By Rolf Burger

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Extra resources for Computer Viruses: A High-tech Disease

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Each new piece of installed software must be archived for compari­ son purposes. • Information about software and protection mechanisms must be kept hidden. • Regular talks must be conducted with system authorities to motivate them. • All persons not belonging to the organization who have computer access must be checked. • Software not developed in-house must be checked before it’s used. As you can see, much consideration is given to viruses behind closed doors while officially the harmlessness of these programs is stressed.

But first is the danger that the memory-resident program will be discovered or will be removed when the computer is turned off, and second, even after the deed has been done it’s not particu­ larly difficult for B to restore the destroyed data from backup copies. When a virus is involved, the danger of A being discovered becomes much smaller. The virus propagates itself and within a short time has infected all of the programs. The infected programs are still executable, however. The virus function is to encrypt all of B’s data.

Huffman coding, developed by David Huffman, is a process based on binary trees which makes use of redundancy in a file to compress it. The storage requirements of program files can, depending on their structure, be reduced 50 to 80% of their original size. For text or graphic files, the author has found that it can reduce file size by an even greater amount Naturally, compressed programs are no longer directly executable and must be brought back to their original state before execution. This task must be performed by the virus immediately after the program is loaded, which naturally means that the virus itself cannot be compressed.

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