What it means: Viruses of 2002

Monday, 6 January 2003, 1:53 AM EST

Winevar was insulting, Chernobyl produced evil offspring and FriendGreetings came with a license to kill. The three are names of computer viruses that made the rounds in 2002, another banner year for digital troublemakers. Though there was no single big-name destroyer like the Anna Kournikova virus of 2001 or the Iloveyou from 2000, there were plenty of little guys last year, like one called Bugbear, or variations of the Klez worm.

A virus, at its simplest, is a human-made program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes, according to the Internet-based dictionary Webopedia.

The technically literate make a distinction between viruses and worms. A wormcan replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs. Unlike a worm, a virus cannot infect other computers without assistance, according to the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing.

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For in-depth information on computer viruses, visit the Viruses section of HNS.




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