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Do virus files store personal information


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#1 DukeBob

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 05:18 AM

I am not very familiar with virus behavior, so I wish to ask a question: do viruses store any personal information? For instance, if you need to send (or have already sent) to third parties an infected file for scanning, how do you know it does not contain any of your personal data?

 

Edited: 33 views already but no answer. No one knows?


Edited by DukeBob, 23 March 2016 - 05:55 AM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:29 AM

A Virus is a man-made program (small bits of programming code disguised as something else or buried in other codes) that causes an unexpected and usually undesirable event. A virus can replicate itself and is designed to automatically spread to other computer users. Viruses can be transmitted through email attachments, downloads or removable media such as CDs, DVDs, or USB drives. Depending on the maliciousness and skill of the virus creator, the damage caused by a virus will vary. Some viruses will spread its viral code into other programs, corrupt, modify or even erase files. Some viruses wreak their effect as soon as their code is executed while other viruses lie dormant until circumstances cause their code to be executed by the computer. Viruses are usually classified by various criteria to include origin, techniques, types of files they infect, where they hide, kind of damage they cause, etc.

As such, a virus will not store your personal information. On the other hand, some types of malware (i.e. Trojans) can steal your personal information.

To fully understand what a virus does, you need to understand there are many other types of malware and that they differ from each other.


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#3 Didier Stevens

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 03:12 PM

In general no.

 

But there are viruses that replicate by injecting themselves in other files. For example macro viruses that inject themselves in your office documents.

If such a macro virus would infect one of your Word documents (with personal data), and you would send it to third parties for scanning, then you would also be sharing your personal data.

 

FYI: macro viruses that replicate like this are not prevalent for the moment.


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#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 03:14 PM


Edited: 33 views already but no answer. No one knows?

 

33 views is not a lot for BC forums ;-)


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#5 Struppigel

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 05:42 AM

Hi DukeBob.

 

I believe you might mean malware files in general and not only viruses. The media often puts them on one level although viruses are a small subcategory of malware that show the behaviour that quietman7 describes.

 

 

For instance, if you need to send (or have already sent) to third parties an infected file for scanning, how do you know it does not contain any of your personal data?

 

People who send in files usually do that, because they don't know what these files are and what they contain. In that case you can't know if the file contains personal data.

Some malware will store information in their own log files like credentials they stole. If you happen to send one of those files, because they are unfamiliar to you, you also give away personal data. Only send files to third parties that you trust.


Edited by Curie, 27 March 2016 - 07:35 AM.





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