect the working system however moderately the purposes, they will have an effect on numerous methods.

When coming into the utility, macro viruses can unfold themselves by e mail to the contacts in your deal with ebook. To curb their unfold, Microsoft has determined to disable the macros by default on recordsdata from the web.

Resident Virus

Originating from contaminated downloads, shared recordsdata, or e mail attachments, resident viruses leap from the guardian recordsdata into your reminiscence. That’s the place they work from thenceforth. Even when you delete the supply recordsdata afterward, the virus is there to remain and act in the reminiscence. 

From the reminiscence, resident viruses act on the purposes and recordsdata working in your system that may end up in un-initiated actions in your PC. 

Stealth Virus 

Evident from the identify, stealth viruses are designed to not be detected. They can enter your system from the again door and make themselves appear to be an integral half of it. In reality, by definition, antivirus software program can’t detect them.

But how do they handle that? They go straight into the header file of the system they’re embedding themselves in and modify the checklist to interchange essential executable recordsdata with themselves. The antivirus software program thinks of them as system recordsdata moderately than exterior malware.

Cavity Virus

Cavity virus – often known as spacefiller virus – makes use of the vacant sections of a file to put in its code. Since it doesn’t change the file measurement, it’s onerous to detect utilizing typical antivirus software program. However, some specialised software program can nonetheless discover it.

Fortunately, making a cavity virus – one that may slot in the small vacant area of a file – is awfully tough, and there are not many file varieties it may possibly get appended to. Therefore, it’s fairly uncommon in the actual world. 

Browser Hijacker

Browser hijackers, most likely, are the mostly discovered laptop viruses. Rather than inflicting hurt to your system, they make your browser redirect to promoting web sites. Although not dangerous like different laptop viruses, they wreck your browsing expertise.

Again, the finest solution to keep away from them is to not obtain recordsdata from suspicious websites, open unknown e mail attachments, and so on.


In a nutshell, for greater than 50 years, many laptop viruses have been round. These embrace the deadly boot sector viruses, the hard-to-remove resident viruses, the secretive stealth viruses, the invisible cavity viruses, the almost-harmless browser hijackers, and plenty of extra.

Many of them have been performed with and now are an element of historical past. But many are nonetheless round infecting methods. In trendy occasions, we’ve seen some novelty – resembling the means to evolve – in laptop viruses. Although laptop viruses are right here eternally, so are the ever-improving laptop antivirus methods. So, you don’t have any cause to be afraid.

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