This questions has boggled me since I was 13, the time I started learning more about computers
So, why and how do people get computer viruses?
I'm sure this will be beneficial for everyone
The last -computer- virus I caught was from browsing a website with my wifes laptop. The sight that delivered the payload was an advertisement on IGN( I was looking up game hints for her. )
While I am highly disciplined about not clicking internet garbage, her laptops touch pad never-the-less did a touch click on an virulent advertisement. It installed adclicker package virus, which starting installing more malware. It had approximately five minutes before I detected it( it circumvented and had disabled the namebrand antivirus on the computer by that time.)
I depowered the laptop at about six mnutes.
On repowering the virus had disabled internet access and disabled the antivuirus from finding and removing it. I disabled all network access so it would not spread any data in or out. This is an extortion virus, send money and supposedly they will fix your problem.
Determined the virus(adclicker trojan was the base package) depowered.
Repowered in safe mode.
Manualy removed of all virus components.
This did not restore functionality of the broken windows compenents (like no internet access.)
Create new user account. Import data/documents from old account(creates new unbroken components.)
Delete broken old account.
Rename new account to old account. Reinstall antivirus for whatever good it does.
Hand fixed laptop to wife, and say are you done with my workstation yet?
This scenario would put many users in the repair shop. This was about a month ago.
It used to be that viri were made by young programmers, "playing". That is, "See what I can do"? They didn't do it particularly out of malice, but more out of a sense of game.
Of course, by creating anti-virus software, companies have basically continued to keep the game entertaining: What can I do that can't be detected? How do I out-smart the people who are trying to protect the machine?
Its not that they hated the people who owned the machines that got the viri, or the people writing anti-virus software - it was fun. It was a competition.
They did it for the same reason that people drop watermelons off buildings. It's fun. It calls attention to itself. They aren't thinking about it from the point of view of the poor schlub who gets to clean it up, or the possible destruction if it drops on a falling car.
However, now it is turning into a business - people create viri that infect your machine with software that allows the bad guy to do something he wants from your machine, instead of from his machine. This can be something as innocuous as allowing him to browse web pages anonymously (by using your machine as a proxy host), using your machine to send spam without risking his machine getting shut down, to watching keystrokes and trapping passwords, potentially to financial sites. Kaspersky coupon
The reason why we get viruses is not cause someone implanted them into our computers but simply its old software that messes with new software thus your antivirus doesn't know what it is and regards it as a virus,notice when it tells you that you have a virus most time in my documents,update your software and drivers