Compare a highly disbursed and contagious computer virus to that of an unexpected epidemic of some viral strain in humans. It catches you off guard when you were not expecting it and were not prepared. You could not be prepared because you did not know what was even coming. There are distinct differences in comparison but the principles are the same. The dictionary describes an epidemic as "a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something" so technically an epidemic could be used to describe an infectious computer virus outbreak or many other things for that matter.
Viruses in general can mutate rapidly and produce disease and this is exactly what a worm that infects your computer does. It grows and it spreads and it is highly contagious to other computers. Researchers and technology gurus are literally working around the clock to identify the computers, systems, and parts within that are the most vulnerable to attack and infection. Where is it within the computer that is most likely to be attacked first, this is the information that they most seek. A strong computer virus strain can literally affect the highest majority of computers within about ten minutes.
Because computers have become to be so heavily relied upon as part of the US economy, the big dogs are moving in with ample funding and top experts to identify vulnerabilities and address them as soon as possible. It is essential to the government to find a comfortable level of security. The risks increase significantly considering that Microsoft, considered by many to be a monopoly, do in fact dominate the Internet. Most of the computer virus attacks are targeted at the same vendor, Microsoft and are hitting Outlook and IIS. Therefore, many would agree that the risks of computer virus infection would decrease significantly if there were other Internet vendors added to the competition. The pattern would not be so predictable.
In the future it is expected that viruses and worms will likely cause even more damage. While the Internet remains extremely vulnerable, the attacks will become more malicious and could very easily corrupt files that contain data and program files, and possibly even compromise our nation's security. Nothing is impossible. As technology advances even further, hackers can take advantage of the millions of vulnerable home and small office computer systems and compile them together and launch a huge widespread attack.
Experts across the globe agree that more needs to be done to prevent virus attacks from Internet systems and many claims that is not happening because the same vulnerabilities are present in newer viruses that were there with older ones. Simplified, this means that there were no lessons learned there and no one utilized that information for future use. Yet there seems to be so much that can be done to prevent viruses, the attempts have either been futile or non existent. A step in the right direction could be installing the best anti virus software prior to any computers leaving the warehouse rather than leaving it up to the customer to do later. Proper and speedy installation could be a baby step in future protection.
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