From the onset of a viral infection, these malicious codes begin
to make their presence felt in many ways. Most often, this comes
in the form of reduced efficiency, erroneous data storage and retrieval,
corruption of data files, operating systems and application software.
This is usually the worst way of detecting a virus attack for all
the damage has already been done.
Such drastic measures, however, are not necessary on most occasions.
It is much healthier to remove the virus code and leaving behind
a usable file and/or boot area simply by applying any of the commercially
available anti-virus packages. Most responses to viruses are after
all, technical responses. The same anti-virus software packages
have both detection and repair capabilities. These tools employ
many of the same techniques to identify and remove viruses that
were used to detect viral material as it attempted to introduce
itself into the system.
However, these programmes are often unable to remove all viruses
once the infection occurs. This is a function of both the virus
design, and the nature of the anti-virus software. Hence, this reminds
us of the grim fact that prevention is better than cure!