Discussions

Does the computer equivalent of HIV/AIDS exist?

+
0 Votes
Locked

Does the computer equivalent of HIV/AIDS exist?

And I don't means the virus named AIDS, described here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_(computer_virus)

What I refer to is a virus that does to computers what HIV/AIDS does to us.

An explanation of HIV from Answers.com:

http://www.answers.com/HIV

Would such a virus be practical, if it's even possible? Or does it already exist?
  • +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    The biological HIV virus works against the immune system. In order for a computer virus to do the same thing, it would have to weaken a computer's "immune" system. I'd define that as compromising the computer's anti-malware applications (anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, etc). I'm not a security expert, but I'm pretty sure viruses that do this already exist "in the wild". (For that don't know the phrase, it means such a virus is in active distribution on the Internet, not just a theory or only in a lab environment.)

    +
    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    Because death does not occur. An HIV/AIDS virus would have to destroy the equipment in the computer. Maybe if it destroyed the HDD and corrupted the BIOS?

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    "An HIV/AIDS virus would have to destroy the equipment ..."

    Nope, HIV/AIDS doesn't actually kill anyone. The weakened immune system is unable to protect the body from other viruses. In the computer analog, the computerized "HIV" would only have to disrupt anti-malware apps, leaving the system vulnerable to attack by other cyber-viruses.

    In computer terms, I'd define death as the permanent inability to access the data, even if the hardware is still running. I guess that would be analogous to human brain death. You may be able to reload the OS and apps, but is it still the 'same' computer? Too philosophical for me.

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    I submit that you are an expert, albeit reluctant and unrealized from the moment you cast your eye; moreso with every succeeding level and extent of reach.

    Treat security as a component apart, to be referenced only now and again, and Apotheon will understandably throw hands up in despair.

    Drink deep of it all, or not at all.

    The dram that Nodice prepares comes I think from the other way.

    To compare an OS to body and mind is natural enough, it both a product and working analog of mind, to get a handle on mind. The trick is in coming the other way: know mind down cold, if you can.

    Let that occupy him over the weekend.

    +
    0 Votes
    jck

    HIV affected the immune system, and computers inherently have no "immune system"...i'd say no.

    Nice question tho.

    I think maybe an Ebola-Zaire-like computer virus would be cooler...little holes developing in your case and your hard drive and motherboard turning to mush...hehe

    +
    0 Votes
    Router boy

    Windows would be the closest thing.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Some little penguin clearly woke up on the wrong side of the ice floe this morning...

  • +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    The biological HIV virus works against the immune system. In order for a computer virus to do the same thing, it would have to weaken a computer's "immune" system. I'd define that as compromising the computer's anti-malware applications (anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, etc). I'm not a security expert, but I'm pretty sure viruses that do this already exist "in the wild". (For that don't know the phrase, it means such a virus is in active distribution on the Internet, not just a theory or only in a lab environment.)

    +
    0 Votes
    w2ktechman

    Because death does not occur. An HIV/AIDS virus would have to destroy the equipment in the computer. Maybe if it destroyed the HDD and corrupted the BIOS?

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    "An HIV/AIDS virus would have to destroy the equipment ..."

    Nope, HIV/AIDS doesn't actually kill anyone. The weakened immune system is unable to protect the body from other viruses. In the computer analog, the computerized "HIV" would only have to disrupt anti-malware apps, leaving the system vulnerable to attack by other cyber-viruses.

    In computer terms, I'd define death as the permanent inability to access the data, even if the hardware is still running. I guess that would be analogous to human brain death. You may be able to reload the OS and apps, but is it still the 'same' computer? Too philosophical for me.

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    I submit that you are an expert, albeit reluctant and unrealized from the moment you cast your eye; moreso with every succeeding level and extent of reach.

    Treat security as a component apart, to be referenced only now and again, and Apotheon will understandably throw hands up in despair.

    Drink deep of it all, or not at all.

    The dram that Nodice prepares comes I think from the other way.

    To compare an OS to body and mind is natural enough, it both a product and working analog of mind, to get a handle on mind. The trick is in coming the other way: know mind down cold, if you can.

    Let that occupy him over the weekend.

    +
    0 Votes
    jck

    HIV affected the immune system, and computers inherently have no "immune system"...i'd say no.

    Nice question tho.

    I think maybe an Ebola-Zaire-like computer virus would be cooler...little holes developing in your case and your hard drive and motherboard turning to mush...hehe

    +
    0 Votes
    Router boy

    Windows would be the closest thing.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Some little penguin clearly woke up on the wrong side of the ice floe this morning...